Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Feelin' Crafty: the-pile TBR Jar Project

Supplies for My Project:
-A See-Through Jar
-Colored Construction or Scrapbook Paper (NOT cardstock- paper thin enough to fold easily)
   -Or you could use lined notebook paper and not deal with the hassle of measuring and sorting
-A Pen or Pencil, Preferably both: Pen for book names and Pencil for measuring marks
-A Goodreads Account with a shelf for your unread books
   -Or list out your unread books on paper and do it the old fashioned way.

First of all, my inspiration for this project comes from Constance @ Craving Books- her TBR Jar looked so pretty and easy to do I knew at some point I'd make my own.

As many of you may know, I have an out-of-control To Be Read dubbed the-pile, with a separate one named the-invisible-pile for ebooks. I absolutely cannot control myself when it comes to books for cheap, and so I have several stuffed shelves of books I haven't read... yet.

I won't be giving full instructions, because Constance did an awesome job showing how to fold the papers "just so", but I will expand upon her method by making the paper strips en masse.

For my project, because I'm a scrapbook aficionado, I used scrapbook paper in different colors and patterns to represent different genres. Note: for Constance's paper folding technique, you do NOT want cardstock scrapbook paper- ensure the paper is printer-paper thin if you plan on buying it.

I bought 12inX12in scrapbook paper, which I then quartered (first folding it in quarters, then cutting on the fold lines) and measured out 1 centimeter strips (Constance used 1.5cm- but I write tiny). Each scrapbook paper quarter should then measure 15cm- mark out your measurements on each side (left and right) of the paper, and then use a ruler to trace a line straight across.

Because my pile is so huge, instead of individually cutting each into perfect ribbons, I traced the lines on one paper, and then stacked two below, so I cut three at once. You have to be careful to hold the paper tightly, or you'll end up with malformed ribbons (which I did when I cut four papers at once).

Some thoughts on adding TBR books to strips:

-I have The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, so instead of putting that on one strip, I made seven strips- four with names of important plays, three with "A Play by Shakespeare" so I can pick my own. (I could've technically written out a strip for every play, but I wasn't feeling like it). Nifty, right?

-I have some books that are twofers: one I have is Call of the Wild/White Fang by Jack London. I put each on a separate strip- I'm not sure I'd be in the mood to readathon through two books when drawing from my TBR jar.

-I also have multiple books in series I have yet to read. Instead of putting the next book in the series I have to read down once, I put "Next book in blank Series by B. Blah", and put in a strip for every book I have of that series to read. For Example: I have three Dresden Files books left to read in the-invisible-pile, therefore I'd put three strips with "Next book in the Dresden Files Series by J. Butcher" so the odds would be raised. May the odds be ever in the books' favor!

-If you have short story anthologies and want to whittle them down, instead of making a strip for the anthology itself, make a strip for every short story (you could even make a short story TBR jar) like this: The Grave of the Famous Poet: Dancing Girls by M. Atwood, on page 88.

If you are like me (and have lots in your To Be Read pile), you track your TBRs on Goodreads. That is very useful because you can then make a shelf (like tbr-jar or jarred) and track which books you have written on the ribbons of paper. What I did is click on the shelf for your TBR pile, and then go through and write each book on its appropriate genre-colored paper. After you write it down on paper, click on the [edit] below the shelves section and checkmark the box next to your tbr-jar shelf. This will ensure you don't write two scraps of paper for that book. And, after you're done writing out a book title and author on paper- resist the urge to immediately fold it. Write all your books for that genre down, then count the strips of paper and compare it against the tbr-jar shelf count. I accidentally forgot to checkmark one of my books, and ended up unfolding papers to find out which one I hadn't marked, so although this step isn't necessary, it prevents mix ups.

When you are finished writing out titles for a particular section, then fold the papers into itty bitty pentagons, as shown on Craving Books, and then smoosh into star shapes.


Star Shapes:

Here's how my the-pile jar ended up:

To the left is the drinking glass version- to show all my hard work. To the right is my actual jar I chose, because I can't stand anything I create being uncolored and unadorned.

A look at the inside of my blue jar, artistically filtered on PicMonkey.

Make sure to mark which genres the patterns and colors represent- that way you have the option of choosing your genre. By using the different patterns for different genres, I found out my the-pile shelf consists mostly of classics and historical fiction novels, with only dashes of every other genre.

So that's how you make your own genre-specific TBR jar- here's to hoping you have less books to write up than I did!

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