Thursday, January 28, 2016

Reigniting Your Passion... For All Those Books You Bought a While Ago

I think if you're a book blogger, and you don't have this problem, you must be some sort of saint. You buy a book, intending to read it within the month. Other books come before it, of course, you can't just stop everything and read that one book, even if you were enthused about it to begin with. So the book languishes in the place you left it, forgotten until you begin your spring cleaning two, three, five years later.

You wonder why you picked up that book in the first place. What terrible reviews it garnered on Goodreads! Absolutely none of your bookish friends have read it. Did you just pick it up due to the price, or even just the cover?

In an effort to curb my own neglect of the books I already own, I've tried many things, none of which have been proven that effective. So my latest scheme is simple: put my TBR shelf in an area I walk by everyday, and make it look tempting. (Also, host a challenge to help me commit to reading the massive amount of paper books that I've gathered, which make up my version of a doomsday bunker).

Here's a look at my the-pile shelves before (and this was on a good day):

My the-pile shelves after:

I have a thing for book stacks.

I redistributed about half of my the-pile books into the hallway shelf, giving them both breathing room and a bookstore-vibe. I hope this method will help me with my goal, more than some others I've tried like:

-the-pile TBR Jar
 Why it didn't work for me: Even when I chose the genre, it didn't necessarily give me a book choice I was "in the mood for". I'm a mood reader. A piece of paper can't tell me what to read!

-Shutting Down My Review Requests:
 Why it didn't work (that well): I still have my review requests closed, but it didn't really force me to read books I already owned- I could just buy more instead!!! I did this for several other reasons, and don't regret the choice at all. Still, it hasn't slowed my consumption of freshly bought reads.

-Entering More Bookish Challenges/Read-a-thons
 Why it hasn't worked (that well): Again, I buy books like a bit of a machine. And since it's one of my holy trinity of vices (sugar, caffeine, and books) I really don't feel like going on a buying ban, especially since the other two vices likely hurt me more.

What have you tried to curb your to be read pile? Which methods have proven the most effective for you?


  1. All that you've tried, I have tried too. Moving helped some--only in the sense that I ended up giving away unread books that no longer interested me. I rarely buy physical books anymore. My biggest downfall now are e-books. I can't see them like physical books and so putting them on a shelf I can see every day won't help. :-) It's a good idea though. I have a shelf of unread books right by my bed and so I see it every night before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning. I wish I could say it was working for me, but most of the books on the shelf are still there since I first put them there. Maybe I should try a no e-book month . . .

    1. I had a TBR shelf by my bed, but once I'm in bed you can't convince me to get up until morning (and also, there's problematic low ceilings where I stashed it). I completely reorganized my ebook collection by sorting them by page count, genre, year published- and it has helped some, for that. However, physical books are a real issue- one I'll be trying to tackle during February. I'm glad not to be alone in this book hoarding issue.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Wendy!
      ~Litha Nelle

  2. As far as not buying any more books goes (with the exception of using gift cards), what worked for me was scanning all my books into Goodreads and adding them to a separate TBR shelf on there. Every time I log on to Goodreads, I can see that ridiculous number of books. I became very aware of my problem after that, and it's made participating in the #ShelfLove challenge a breeze. I had to get my book buying under control first so that I'd be more likely to shop my own shelves. I'm also more likely to buy only the books I really want since I have a limited amount to spend with the gift cards (this year it's only $40), rather than just buying every book that seems even remotely interesting. Maybe someday that number of unread books will be more reasonable.

    1. I have TBR shelves on Goodreads (the-pile and the-invisible-pile) but I still constantly forage for books. The gift card idea is great! I wouldn't likely stick to it, though- buying bans would just mean I'd start collecting something else (like yarn, fabric- I craft less than I read, anymore). I think if I somehow keep myself focused on what I have, I might not buy so many more books. *crosses fingers*
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Rachelle!
      ~Litha Nelle

  3. I've tried shutting down review requests as well and it worked out all right for me. While it didn't stem the flow of new books completely, it slowed it down so I could keep up. I also picked up a method from a couple of people around the blogosphere that suggested not reading any other books until you have a review written for the one you just read because that's the main reason I get behind: I don't write out all the reviews before starting another one! I also now have a limit of library books that I can check out at one time to keep that pile low. Good luck in shrinking your pile!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. I didn't have that many review requests to begin with (and I'm very selective with the ones I do accept) so that may be why it didn't work so well. Generally, if I don't have something to say about a book that I feel is worthy of a full-on review, I do a mini one in my Fortnightly Update and call it good. There are reviews lingering unwritten in my Blogger dashboard, but I don't feel compelled to finish them if I'm not feeling like it. That way I spend more time reading. ;)
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Laura!
      ~Litha Nelle


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