Like many book lovers and consumers across the globe, I have a ridiculous TBR pile. As I compile this post, my count sits at 120 books (and BookOutlet's Black Friday sale starts tomorrow). This past year I've attempted to reduce my TBR pile to less than 100 books, and it has worked and it hasn't. Let me explain.
Somewhere around the winter time at the beginning of the year (2015), I put what I like to call a "book buying limit" on myself. In an attempt to reduce that pile, I told myself that I could only buy 1 book for every 5 that I read, and that the 5 books that I read following that had to include my new purchase.
It was new, it was exciting, and it only lasted a month or two before I broke. So, how do you successfully eliminate your TBR pile? What kind of method should you use that will work for you in the long run? All of us are different, and not every solution will work for everybody, but here are some suggestions that I am going to attempt:
1. Book Buying Limit
This only worked for me in the short run, but I think if I changed up the rules a bit it could work in the long run. Here's how it works:
For every 2, 3, 4, or 5 books that you read (whatever kind of requirement you feel comfortable with setting for yourself), you get to purchase one new book in exchange.
I think the main reason this didn't work for me is because I didn't change it up. I set myself a ratio of 5:1, for every five books read I was allowed to purchase 1. It was fun and exciting and made me outrageously excited for buying books again, something that I hadn't experienced in a long time. However, it was short lived. Especially as new releases were coming out and I wasn't reading at a fast enough rate to buy them. So... Switch it up! Maybe you feel like reading 5 books for every book you get to purchase is too much, so make it smaller for a time being! Maybe it's your birthday month, so do something a little daring! For every book you read, you're allowed to buy TWO book for every book you've read during the week (or even the whole month, if you wish!) of your birthday!
You could even do this by setting a limit on how much money you want to spend on books per month, or how many you want to purchase in a month (you could always carry over if you don't max out!)
Love read-a-thons? I kind of do. The ones that I'm really into are Booktube-A-Thon, and RYBSAT. Read-a-thons are a great way to read a lot of books in a small amount of time, a very effective way of demolishing that TBR!
3. Avoiding the Bookstore
I don't know about you, but if I walk out of the bookstore without a book I feel like I'm missing a limb on the way back home. This is very bad, especially since I tend to visit the bookstore two or three times a week. So... avoid the bookstore! In the mall doing some Christmas shopping this season? Don't forget your blinders! Avoid walking past the bookstore! DO NOT GO IN! (Just be very careful when you finally do enter, all those new shining books that you have yet to see in person can be very tempting.) You can't buy books if you don't have a way of getting a hold of them.*
4. Add up those Books!
Keep a running tab of what you're spending! These numbers can give you a huge reality check if you feel like you're spending too much money on books. I did this once before, and I was appalled by the results... So, naturally, I stopped keeping track and kept up my habits! (Don't follow by my lead, though. This will result in bottom line of $0.)
Do you have any strategies for keeping your book buying under control? What do you find does and doesn't work for you? I would love to hear your experiences, please share them with me!!
*This excludes online shopping, you're on your own for that one.