Getting My TBR Down to 100 Books!

My most ambitious reading goal for 2023 is the goal I’m most focused on completing.  It’s not going to be easy, but I am DETERMINED.  Believe me when I say, 2023 is the year that I will get my physical TBR down to 100 books (or less).  Some of you may be gasping that it’ll be a stretch for me to get my TBR down to a number as high as 100, but I’m going to be totally transparent here.  At the end of 2021, my physical TBR was just below 400 books.  I did a major purge before moving (thank goodness!) but overall I struggled to keep my TBR down in 2022 because I just didn’t have a whole lot of reading time with all of the big life changes and family situations we had going on.  I also can’t resist new books and I absolutely went special edition crazy.  Thankfully I found my reading groove again in December (an anomaly since I tend not to get a lot of reading done over the holidays, but somehow I managed).  Taking all of that into account, I ended 2022 with 285 books on my physical TBR.  A vast improvement, but not where I want to be.

And now for my ‘action plan.’ First and foremost, I completely revamped my TBR spreadsheet.  I made a google sheets doc that lists every book on my physical TBR by author, title, genre and series.  I included the genre so I can filter my list if I know I’m in the mood for a specific type of read.  I’m also using a color coding system so I can highlight 1) the books on my 12 to read in 2023 TBR, 2) the books I’m most excited to read, 3) books that I received for review, and 4) potential unhauls.  I’m finding highlighting potential unhauls to be extremely helpful.  It helps to disassociate from the physical book itself (especially if it’s really pretty) and see if I feel like it’s something I want to read when only seeing the title coupled with my memory of the synopsis from the time of purchase.  Throughout the week, I’ll browse my sheet, see if there’s anything that makes my list of potential unhauls and highlight what I’m not feeling.  Then on Friday or Saturday, I go to my physical shelf and remove anything I’ve decided to unahul.  Sometimes I decide to un-highlight books, sometimes I leave them highlighted on my sheet and on my shelf and other times I flat out delete them and put them in the unhaul pile.  After my first couple of weeks at unhauls (and reading), I currently have 248 books on my TBR.

My next combined strategy, and the most obvious one, is to limit my book buying and read more of what I already own.  Since one of my other personal goals for the year is budgeting and rebuilding our savings, I’m sticking to a strict book budget each month.  Last year, I gave myself a cap of buying 10 books per month (a cap I often ignored in the latter half of the year) and it didn’t truly work for me. I always felt like I *had* to buy my 10 books or I would be missing out.  By switching to a monetary value, I’ll feel good about extra savings for the month if I don’t spend my whole budget.  I’ve been using my library a lot more and ideally, I would love if my purchases were mostly books I’d already read and loved.  I’ll still be selectively springing for special editions and I’ll definitely be buying next-in-a-series books when something new is released.  On rare occasions I’ll grab new releases if they’re unavailable at my library and I really want to read them right away.  I also finally logged back into NetGalley for the first time since 2016 and I’ll be actually requesting ARCs again this year! Just for reference, I did not request a single ARC in 2022.

So here we go, the journey to 100 officially begins!

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6 Responses to “Getting My TBR Down to 100 Books!”

  1. Dana says:

    I love the way you did your spreadsheet. I think that doing something similar would be really helpful for me too.

    • Kristin says:

      Thank you! I’m finding it incredibly helpful when I’m ready to pick my next read (and it’s so satisfying to be able to take something off the list)!

  2. Heather says:

    I love your organization! Good luck!

    -Heather | Nerdy By Nature Blog

  3. Kathy says:

    Great job! Love the spreadsheet! I wish you all the motivation to stick with it and get that TBR down to 100!
    I suspect my physical unread is probably also somewhere between 250-300… but I am also hoping to get a handle on it this year and figure out my plan to make the hard decisions of unhauling and DNF more! It’s really satisfying to buy a book you have already read and loved but the special edition game can be a bit tricky. Great post! =)

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