How To Handle Your TBR Pile


Maybe you’re one of those lucky people who’s TBR pile is always perfect. Never too big, never too small, always perfect.

Please know; the rest of us bookworms hate you (We hate you nicely, of course). The rest of us deal with one of two struggles; our TBR pile is extremely tiny, or our TBR pile is so big it is in danger of crushing us.

Both scenarios are horrifying and make us want to cry. Here is what to do in either case.


Maybe you’re one of those people who as soon as you get the tiniest bit of money you run out and buy a book (who needs food and clothing?). Maybe you walk past the library every day and can’t resist going in. Or maybe, every time a holiday pops up every single person you know gives you a book. Either way, your TBR pile is in danger of crushing you and/or taking over your house.

Luckily, a huge TBR pile is fixed pretty simply; ban yourself from buying any new books or going to the library until you’ve made a sizable dent. Here are a couple of ways you can make that dent.

  • Sort the TBR Pile into three smaller piles; Library books, books I’ve had the longest, and everything else. And work your way through the pile in that order, starting with the library books (because you have to return them,) then go to oldest books, then everything else.
  • Limit yourself to buying only one book a month, and only three or four books from the library at a time. You’ll be more likely to finish them before you get another book.
  • Only get more books from the library when you have returned every last one of them. This won’t work from your bought-books pile, but it should cut back on the library pile significantly.
  • Don’t reread books; if you want to read, take a book from your pile.
  • And, as a last resort; donate or sell the books you’ve had longer than two or three months and still haven’t read.


You have NOTHING to read. Your local bookstores are looking empty and desolate instead of full and cheerful. You’ve already read every book your library has to offer; twice. No books are coming out for months. And you’re about to go insane with lack of reading.

This problem is somehow ten times worse than the huge TBR pile, because at least with the huge TBR pile, if you want to read something, you’ve got lots of options to choose from. But this…where your TBR pile normally sits there’s just a dust bunny and a couple of forgotten bookmarks.

  • Download the Kindle App on your phone/tablet. Most libraries use a program called Overdrive; it’s basically an online library for eBooks and eAudiobooks. It’s free and easy to use and you just sign in using your library card and pin number. You can download eBooks onto your Kindle app and read away.
  • Visit a different library branch. If you only ever go to one library, it’s likely that you only ever see the same collection of books. It would most likely be worth a twenty minute drive.
  • Visit a different library system. Different library systems have different books, and you can have cards from as many different library systems as you want. Just be careful not to mix up the books.
  • Order a book online; sometimes US stores don’t have books from Canada or the U.K. or Australia or whatever, and vs versa. But ordering a book online will give you the chance to get books normally only found in another country, if you’re fine paying for shipping.
  • Raid a friend’s bookshelf. Odds are, as long as you return them in good condition and within a month or so, they’ll be fine with you borrowing from them.

And…that’s my advice. Did it help you? Or was it only so-so? How do you handle a way too big/small TBR pile? How big/small is your TBR pile right now?

Happy Thursday,





8 thoughts on “How To Handle Your TBR Pile

  1. Fortunately for me, most of my books are in e-book format as I’m too poor to buy the physical copy of a book. My physical copy pile is not that big either. Not in immediate danger of being crushed by my TBR pile. *sighs in relief*

    Nevertheless, your tips to manage TBR piles are helpful, in case I ever find myself in either of the two scenarios.


    1. Kindle TBR piles are ten times easier than actual book piles. I think I would have a way bigger Kindle TBR pile but my Kindle has apparently been dropped one too many times and is about three years old, so it’s on the fritz. I’m kind of just letting it sit on my desk in the hopes that I’ll open it up and it’ll be magically brand new again.


  2. I actually did have a panic a few months back when my TBR was down to 3 books. D: IT WAS NOT OKAY OMG OMG. I think it’s nearly worse in a way because I don’t ever want to run out of reads. XD I fixed it by librarying. :’)
    Last year I had suuuuch a library addiction I’d have about 10+ books out every week. And even if I DID read a book everyday, it was still overwhelming. Sot his year, I’ve told myself I’m only allowed 2 library books a week. I occasionally break it, but it’s a good code to live by. xD That way I have time for ARCS and books I’ve bought. I try not to let the TBR get over 15 books because my brain freaks and I READ NOTHING and that’s not helpful. XD


    1. It seems like once your physical TBR pile hits fifteen or twenty books you do kind of go “erk” and don’t read anything because it’s too hard to choose which one to read.

      I wonder why it’s like that.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s