Chances are you have one, and your friend, and your other friend, and of course I have one. They sneak up on you. When you first start reading, there might be one to three books in the pile and you read them and go out and get new books. Somewhere along the way they developed a mind of their own and have overtaken a whole place in your house: a table, a chair, the floor, a shelf, your car’s backseat, on top of your toilet, etc. Will they ever go away or are we doomed to keep them forever? Here are some ideas I’ve come up with for reducing your TBR pile while also reducing your new book strain on your wallet. Read on and be sure to tell me what you think!
1. Book Budget –
With a book budget set in place and coincidentally in stone, you’re limited to the amount of new books you can purchase. Make sure you put less toward it than you think you need (this is the reduction part!)
Here’s a good equation for set up:
Take the low end price per book ($6 for mass paperback, $14 for trade paperback, $25 for hardback) and times it by (the average number of books you read in a month – 2 books).
How do you book budget? Share your tips with readers, leave a comment!
2. Library –
Like PBS new books are usually on a waitlist. Put your name on it and read your TBR pile while waiting for the library to call you. When they call, go check it out and read it. The idea of forced waiting will help you reduce your pile and by not seeing the book physically sitting there begging to be read, you’re not thinking about it. Additionally, nobody can add it to your pile count either and that includes you!
3. Paperback Swap –
Paperback Swap is trading website for used books. Get new-to-you books while helping with your TBR pile by setting up an account. You get 2 free books by listing 10 of your own for trade. See, I’m nice, this isn’t so painful; I’m letting you get two books!
Now to reduce your pile only “purchase” books when you get credits from sending out your old books. This will drastically reduce your new books, unless you cheat and become a mega-swapper with 50+ novels on your trade bookshelf.
Also many of the new releases are on waitlist and by waiting for them to come to you instead of buying them right away you can enjoy them without feeling TBR pile guilt.
4. TBR Buddy-
Get a TBR pile buddy. Between the two of you select books you want to purchase using tip #1. With two of you buying only half of your list (and later swapping books between you as you finish them) you can enjoy your whole list with less financial strain or guilt tripping. As I said before, your pile can’t guilt trip you if the books aren’t there. It’s a twist on that age old adage of if you can’t see it, it can’t see you.
Photo Credits: kencf0618