Down the TBR Hole #1: Conquer Your TBR


Are you even a book person if your TBR isn’t totally out of control? About a year ago, Lia at Lost in a Story came up with a clever solution to go through her TBR in chunks of five or 10, and repeat the process weekly to whittle down the list to books she really wanted to read. My Goodreads to-read shelf currently stands at 226, which is kind of stressing me out. How many books can one read in a lifetime? I don’t want to do that math.

Anyway, here’s how it works (from Lia’s original post):

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

1. Paris: The Secret History – Andrew Hussey
Part of the reason I haven’t read this yet is that I’ve lost it. I know it’s in my house somewhere, but I can’t find it. The summary is very intriguing (and really makes me want to explore Paris properly) so I’m going to renew my efforts to find and finally read it.
The judgment: keep.

2. Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger
I added this to my TBR back in college, so at least five and a half years ago, probably closer to seven. Right now, it doesn’t sound like something I want to read at all.
The judgment: go.

3. Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov
I’m not sure what’s keeping me from this – I loved Lolita (‘enjoyed’ would be the wrong word). I think I just need to be in the right headspace for Nabokov’s writing. It’s not a priority, but it stays for now because I do really want to read it at some point.
The judgment: keep.

4. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
It’s a classic and I’m sure it’s wonderful, but reading the summary now I have absolutely no desire to pick this up.
The judgment: go.

5. Persuasion – Jane Austen
Okay, so the reason this is still here is that it is the last of Jane Austen’s books for me to read. That’s kind of sad, right? I know I can always re-read my favourites, but once I’ve finished Persuasion, there’s no more Jane Austen for me to discover. I know that’s a little bit silly and I will get around to it – maybe next year.
The judgment: keep.

Well, it worked – I’m two books down! I feel almost as good as if I had actually read them. Feel free to join in, and share your shame: how many books are on your to-read shelf?


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