Talking About My TBR

Natalie Cotterill

I feel like TBRs cause such a controversy on social media nowadays, with people shaming themselves or even others for the size of them. Mine is huge, I’ll admit it. Sometimes I feel so much pressure because of it, but at the end of the day, I love it.

If I’m honest, I couldn’t tell you how many books are on my TBR. I don’t count any that I don’t own in some form as being on my TBR either, so any I get from the library or I have on my wishlist are just ‘books I want to read’, rather than ‘books on my TBR’. The list would be never-ending otherwise. I do have, essentially, a whole bookshelf dedicated to my TBR, but having books at uni too makes it difficult to keep track of numbers… not that I really kept count in the first place.

Part of me envies those who manage to contain their TBRS, having only like, 12 books unread on their shelves. I’d love to be that minimalist (and my bank account would definitely appreciate it too). But it’s just not me. I’m an untidy person, permanently surrounded by stuff, however hard I try to be otherwise – minimalism is just not me!

Personally, I love having such a selection of books at my fingertips, though it does sometimes make choosing my next read slightly challenging. Especially at the moment, as I’ve received so many titles that I am desperate to read for Christmas and my birthday! But I do like it. Sometimes I find it overwhelming, and I’ve run out of space in my bedroom, but I wouldn’t change it.

I do wish I could read quicker and more, so I could actually get to these wonderful titles as well as clear down the number of unread books I own. I’m challenging myself this year to read 100 books, so fingers crossed that helps keep me motivated and reading! I’m a procrastinator and frequently find myself spending hours on youtube or social media doing absolutely nothing. If I could get this procrastination under control, that would be incredible…

I find clearing out books such a difficult task, so unhauls are usually a no for me. If I do them, they’re of books that I have read, so my TBR keeps growing and is beyond a ‘maintainable’ size. Oops.

TBRs are such a personal thing though, I love to see how other people arrange theirs. Some people on social media seem to shame those with a large one (I have no one in mind particularly – it’s just something I’ve seen around) and that’s not fair. People have different preferences and others cannot afford / don’t have space for a large TBR, there are a whole number of reasons why people choose to have things a certain way and it’s not fair to judge them on these.

I’d love to know what your TBR is like! Do you have a lot of books, or do you prefer to keep it minimal? Do you include books you don’t own but would like to own / get from a library etc? What about ebooks? For some reason, I always forget about them in my attempts to count my TBR (though that’s probably my brain going “don’t make things worse”!)

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