Overwhelmed By Your TBR? Five Things You Can Do

If you’re anything like me then over lockdown you bought a lot of books and since being able to go back into shops and libraries it’s just getting worse. Whether you’ve got physical books, e-books or audio books; sometimes looking at everything you’ve got to read can be a bit much.

At least it is for me.

So I’ve been trying a few strategies to help me feel a little calmer and I’m hoping they might help you all too!

1. Try a TBR Game or Readathon

The problem with having a lot of books is not knowing where to start reading them. Especially if you’re a mood reader. You need to read that book you’ve had for nearly a year but that brand new book you shouldn’t have picked up yesterday is really calling to you right now. And then you just wind up reading the books you bought most recently as other books sit there for longer and longer.

Playing a TBR game can be a fun way to randomize what you’re reading a little more. There’s a lot out there and a good many of them don’t need more than you to have an idea of what prompts you want to do. If you’re really stuck then I have a TBR game of my own I’ve been posting here so feel free to check that out if you want some place to start. If you think you’re going to have a laugh when picking out what you read then isn’t it going to be more tempting?

There’s also readathons which many people run fairly regularly. I’m running a two week one called Faedathon next month – announcement video – but there’s also one coming up in November called Clear Your Shit which I’ve stumbled across on Twitter. Not only is that name hilarious but it’s encouraging you to get through your TBR finally, which, if you’re reading this post you probably need to do. I’ll be doing it myself so it might be worth checking out too!

2. Go on a book buying ban

This is the really obvious suggestion but if you’re feeling overwhelmed then this is an necessity.

Now, with so many books coming out this month especially, September 2020, I know this is going to be really hard. All those glorious new releases you want to read. But if you’re already overwhelmed then if you’re not going to read them any time soon anyway!

So just stop.

Stop reserving books from the library and saving books to read on Scribd or other services while you’re at it!

Yeah…that’s definitely something I’m shouting at myself right now. You don’t want to know how many library reservations I’m waiting on…

3. Start going through the books to see if there’s any you don’t want after all

If you get book boxes, have been given gifts or just have picked up a few books you’re not sure about then this can help you lighten your TBR up a little.

I’ve seen somewhere before someone saying if you read page 69 of any book you’ll know whether you’ll like it or not. This isn’t always true, obviously, but a few times recently I’ve taken to reading page 69 and then going back and reading the first page and if I don’t think I’ll like it or I’m really not sure then I put it aside.

We’ve only got so much time to read, if you already have an idea that you don’t want to read a book then put it aside and read something you’re more excited for.

4. Try to mix up what you’re reading

This one might seem a little pointless considering I’ve already said don’t bother with books you’re really not excited for. But sometimes there’s books you have to read or they’ve seemed like you will like them. You’re just not as excited for it as other books.

Make sure you’re reading those books in between the ones you think are going to be amazing.

Try mixing up genres, avoid sitting and focusing on one series and just make sure you have some variety.

When you’re sitting and just reading what can feel like the same thing over and over you could wind up in a slump and you want to avoid that.

5. Read multiple books at one time!

Now, I know for some people this is impossible. But I’ve got so many books to read at the moment that I’m finding I’m going to have to do this if I want to read everything that I want to read especially those time-sensitive things.

I’ve been reading one physical, one e-book and one audio book at a time. Or at least, this is the ideal. Sometimes either the physical book or e-books is also the audio book if one of those books is particularly thick.

Multiple books at the same time means that not only am I getting through my TBR quicker but it also means I can be reading different sorts of things too and suddenly all those books I have don’t seem like they’re going to take me as long.

Have you got any tips that I’ve not suggested here? Please let me know as it might help me out as well as you all reading this!

11 thoughts on “Overwhelmed By Your TBR? Five Things You Can Do

  1. a big part of my problem is all the amazing books that just pop up and im like WOW ive absolutely GOT to read that! its such a cycle. another tip i have is to give yourself a strict budget for buying books


  2. Some really good tips here! I’ve finally got to the point of reading what I actually want to read, and if that hardback book has been sat on my self for over a year, I’m probaby not going to read it.


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