This year, I resolved to try to get to grips with my TBR (To Be Read) collection.  My Librarything (LT) Profile currently has it tagged at 2229 which is just over half of my entire collection, but I know there are a lot more that haven’t been entered yet.

The new fun LT stats put my entire library if stacked on top of each other at just short of 400 feet – that’s between Big Ben and The Great Pyramid in height, and if laid end to end, they would stretch nearly 0.04% of the distance to the moon.

But the key statistic which is the most meaningful, is the number of Ikea Billy bookcases you’d need to house your collection …  I assume this means the standard 80cm width version with 6 shelves, single stacked.  I need 26.22 for the books LT knows about.

I have the equivalent of 10 of these dotted around the house, four of which are double stacked, so that makes about 14 – so I’m 12 short.  This means a lot of piles of books everywhere, and a TBR that stopped being a pile years ago, and is now more of a mountain range.

I joined in the TBR dare for three months from January to the end of March.  That was all well and good, reading just books that entered the house before Jan 1st, but due to life intruding, I’ve not got through so many books this year.  Previously, I’ve read two or three books a week, totalling around 110 per year. So far this year I’ve only read 32, and since the end of the TBR dare, I’ve been rather distracted by shiny new books mostly (and understandably!).

The upshot of this is, that despite loving having a personal library to pick from, I’m never going to get through all these books.  If I were able to keep up my 100+ reading rate, that’s over 22 years worth of books to read, without being added to.

I hope you don’t mind this rambling introspective post, but I thought that putting down some of the cold facts might help bring the enormity of my TBR list home to me.

As I sort through piles, I do sift out some unread books to go to the charity shop, or be sold, but I also put plenty back for further consideration.  I keep far less books once read these days which is also a good thing, but it’s the TBR list that worries.

So – I’ve come up with an idea for which I need your help.

Periodically, I’m going to list some books out of my TBR list, and ask you to vote to keep or cull.  Any receiving no votes will go without further ado. Then I’ll keep the top three or so, and try to lose the remaining books.  So watch out for another post containing my first TBR poll soon …

Any other ideas about managing TBR lists would, of course, as always be very helpful.  Thank you!

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