Discussion: How to Catch Up On Your TBR

Posted June 9, 2016 by Jamie in Blogger Advice, Discussions // 7 Comments

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We love talking with you guys about books here at BAMF but some times we need to go a little further than just reviewing books and interviewing authors. Thus, Discussion Posts! We may give you some advice, tell you about something you may not know, and generally talk about the bookish world as a whole. The idea is to generate conversation around a topic so that you can think critically about it — or just think about it in general! Be sure to comment with your thoughts!

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How to Catch Up On Your TBR

You don’t. Get crushed. Just kidding! Kind of.

Today I am going to give you some tips for catching up on your ever growing pile of books that you WANT to read.

Don’t get discouraged

It doesn’t matter if Goodreads says you are 53 books behind schedule because as long as you are reading as much as possible for you, you are doing okay. And even if you are procrastinating reading, I don’t care. Say it with me “I am a strong and sensual woman who is doing the best I can even though I am laying in bed reading this blog post instead of a novel”

Read Novellas

You’ll see later why I dislike novellas, but they are a quick and easy way to get a couple books under your belt! Generally they don’t take a long time to finish (and most are fairly cheap or even free!) so they are quick to stack up.

Read Comics/Graphic Novels/Manga

Don’t already do this? Now’s a good time to start! Graphic Novels are kind of like a “break” from reading. They have pretty pictures and minimal words but still tell an excellent story. It is easy to read a couple of these within a short span of time (much like novellas!) However, they can be fairly expensive! Image Comics have the cheaper Graphic Novels so try out one of their series if you are looking to purchase but don’t want to spend a lot of money. Also, library!

Read for a Set Amount of Time Each Day

Even if it is only five minutes, try to read every single day. You LOVE doing it, right so why not treat yourself to a break from reality by reading! Try to set a reasonable amount of time (like five or ten minutes) so you don’t get too discouraged if you can’t sit down to read for a full hour every day.

Try to Limit the Amount of Books You Purchase

Try setting a goal for yourself like, “For every ten books you read, you can purchase one new book!” (or make it a little more realistic) and STICK TO THIS. Don’t be me and buy books on a whim and end up with a box of 28 and nowhere to put them!

As well, Try to Limit the Amount of Pre-Orders You Have

Set a limit for pre-orders as well. For me, I am allowed to have 5 pre-orders a month (1. Because I can’t afford any more and 2. Because I am literally sleeping with a pile of books next to me)
Try to only pre-order books you REALLY want or that have incentives for pre-ordering! Maybe it is a highly anticipated release or a sequel, so sure go for that one, but you don’t need to pre-order a book by an author you dislike (unless you get free stuff with it!)

Alternate Between Backlist and New Releases/ARCs

One of the best parts of Sarah’s RockMyTBR Challenge is that I am alternating between reading books I already own and books that I am receiving in the mail. It is taking the pressure off of reading and I am starting to love it even more than I did before blogging.

Don’t Be Afraid to DNF

You’ll never get through your TBR pile if you are struggling to get through a book you hate! I have a post about the ins and outs of my DNF process and I highly recommend you guys start doing this as well.

Save Gift Cards

I am bad at this but you don’t HAVE to spend your gift cards as soon as you get them! They aren’t going anywhere! Save them up for a double points weekend or when there is free shipping on any order. It is better to wait than make impulse buying decisions and think later “I should have saved my gift card for this!”

Don’t Buy Duplicates

Do you REALLY need four copies of that book? Chances are no, with some exceptions (like a collector’s or signed edition). But honestly you don’t need a hardcover and a paperback “just in case” (I say even though I totes do this)


Do you have any tips or tricks you use to catch up on your TBR?

About Jamie

Jamie lives over the ocean in a small town in Canada. She is a perpetual people pleaser, thus she took up a career path in Human Resources. She moonlights as a book blogger and catches up on Netflix shows when she is laying in bed wishing she could sleep.

She's been blogging at Books and Ladders since May 2015 and co-blogging at Queen of the Bookshelves since August 2015. Since Jamie can't ever really say no to a book, she reads all varieties of Science Fiction and Fantasy, YA Contemporary, YA Historical Fiction, and YA Fairy Tale/Mythology Retellings.

7 responses to “Discussion: How to Catch Up On Your TBR

  1. The tip about graphic novel breaks is golden. I’ve recently started doing it and it’s such a fun change from traditional novels. They’re not only faster to read, but you get to look at engaging pictures, and I just find it more relaxing on the brain. Alternating between backlist and new is a great tip too!

    Personally, I just accept that I’ve never complete my TBR in the way I’ll never finish watching all the movies/shows I want to. And that’s kind of the joy of it, that’s there’s always going to be something new out there 🙂

  2. Fantastic Post! I agree about changing things up a bit and maybe reading a novella or graphic novel – they are so much quicker to finish and you still get the buzz that comes with finishing a good book.

    Otherwise my only tip is try to stick to one book (I always fail miserably at this as I usually have about 3 or 4 on the go at once!).

  3. Great post and great tips!! I had a massive TBR pile (a whole bookshelf:x) but I’ve been doing super good about reading the books I already own and not buying a whole lot. It’s been really helping. I’m definitely one to DNF a book if I’m just not feeling it. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

  4. Amazing and agreed!
    I’m threating myself that until I don’t finish at least HALF of my TBR I cannot buy any other books. And it’s really hard, God, how can you go in bookdepository with all their offers and just don’t add a book in your cart? I’m going insane lol

  5. I think I’ve pretty much given up on getting caught up. (I know I’m addicted to buying books because books make me happy.) But as long I as keep moving forward and hitting my mini goals, I think I’ll be okay.

  6. Eveline

    Do you really own four copies of the same book? 😛

    For me, tackling my TBR is mostly about limiting the books I buy. Right now, I’m only allowed to buy books from incomplete series I own or a super anticipated book by an author I already love. I used to have alllllll the books I wanted in my wishlist on Book Depository and Amazon, but because there was always a good offer on something I ended up spending too much and having too many unread books.. so now only those that meet the exceptions of my book buying ban are in there.

    At the same time, I break the rule quite often, when an author visits my country or I’m really intrigued by a book. I don’t want to be too strict, because researching, ordering and getting new books in the mail are some of the few things that make me feel happy for a moment, and in the end I still buy way less than I used to.

    I have been making an effort lately to read some books I purchased almost a year ago and still haven’t read, instead of just the newer ones. Along the way the interest just wore off, but once I read them I’m glad I did.

    • BAMF

      We’re crazy and really do fangirl over books! I (Dani) have three different copies of An Ember in the Ashes!

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