7 Ways to Reduce Your TBR Pile - One Book at a Time

I think it's safe to say that all of us bookish people have a To Be Read (TBR) pile as long as the eye can see. I know for me personal, I've added over 100 books in the month of April alone. You could say I have a problem. It also doesn't help that I'm a member of Netgalley and joined five book clubs on Goodreads this year.

There are so many good books out there, how are we supposed to read them all?

Because of this bibliophile issue that we all seem to face, I've come up with a few tips on how to reduce your TBR pile and get through those books that are gathering dust on your shelf.

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In a fast paced world, everything needs to be scheduled. I know, this step is ridiculous, but think about it. Your day is chocked full of things you got to do. Grocery shopping, get the kids too and from school, work an 8 hour shift, make dinner, laundry, dishes. Where in this mess do you find time to read?

Find some time a few times a week, everyday, whatever your schedule allows, and take some time for yourself. Its worth it, trust me.

Set Reading Goals
That's right, goals. How much reading do you want to do. This is great. I made a goal to read 50 books this year... and of course smashed it by April. Should have shot a whole lot higher, but that's just how fast I read and we will go more into how I do that with the next tip. Whether you read a book a week, a book a month, a book a day... Set yourself a goal and try to stick with it.

Read Audio Books
Like I said before, I read a lot of books... More like, I listen to a lot of books...

As a mother of three boys, who works full time, writes books and has a thing for photography, After all the things I have to get done during my day, there isn't much time left to enjoy a few quiet moments. Even my bathroom time is interrupted by pounding on the door and little voices. There isn't one moment in my day that is free.

That's why I listen to audio books. I'm fortunate to have a job where I don't have to deal with the public and I sit at a computer imputing information all day. That means 8 hours a day, I have the possibility to plug in my head phones and listen to a good. book. It usually takes me 2 days to finish a good read, if that. It just depends on how many pages the book has.

A lot of my books come from the library and they have an awesome audio book section. There is also the text to speech function on my nook app, so if I can't be patient and wait for the library audio book, I can purchase the nook file.

Now you know my secret... Aren't you lucky!

Randomly Pick vs Going in Order
You may think, "I have to read the oldest books in my TBR pile first since they've been waiting the longest." That might work for some people, and if you are one of them, keep plugging away. For those of use that look at that oldest book in our pile and think, "I'm not really in the mood," try another option. This is one of my favorites...

Go to Random.org and plug in how many books you have in your pile. If you're anything like me and you have them all saved on your Goodreads to-read list, then it should be easy to find the number. Mine is currently 398 and that number I'm sure will go up by 100 by the end of the month. Random.org will generate a number for you, and you read that book on your list. Easy as pie. I find this way to be exciting and gets me into books that I wouldn't have picked up for a while.

Find a Book Buddy
I've been plugging through my TBR pile all by myself for so long. It wasn't until recently that I found someone who likes to read as much as I do and now I am excited to share what I've read with her.

Get yourself a book buddy or join a group or club. You can find lots of clubs on Goodreads or through your local library. Maybe you have a close friend that likes to read? Work through your TBR pile together.

Join a Book Club
I know I talked about book clubs a little bit in the last tip, but I thought I would dive deeper into the book club experience.

Book clubs can offer so much more than just reading buddies. They can also add to your TBR pile (Which I know this post is about reducing the pile, but adding to it is not a bad thing.) They can offer challenges. I recently joined a challenge to read through the alphabet in one year. It was fun and also a great way to pick some obscure books from my list. If you are like me and become emotionally attached to certain characters, then you might need an outlet to vent about their sudden demise or how much you hate them for what they did. Book clubs are a awesome. Get yourself connected and if you want a great place to start, come joint me and my book club that is specifically for working through the TBR pile.

You don't have to finish every book

This is probably my most important suggestion out of them all. You don't have to finish every book that you start. Think about it. A lot of people push through books that don't really interest them just because they feel they have to or there is some kind of taboo around it. I have been guilty of this thought process many times. For me, I decided that if I'm not into the book by 25%, I toss it. You should know by a certain point that you're not feeling it. You might say, three chapters or 100 pages. Maybe its an hour. What ever it is, don't feel obligated to read the whole thing just because you opened the cover. Put that book down and start something else.

It's very possible that you're not in the mood at the moment. Put it back in your pile or start a new pile for did not finish (DNF) books. I have one and it has a few highly recommended books in it that I just wasn't feeling at the time. Maybe I'll go back to them, maybe not, but there is no point in forcing yourself to read something that isn't making you happy.

These are my suggestions. They may not work for everyone, but that pile isn't getting any smaller. Trust me, I know... Feel free to join my book club, comment or send me a message, I love to connect with other avid readers, and remember, lets take it one book at a time.

Sarai's Book Club

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