As I read blogs today, I noticed a recurring theme, one that has been a big part of my life, too, since I started book blogging.  The TBR Pile (or stack, etc.).  Some even mention the TBR Jar.

I don’t have one of those…but I do have a blog that I started in 2009, dedicated to keeping track of my unread books.  Curl up and Read was a desperate attempt to take control, since I moved into this condo in 2007 with 166 unread books that had to be boxed separately from the rest of my library.  I couldn’t mix the two.

For a while, I even had them sitting on the floor in my bedroom.





Then I bought a shelf for them, which made them more dignified.  But creating the blog, where I track my purchases, books read and reviewed, etc., made all the difference.

My physical books are under 10 at the moment.  My Kindle books, however, have grown in numbers, since my daughter gifted me with Sparky in 2010.  Then, earlier this year, I upgraded to Pippa.




One of my pages on the blog lists books purchased, another lists books read, with a link to the reviews.  There is a separate page for books from publishers, publicists, etc., with links to the reviews.

I also add the link to my review on the “purchased” pages.

So I can see where I am at a glance.

This morning, I counted 153 books PURCHASED in 2014, with 89 read and reviewed.

In 2015, I have purchased 47 books so far, and read and reviewed 21 of them.

My list of review books is pretty much up to date, with only three NetGalley books still to read and review, but they are being published at the end of June, July, and early August.

My review books have never been the issue, though.  I tend to overbuy…and I think that my lower numbers for this year reflect my determination to request books for review whenever possible, instead of purchasing.  To assist with my Compulsive Book Buying Disorder.





So should I add a TBR Jar?  Right now I have a list of unread books on paper, in addition to the page in my blog, to guide me in my reading decisions.

What works for you?



  1. Patty

    Free random what I am in the mood for works for me…we get along so well but I am your exact opposite…I don’t track…or date or even think about books to be read…I just sort of wing it! Lol! I love your methods but they would never work for me! Sometimes I look at my Vine books and see that red print that says…three days to review…I get a mild panic attack but then I quickly get over it…I am really bad!


    1. Patty, whatever works is great. I am the first to admit how compulsive I am…you should have seen me at my day job all those years…LOL. I still dream about that job and things that might have been left undone. Ridiculous, right?

      I wish I could be more relaxed…but that stack of unread books that I hauled into this condo terrified me.

      Thanks for stopping by! You are the voice of sanity in my sea of obsession…


  2. I can’t even think about the unread books on my kindle. I don’t expect to read them all before I die but it’s kinda nice to know I have them in my personal library if I ever get around to reading them. I manage to keep up with the review books although, at the moment, I have more galleys on my netgalley shelf than ever before in the five years I’ve been using netgalley. We need a support group 😄


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mary, and the Kindle books on my Paperwhite (Pippa) bother me less than the ones on my old Kindle, which were there and visible all the time. Now I only have a handful on the device, and the rest are lying about on the cloud…I imagine them happily resting there…LOL


  3. Ha, I have a bookshelf where I put my TBR books, its full. I do buy books that I want to read when the are published so that I don’t forget them, but usually it can be awhile before I get to them. I haven’t counted my Kindle ones, but I no longer add free ones, just ones I want to read. I started keeping a spreadsheet in Google docs this year that helps me see what I bought and whether I have read them. When I am doing challenges I try to get as many TBR books in as possible. I keep up to date with review books, but am only going to request in future those I really want to read.
    I love Pippa’s cover, mine is purple and I love it too.


    1. I do like using challenges to help with the TBRs…and I sort of caught up (except for all that I’ve added to my Kindle), but like you, I don’t download the freebies anymore, either. I never seemed to read them.

      I can’t count the ones in the cloud, because they are all lumped together, the read and the unread, and the Amazon page doesn’t navigate very smoothly. I rely instead on my pages on the blog, and my handwritten notebook.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing, Kathryn. I love the Kindle cover, too, and I would enjoy the purple one as well.


  4. I pretty much ignore the books I own (in print and on Kindle). Not that I don’t read them, I do, but I don’t keep very good track of them. When I choose from the TBR pile, it is based on my mood. I have, however, been making an pretty good attempt at not being so compulsive in my buying habits and the freebies. For the last few years, I’ve been requesting review books that I really want to read, and have not gotten behind on them yet!


    1. I agree about the review books, Nise; for some reason, knowing there is a deadline helps keep me on track. Just as it worked with my career, I could handle deadlines. It’s the nebulous TBR pile, with no deadlines, that are a challenge. My lists help, though, and I try to consult them for whatever books would appeal to me in the upcoming days…LOL.


  5. I totes relate to having Compulsive Book Buying Disorder. I used to be good about clearing out my eReader during the summer so that I can save money, but I haven’t done it for the past two years, and now I have so many unread books, it’s insane!


  6. At the moment, my system is extremely inefficient. I have 2 notebooks and some shelves. One notebook gets any title I think I want to read jotted into it. The other notebook gets titles of books I actually own and I date them as I complete the book. I still could use some more shelves though.


    1. Yes, I was always in search of still another shelf….and then I started purging the shelves of books that I had read. But everyone has their own system. Thanks for visiting and sharing, Laura.


  7. I have a tbr jar but only for standalone books and first books in series. Just so I might pick out those books on my shelves I might not as easily pick up otherwise. So it depends on how you want to use it to see if it would be an addition to your system. I like to use it to break up my series reading.


  8. I started keeping track too but just using an excel spreadsheet. Thought i made an effort to read some of these via the TBR challenge run by Roof Beam Reader, it seems to still grow. Currently stands at 182 and that doesn’t include e-reader books.


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