Sunday’s Sundries: TBR Jars

Sundries - Dominic Hartnett
Image: Dominic Hartnett

Felicia at The Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog has been working on a project to get her books in order.  Her updates on her progress inspired me to finally get my book life more organized, too.  I scanned all of my physical TBR books into Goodreads and then worked on getting all of my books (including my ebooks) into a spreadsheet.  I chose to do that instead of manually adding most of my ebooks, which aren’t Kindle books (Goodreads has an option to add all your Amazon book purchases without having to look them up one at a time).  It still took most of a day, since I copied and pasted the information from my order histories into a spreadsheet and then had to straighten it all out.

I was shocked to discover how many ebooks I have.  I figured that I had maybe 150 or so, but I found out I have over 400 ebooks that I’ve never read.  Over half of them were free, and 100 of those were bought within the past 12 months.  In fact, from the very first ebook I’ve ever bought, up to today, I’ve acquired more free ebooks in the past year than I have at any other time.  I’m certain that’s because I’m participating in the #ShelfLove No Book Buying Challenge.  I can’t pay money for books, but I can get all the free books I want.  Apparently, my brain took this to mean I was in a book famine and therefore I had to hoard all.the.books.

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Since I can’t see my ebook collection in the same way as my physical books, I decided to make a TBR jar for them.  I also did the math on how long it would take me to read all those books and decided to unsubscribe from the daily emails I receive full of free ebooks being offered.  If I continue to read 65 books a year like I did last year, it will take me over six years to finish my mountain of a TBR pile.  If I also continue adding 100 new ebooks every year, that mountain will continue to grow.  The phrase “When I die, I’ll be found next to a stack of books I was meaning to read” is very fitting to this stage in my book life.

I also made a TBR jar for my physical books, but for a different reason.  Do you ever stand in front of your TBR pile/shelf undecided about which book to read next?  I spend at least 10 minutes waffling between books I know I’m likely to send to the used bookstore and books I’ll probably want to keep forever.  The TBR jar takes the question out of what to read next.  Whatever comes out of the jar is what I’m reading.

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I don’t know where I got the image that I used for the labels, but I used “Algerian” font and named them “The Hobbit’s TBR Library” because the boyfriend nicknamed me Hobbit ages ago.  I used sticker printer paper to make the labels but then had to use a bit of clear tape on each end because it apparently doesn’t like sticking to acrylic.  I then spent hours cutting up the printed spreadsheet pages into strips so they would look like shredded newsprint.  I probably spent way too much time on these, but I figured they’re going to be in my life for at least the next six years so they might as well be pretty.

Do you have a TBR jar?  Leave a link to a picture of it in the comments.