Down the TBR Hole #78

Image: hjl

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I will be repeating this process until I’ve filtered out my entire TBR.

My TBR pile went up again to 842.  Not only did I not read a single page out of a book this week, but I added more books to my wish list and discovered a couple of books on my shelves that I never added to Goodreads.


This week’s books:

Press Start to Play ed. by Daniel H. Wilson – KEEP.  I started reading this anthology during one of my Sci-Fi Summer reading challenges, but never finished it.  I’m hoping to get back to it this Summer.

The Proverbs of Middle Earth by David Rowe – KEEP.  This has been on my wish list for a while, but I don’t want the ebook; I would rather have a physical copy of it.  However, it’s not a book I’ve ever found a copy of in any bookstore, and I don’t often remember to order physical books online before I’ve spent all of my money at the bookstore.

Bitch Planet: President Bitch by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Taki Soma, and Valentine De Landro – KEEP.  I enjoyed the first volume of Bitch Planet, and I already own the paperback of this second volume.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs – KEEP.  I’m not usually interested in Paranormal Romance, but the synopsis doesn’t mention anything about Romance.  I’m hoping it will be light on the Romance and mostly about the Paranormal.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill – KEEP.  A story about a witch who saves children and has a swamp monster and a tiny dragon as friends?  YES, PLEASE!

My TBR pile remains at 842 books. I don’t know that I’ll finish any books by next weekend, so I don’t think it will be changing until the next post, which will consist mostly of free audiobooks I got during Audiobook SYNC.

Down the TBR Hole #77

Image: hjl

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I will be repeating this process until I’ve filtered out my entire TBR.

My TBR pile went back up a little to 836.  I hauled 5 boxes of books to sell at Half Price Bookstore and used some of the money to buy a few books while I was there.  Some of them were already on my wish list, and therefore on my overall To-Read shelf, but I found a couple of books that weren’t as well.  I also added a couple of books to my wish list.

This week’s books:


Penny Dreadful Multipack Volumes 1 – 7 – KEEP.  I picked up the Kindle editions of all 7 volumes for a few dollars, and I will eventually read them.

Star Trek: The Next Generation series – KEEP.   I’ve read the first one in the series, and I have books 2 through 5 in paperback.  The remaining books are on my wish list.  From my count, there are 55 books in the series, and that doesn’t count all of the other one-offs and mini-series that feature the Next Generation crew.  I will probably read all of those, too, someday. TNG is my fave “Star Trek” series, after all.

The Legends of River Song by various authors – KEEP.  I love “Doctor Who”, and I love River Song even more, especially portrayed by Alex Kingston.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – KEEP.  Apparently, this week’s post is all about the Science Fiction.  I’m ok with that.  After Fantasy, it’s one of my favorite genres.

Dust by Hugh Howey – KEEP. This is the last book in the “Silo” trilogy, which I absolutely LOVE.  Howey has become one of my auto-buy authors.  I’m looking forward to reading this during the Summer.

My TBR pile remains at 836 books, and unless I finish a book by next weekend, I don’t think it will be changing.  I became much more selective about the books I added to my TBR by this point in time (2017), and had already participated in the original #ShelfLove challenge for a couple of years.

Down the TBR Hole #76

Image: hjl

Down the TBR Hole was started by Lia over at Lost in a Story.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I will be repeating this process until I’ve filtered out my entire TBR.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these posts.  My TBR pile went from 665 to 831!  My goal for this year is to reduce that to 740, which shouldn’t be an issue since I’m hosting the 2021 #ShelfLove challenge.  Since I didn’t do a post last week to start off the new year, I’m going to go through 10 books this week.

This week’s books:


Title Wave and A Just Clause by Lorna Barrett – KEEP.  I love this Cozy Mystery series.  I finished A Fatal Chapter not too long ago, and it’s only a matter of time before I start Title Wave.


The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova – KEEP. The Historian made it into my personal library-in-the-making, and I’ve been wanting to read this for quite some time.


Homicide in Hardcover by Kate Carlisle – KEEP.  The only reason I haven’t read this one yet is that I’m in the middle of several other book-related Cozy Mystery series and I don’t want to get confused.


The Plastic Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg – KEEP.  Yet another series I love!  I still need to read The Master Magician before I get to this one, and I don’t know why I haven’t read it yet. Perhaps because it’s an ebook and I’ve been preoccupied with trying to clear my physical TBR.


Wonder Woman: War Bringer by Leigh Bardugo – KEEP. Wonder Woman is my fave DC comics character and Leigh Bardugo has been well-reviewed.

Hunted by Meagan Spooner – KEEP. I love “Beauty and the Beast” retellings.  It’s my favorite fairytale, and this one sounds like it will be different from the usual retellings.

City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault – GO.  I have completely lost interest in this book.  I’m pretty sure the only reason I got it was because the cover looks so interesting.  I don’t even remember ever reading the synopsis.

Disconnected by Nick M. Lloyd – GO.  Meh.  I’m pretty sure this was a freebie from somewhere.

Harry Potter’s Bookshelf by John Granger – KEEP.  While I don’t think this is an “official” book, I am interested in reading about the books and stories that inspired the “Harry Potter” series.

My TBR pile is down two to 829 books, and my next post will be mostly made up of books from series.  I will probably bundle them like I did with the “Booktown Mysteries” books at the beginning of this post.  Even if I do that, my TBR likely won’t decrease at all over the next couple of weeks unless I finish reading some books.

The 2021 #ShelfLove Challenge!

Back in 2015, one of my favorite book bloggers, Terri from “Second Run Reviews” hosted the “Show Your Shelves Some Love” no book buying challenge. I recently caught up with Terri, who moved on from blogging to working in the book industry and now owns her own bookstore, Swamp Fox Bookstore! She gave me the go-ahead to host my own version of the challenge. Read on to find out the details!

Goal: Abstain from buying books or set a book buying limit – and focus on clearing your physical and virtual TBR bookshelves for the entire year.

Challenge Dates: January 1st – December 31st, 2021


  • Abstain from spending money on books for one calendar year or set a book buying limit (whether that’s monetary or the number of books you may buy).
  • Gift cards are OK as well as any Audible credits you already have in your account.
  • Encourage other challenge participants via blog comments and social media.
  • Participate in the monthly discussion posts. The link-up is on the #ShelfLove challenge 2021 page.
  • Library books do not count for this challenge. This challenge is only for books you already own.
  • Netgalley, Edelweiss, or other ARC books can count for this because you have the book, so read it!
  • Read books that are in your personal library that were obtained before January 1, 2021.
  • Yes, there will be a giveaway. Read the #ShelfLove challenge 2021 page for the giveaway details!


  • 1-10 books: shake hands with your shelves
  • 11-20 books: pat your shelves on the back
  • 21-30 books: give your shelves a warm friendly hug
  • 31-40 books: regular date night with your shelves
  • 41-50 books: your shelves are now your BFF
  • 51+ books: your shelves and you are going steady – I’m choosing this goal because my reading goal for 2021 will be more than 50 books.  I’m a member of the Fantastic Strangelings book club, so I am allowing myself to continue my subscription. These books, plus whatever books I check out from the library should be more than enough, but the key is to stay away from the book stores!


  • Create a sign-up post that includes your chosen goal on your blog or any social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Litsy, etc.).
  • Don’t forget to use the challenge hashtag #ShelfLove.
  • Go to the #ShelfLove challenge 2021 page to link your post and enter into the giveaway!

NO BOOK BUYING CHALLENGE STEP 3: Monthly Discussion Posts(Optional)

  • December 2020/January 2021: I’m joining in the #ShelfLove Challenge 2021! Tell us your goals for the challenge this year.  Will you be going on an all-out book buying ban or are you setting a book buying limit? Share pictures of your TBR piles or link up to your GoodReads Shelves.
  • February: Free books! Where do you get free books?
  • March: The TBR pile. Tell us about the books that have been on your shelves the longest.
  • April: May I?! Tell us about one book you want to buy this year and give your best “sales pitch” for why you should be able to buy it.
  • May: Organizing the shelves! How do you organize your books? Alphabetical by title or author, by color, genre, or some other way?
  • June: Mid-year check-in post. How are you doing with the challenge? Look back at your January post and let us know how you are doing.  Share an updated picture or list of your TBR pile.
  • July: Dear Author. Show some love to the authors of your favorite books.
  • August: The perils of book hoarding! What are your pros and cons of owning a lot of books?
  • September: Library Love! Tell us about your local library.
  • October: Best bookish gifts! What are the best book-related gifts you’ve received?
  • November: Thankfulness. Are you thankful for taking on the #ShelfLove challenge? Do you have a greater appreciation for the books you own or for wherever you get free books?
  • December:  End of the year check-in post. Look back at your June and January posts and let us know how you did this year.  Share an updated picture or list of your TBR pile. Would you do the challenge again in 2022?

I can’t wait to read all y’all’s sign-up and discussion posts throughout the year!

Down the TBR Hole #75

Image: hjl

Down the TBR Hole was started by Lia over at Lost in a Story.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I will be repeating this process until I’ve filtered out my entire TBR.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done one of these posts.  My TBR pile was down to 655 books, but between December of last year and now, it has gone up to 666.  If I remember correctly, my goal for last year was 650, which might have happened, but obviously isn’t the case now, despite having already read 33 books this year.

This week’s books:

Skeen’s Leap by Jo Clayton – KEEP.  The synopsis had me at “gritty space adventure.”  This book sounds like a perfect addition to my Sci-Fi Summer TBR.

The Shore of Women by Pamela Sargent- KEEP. I’m going to give this one the 50 page test only because it is considered a classic of Feminist Science Fiction.

Unexpected Stories by Octavia Butler – KEEP.  This one will also get the 50 page test, but because it’s Octavia Butler.

Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand – KEEP.  This one sounds like the kind of Horror that is right up my alley.

The Last Time I Saw Paris by Lynn Sheene – GO. This story sounds like nothing but a Romance that happens to take place in France during WWII.  No, thanks.

My TBR pile is down one to 665 books, and my next post will be mostly Cozy Mysteries.  If my TBR decreases at all over the next couple of weeks, it will be from finishing books.

Down the TBR Hole #2

Image: hjl

Down the TBR Hole was started by Lia over at Lost in a Story.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I will be repeating this process every week until I’ve filtered out my entire TBR.  I currently have 588 books on my to-read shelf.  Yes, that’s right, the mountain got bigger.  However, it was because I finally added some books that I own.  It would have been one book larger, but I moved a book to Currently Reading, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.

This week’s five books:

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee – KEEP.  As I mentioned in last week’s “Down the TBR Hole”, I love books about books.  Though I’ve had this one on my TBR and wishlist for a long time, it’s only because I prefer to buy books about books in either paperback or hardback.  I avoid buying them as ebooks if I can, but I haven’t found a physical copy of this one yet.

Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading by Maureen Corrigan – KEEP.  This one is a keeper for the same reason as the one above.

Sixpence House by Paul Collins – KEEP.  I already own this, and there is no way I’m not reading it.

Ruined By Reading by Lynne Sharon Schwartz – KEEP.  Again, I hope to own a physical copy of this one someday.

Book By Book by Michael Dirda – KEEP.  This is another one that I already own, but, unfortunately, it’s an ebook.  I think I gave up on the idea of finding a physical copy.  Regardless, I’m definitely going to read it.
So, my to-read shelf remains at 588 books and I’ll be starting off next week with book #31.

#ShelfLove: Mid-Year Check-In

Shelf Love Challenge 2016

A lot has changed in my life since I started this year’s Show Your Shelves Some Love challenge.  I got a full-time job.  I moved to a new apartment.  I began to truly focus on my health.  With all of those changes, I’ve come to realize quite a bit about myself that I didn’t previously know, and books have become an even more important part of my life as a result.

For instance, I realized I have to work for the sake of my mental health, not just my bank account, but I also have to have a job or at least be doing or working towards doing something I’m passionate about.  After I was offered the job, I was so excited to finally be working full-time again, but the excitement quickly wore off because my job is 1) not challenging and 2) has nothing to do with books.  So, my game plan has changed a little bit.  It’s no longer “I want to eventually go to grad school to become a librarian.”  It’s now “I’m taking the steps to go to grad school as soon as possible.”

2015-12-29 11.54.22
My TBR shelf before I moved.

That doesn’t have much to do with #ShelfLove, other than the obvious (books, of course), but my recent move to a bigger, but very differently configured, apartment made me greatly appreciative of this challenge’s existence and the lovely women hosting it.  I’ve discussed many times before how my book collection has caused quite a few problems when it comes to moving.  There’s the back-breaking weight, the cost of packing materials, and then the process of unpacking and reorganizing.  Ok, that last one is kind of fun.  Alright, a lot of fun.

2015-10-24 13.24.02 (2)
Only 2 of my book boxes before I moved. The other 5 or 6 were in storage.


For the first time in nearly seven years, I finally cut down my collection and moved to a place big enough to have all of my books in one place and easily accessible.  No longer do I have to drive out to my storage unit and dig through boxes to find that *one* book I want to read or loan to the Boyfriend.  Granted, not all of those books are on shelves, thanks to my shelves still being in storage until we have the money and time to shut down the storage unit for good, but all my pretty lovelies are READily available 😉 and that makes me a happy gal.

2016-06-18 13.09.19
My TBR shelf now. Though it doesn’t appear to be any different, it really is.

Though the main purpose of this challenge is to read the books we already own, and I’m definitely doing that, it has also made me rethink the books I choose to keep.  I was holding onto a lot of books I knew I would probably never read, but the pressure to read them because I bought them was causing me unnecessary stress.  I finally decided to take them to the used bookstore.  I thought letting go of these unread books would be difficult, but I didn’t shed any tears, and those books are better off in the hands of someone who will actually read them.  So far, I’ve made over $50 off those books and I’ve got another box that is halfway full.  Since my job hasn’t made me rich, that extra money means that I could afford to buy myself some exercise clothes that actually fit and are cute and comfortable so I’m more likely to get off the couch.

2016-06-18 13.09.512016-06-18 13.10.11

2016-06-18 13.10.54
The remaining books after the purge.

What does concentrating on my health have to do with #ShelfLove?  It means I’m reading more.  Not only am I setting aside time every night to read as a form of self-care, I’m also reading while I exercise.  Whether I’m reading a book on my Kindle while I’m on the treadmill or listening to an audiobook while I’m walking during my breaks at work, I’m getting through my books much faster than I did last year.  I’m already at the halfway point of my goal of reading 51 books off my TBR pile.  Last year I was about five books behind.  Of course, I was still in college and taking Summer courses to finish my degree faster, but I wasn’t making as much time for exercise, either, and there’s nothing I’d rather do more while I sweat than read.

Overall, the changes in my life have improved my relationship with books and reading.  I didn’t believe that was possible, especially since I was sure my new job, moving, and exercising more would all cost me valuable reading time.  Instead, the opposite has happened, and maybe this challenge has something to do with that.  Perhaps my determination to stick with it has made me come up with workable solutions.  All I know is that before #ShelfLove, and before I started blogging, I was barely getting through half the books I now read in a year, despite owning double the number of books I own today.

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.