My TBR List Is Out Of Control!

I have a problem – a big one. Specifically, a problem with no fewer than one thousand, five hundred, and two parts.

My to-be-read list – AKA a TBR list – is freaking ginormous.

Seriously. I checked my “to-read” shelf on Goodreads earlier this week, and I was FLABBERGASTED. (By the way, isn’t that an awesome word?!) I have, as you may have guessed, 1502 books on my TBR list.

This is getting out of control.

In early January, I posted a list of bookish goals for 2015… and one of my goals involved catching up on my TBR list. Back then, I thought a TBR list of 696 books was excessive, but… yeah.


On one hand, that’s kind of impressive – it more than doubled in just eight months? Nice. But on the other hand, what does this mean for my BOOKISH FUTURE? If my TBR list continues to expand at this rate, then I may never have any hope of reading everything on it.

That thought is ever-so-slightly discouraging.

I mean, as I’ve begun to use Goodreads (and the Goodreads app! yay!) more and more, my TBR list has grown by leaps and bounds because it introduces me to all these books, both old and new, that I didn’t know about before. I love Goodreads, but UGH SO MANY BOOKS. ALL OF THE BOOKS SOUND GOOD SO I ADD THEM ALL.

(Following a bunch of book blogs doesn’t help, either. SO MANY WONDERFUL REVIEWS AND GLOWING RECOMMENDATIONS. GAH.)

Another problem? Sometimes whittling down my TBR list involves rereading yet more books! For example, my friend Cait @ Paper Fury has been reading George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series lately and just started book four, A Feast for Crows. A few days ago, we were talking about how I still haven’t finished A Feast for Crows – let alone the next book, A Dance with Dragons – she was all like OMG ENGIE YOU HAVE TO FINISH THEM IT WOULD BE WEIRD TO READ FURTHER IN THIS SERIES THAN YOU HAVE and I was like YES YES I KNOW but…

…yesterday I borrowed A Feast for Crows from the library, and I started reading at about the three-quarter mark of the book, since that’s as far as I got before I had to return it to the library.

The last time I picked up that book was in 2013. I know the basic plot, and season five of Game of Thrones certainly helped refresh my memory, but honestly? I was pretty confused. I remembered the BIG HUGE PLOTS AND CHARACTER ARCS, but the small things? Um. HA HA HA HA HA HA NO.

I really need to reread the entire series before I even attempt to read A Dance with Dragons. And… well, I DO want to read book five! I’m so excited for it! But at the same time, it’ll take SO MUCH TIME AND EFFORT. Rereading not one but four thousand-page volumes just so I can check one new book off my TBR list? Gulp.

And guess what?! A Song of Ice and Fire isn’t the only series that I need to rereread before I can finish the last few volumes! I want to finish A Series of Unfortunate Events, but I don’t even REMEMBER where I left off. Ditto for the Kane Chronicles. And I keep feeling like I should reread the Lord of the Rings trilogy (and maybe The Hobbit too) before I pick up The Silmarillion.

And to top it all off, this year has been rather lackluster in terms of my reading habits. I’ve actually been reading a lot lately – maybe because I realized that I won’t have as much time for recreational reading once I head off to college in just eight days, and am therefore cramming in as many stories as possible? But that’s obviously not making even a dent in my gigantic TBR list, especially since I slacked off so much earlier this year.

And, like I said, COLLEGE. The other day, I looked at the reading lists for my classes and… yeah, lots and lots of books. I’ll need to focus on those books and not my TBR list, obviously. (Ugh, that came out wrong – I don’t want it to seem like I’m complaining! There’s just SO MUCH to read for class, and I’ll probably end up reading more from my TBR list during Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks.)

BOOKS UPON BOOKS UPON BOOKS! Oh my. My TBR list is out of control right now, and… who knows? Maybe it’ll always be out of control, and I’ll always try to catch up. SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME.

Someday I may figure out how to manage my TBR list – and maybe I’ll write a post about it! In the meantime, how do you keep your TBR list manageable? How do you decide what to read next when there are SO MANY BOOKS clamoring for your attention?!


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in Books and Reading!, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to My TBR List Is Out Of Control!

  1. Miriam Joy says:

    I don’t really have a TBR list? I mean, obviously there are books I plan to read at some point: future books in series that I’ve been reading, or by authors I like. And there are books I keep an eye on and think that if I come across them in a library or whatever, I might pick them up. But I’m actually pretty fussy about books, and find it harder and harder to discover books that suit my standards, ha ha. I’ll read something and think, “I want another book like this,” but then none exist :/

    So I keep my TBR list under control by having ridiculously high standards where a book has to interest me AND have reviews that it make sound like I’ll enjoy it for me to decide to read it. I mostly just pick things up on a whim, I don’t plan things so much.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ha… I’m pretty fussy about books too, but I’ll read almost anything… and then I criticize pretty much all of it. IDK. It’s like… I want to read ALL THE BOOKS, but I know that most of the books won’t blow me away with their awesomeness?

      I add pretty much anything that appeals to me on Goodreads, and use the site as a means of keeping track of what I want to read, because I want to read soooo many books and my brain can’t remember all the titles.

  2. I feel this on SO MANY LEVELS. The same exact thing is happening to me with GoT right now, and also the Heroes of Olympus series (I read all the books except the Blood Of Olympus and I actually don’t remember much about the previous HoO books at ALL!). And then there are so many other books I want to read and… well, basically I’m in the same boat as you and I am absolutely hopeless at keeping my TBR list in check :’D

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ehehe, that’s why I read HoO last year – I’d fallen so far behind in Riordan’s books and I needed to catch up before the series ended!

      Ahhhh, how did I not know you were an ASOIAF fan?!

  3. matttblack42 says:

    Ha! I have only 127 books on my TBR list. Though the odds of me ever actually reading them all are unfortunately slim, considering my current reading pace. My problem is that there are only a small handful of books in that list that I’m really dying to read. Sure, I wouldn’t mind reading those other books, but if, say, The Winds of Winter or The Raven King were unexpectedly released, I would drop those books in a heartbeat and immediately make my way to the nearest bookstore instead. I wouldn’t even feel bad about it, too.

    Also, I completely get Cait’s concerns. It was a little weird to be ahead of you in the series, especially since you were the one who got me into it to begin with. It’s strange to think that I could potentially spoil a whole bunch of things for you if I so desired. (Tyrion is actually a Tyrell! Jaime was dead the whole time! Theon’s middle name is Engie!)

  4. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    Did you say “manageable”?? HAHA HA HAHAHAHA.
    NO, mine is not. I only have 1,159 books on my goodreads to-read shelf though, so I’m not quiiiite as bad as you yet. 😉 But seriously I’ve already been on the 2016 lists and just adding everything because IT ALL LOOKS SO GOOD (I swear, authors are the death of me…I feel like they’re really being unique and trying hard for newish stories, and it’s sooo exciting!!! *dances*) BUT OMG YES YES YOU HAVE TO REREAD A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. Except. Yes. the trouble is real. And one book is basically like 2 books anyway. And they’re huge. And time consuming. And I feel like with intense books like that it’s hard to just binge mindlessly because you have to focus so much, right!!?? SO THE PAIN/STRUGGLE IS REAL. But srsly, who will I weep to if you haven’t read them???? I’M ALREADY HAVING SO MANY MELTDOWNS.

    Omg. *whispers* I just met Obrynn’s daughters though. Those sandsnakes. OMG. THEY ARE EPIC.

    Ahem, but yes, basically I have zero means of keeping my TBR down. And I have so many books I want to reread (I’m going to reread Lemony Snicket’s books! I AM! :D) and my poor brain is so full it’s nearly exploding but…no regrets.

    • nevillegirl says:


      I know, right?! I loooove the Sand Snakes. They’re not as great in the show, though. 😦


    As for TBRs, mine’s not quite as bad 😉 I have only a few hundred books. My IRL friends think I’m crazy but I should tell them to look at the Goodreads of some of you guys 😉


  6. My TBR list is also hopeful. I’ve accepted that I will never get through it, but that books I’m interested in will remain there for me if something happens to spark my interest in them again.

    Because of my massive TBR pile, though, I hardly EVER re-read, and this includes refreshing myself for sequels. That’s what the Internet is for! (Seriously — if I don’t remember the plot of an earlier book well enough to follow the sequel, I either ask someone else who has read the book what they remember, or I go online. It’s much quicker than re-reading a book. :)).

    I also listen to a lot of audio books which helps me get through books faster, as I can burn through them while I drive, do dishes, walk my dog, etc. But I still probably add 10 for every one I read, so … yeah, I’ve pretty much just accepted that my TBR pile is gonna win this round.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yeah! Wikipedia is SO helpful whenever I don’t remember the plot of a book/movie/TV show! I wish I had time to reread/rewatch all that stuff, but I don’t! So Wikipedia it is. 🙂

      I need to read more audiobooks… I have one downloaded onto my iPod, but I need to go to the library and borrow a few more, just to listen to while I’m walking around campus or whatever.

  7. Ugh, I meant *hopeless* in the first line.

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