Posted in My book problem

The TBR Book Tag

PicMonkey Collage TBR

Following more additions to my TBR following a trip to the local book sale, it was time to make some room on my book shelves and even with the bag of read books to be delivered to the charity shop, I was still struggling for room so I delved into the cupboard that houses the bulk of my TBR physical books and realised I had a few more than I expected. I then saw this tag on <a href="http://

” target=”_blank”>The Quirky Book Nerd, the perfect way to confess and to admit the true size of my TBR (my definition being those books I own)  Questions I have always declined to reply to before now!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Well clearly I haven’t been keeping track of it otherwise I wouldn’t have allowed it to grow quite so big! I used to have a ‘relatively’ small pile of books that were on view which were all the books I owned that I hadn’t yet read. Since I got my kindle five years ago the pile rapidly expanded… and then I started blogging and it has grown totally out of control.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

My TBR consists of three different categories; print books, e-books and NetGalley items which although technically e-books need to be tracked on a separate list. And the winner is print books, totalling 82 books – sort of explains the lack of room!

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I have a good old spreadsheet and the review books get put on first based on the publication date – then in theory I choose what I fancy reading to fill the gaps, the problem is I always end up with far more review books than expected for each month. In my reading and reviewing post for 2014 I was aiming for 40% of my reading to be from my own bookshelves, I haven’t achieved that although I have upped the percentage from 18% to 28% so far this year.

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

Room by Emma Donoghue has been on my kindle since very soon after it was published in 2011, I still really want to read it, I will read it!

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another. Goodreads

A book you recently added to your TBR?

The most recent book I’ve added to my TBR was loaned to me by a friend Are You My Mother by Louise Voss

Are you my mother
From the age of nineteen, Emma Victor has had to bring up her much younger sister Stella. It has shaped both their lives. Now Stella is almost grown up, and Emma’s nurturing instincts extend to her work as an aromatherapist, and inform her relationship with the unreliable but irresistible Gavin. But something is missing, and Emma has to confront her deepest need – a need she’s been denying for years – and embark on a search for her birth mother.

ARE YOU MY MOTHER? chronicles Emma’s search for her birth mother and for a sense of her own place in the world in this compelling, funny and profoundly moving novel about love, identity and the need to belong

A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

No, covers may draw me to look at the content but I don’t choose by cover and as many of my reads are crime based, beautiful covers are few and far between.

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

No, if I’d found any books that I didn’t plan on reading they would have gone in the donation bag for the charity shop.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

I’m very much looking forward to reading Beside Myself by Ann Morgan which is due to be published on 12 January 2016.

Beside Myself
Beside Myself is a literary thriller about identical twins, Ellie and Helen, who swap places aged six. At first it is just a game, but then Ellie refuses to swap back. Forced into her new identity, Helen develops a host of behavioural problems, delinquency and chronic instability. With their lives diverging sharply, one twin headed for stardom and the other locked in a spiral of addiction and mental illness, how will the deception ever be uncovered? Exploring questions of identity, selfhood, and how other people’s expectations affect human behaviour, this novel is as gripping as it is psychologically complex. Goodreads

A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?

Loads! But another that I’ve had for a long time is All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer

All The Light We Cannot See
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge. Goodreads

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

The most recently recommended read has been The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman based upon my interest in post partum illness.

The Yellow Wallpaper
Written from a feminist perspective, often focusing on the inferior status accorded to women by society, the tales include “turned,” an ironic story with a startling twist, in which a husband seduces and impregnates a naïve servant; “Cottagette,” concerning the romance of a young artist and a man who’s apparently too good to be true; “Mr. Peebles’ Heart,” a liberating tale of a fiftyish shopkeeper whose sister-in-law, a doctor, persuades him to take a solo trip to Europe, with revivifying results; “The Yellow Wallpaper”; and three other outstanding stories.
These charming tales are not only highly readable and full of humour and invention, but also offer ample food for thought about the social, economic, and personal relationship of men and women — and how they might be improved. Amazon

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

One of my recent purchases, The Lake House by Kate Morton. I love this author as can be seen by my header picture on my blog.

The Lake House
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read. Goodreads

How many books are in your Goodreads TBR shelf?

Goodreads states 240 but as it includes different editions of books I’ve read as well as books I’ve had a fleeting interest in, I prefer to stick by my own count of actual books I own.

So… drum roll… The total number of books on the TBR on 6 November 2015 is 173!  This is made up of 82 physical books, 71 e-books and 20 books on NetGalley!
I do have a list of books I want to own which I keep on a Amazon Wishlists. These comprise of upcoming books by authors I enjoy and many book blogger recommendations end up on here while I debate whether or not I need another book. So in the open spirit of confession, I have 146 books here too.

So this post is entitled TBR Reduction Plan, a bit of a misnomer as I have no real plan except a vague hope that by confessing all, I will be more mindful of the huge number of books that I want to read and that I already own.

I’m not tagging anyone, but of course I want to feel better about my TBR, so if you have more than 173 books, please share in the comments box below!


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

42 thoughts on “The TBR Book Tag

  1. This summer I tried to organise my TBR and I put all of the YA into a huge plastic box near my bed. I have made a tiny dent in it, despite reading close to a book a day. The problem is that other books are always jumping the queue! Like you, I’ve had Room on my TBR for years! Am determined to read it before the end of 2015!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re not alone Cloe. I’ve probably more than 173 books on my TBR shelves, both on paper and electronic format. And I don’t even want to count them. If anything I trying to figure out how to get rid of some of the books I don’t expect to read.


  3. I have far more than that on my TBR. In fact I daren’t count. Put it this way I have a book case with 4 shelves stacked 3 deep with books, and some in boxes in the garage and spare bedroom. Not to mention the ones on my kindle…


  4. I’ve been having a thorough sort out over the last year donated so many inc vast majority of the kids books but ah! seem to have accumulated a huge amount too… I’m guessing my TBR is a tad over 173! Great meme – might have to try it to get me to do that last push on sorting my shelves – real & virtual 🙂


  5. This is such an interesting way to think about the TBR, Cleo! Like you, I don’t add books to the TBR because of their covers. And I don’t keep books, either, that I don’t plan to read. Better let someone else have the use of them.


  6. Guilty as charged, Cleo, if it makes you feel any better! I have 35 on Netgalley alone, about 150 on my tablet (and on my husband’s Kindle), and I dread to count the ones on my shelves. Close to 100 I am sure…
    December I will work hard to get my Netgalley number down a bit, and then I think I will do a couple more TBR20 challenges, to get my numbers in order. Or the guilt gets too overwhelming (not even to stop me buying a second-hand book at the bookshop where I had a reading last night: Joseph O’Neill’s ‘Netherland’).


  7. I think I might have to do this tag although I don’t know if I dare admit to how many books I own. I donated over two thousand books to charity in the last year or so, and still have a lot left. Don’t even ask about my kindle books! Eeeek! I really enjoyed reading your post, I love finding out more about other people’s book collections.


  8. I’m afraid to post Cleo. I have 1794 on my Goodreads TBR. I add everything that I find interesting and try to pull a few off every once in a while. I have maybe 75 ish print books at home and we won’t think about how many on the kindle!


  9. Love your comment that clearly you haven’t been keeping track of it. 🙂

    I just looked at Goodreads and am at 194. You can feel better now, Cleo, especially since all but a couple are physical books.


  10. *snorts and howls with laughter* Well, that was so brave of you! They say the first step is admitting you have a problem! I did add up all the other lists that haven’t quite made it onto my actual TBR list earlier this year, and I fear the situation may be even worse by now. My wishlist alone (where I park things I’m still considering) is up to 120. But isn’t a nicer problem than finding you have nothing to read?? *chortles and snickers*


  11. Fabulous post – I may have to steal the idea. My husband longs for the day when my TBR pile was only 100… It’s been a (wonderful) nightmare since I started receiving Netgalley copies and proofs. Currently at 232.


  12. My TBR (minus e versions) is currently at 149. I keep track using a spreadsheet. But that is clearly not a foolproof method since I discovered tonight i had bought Mo Yan’s Frog Music last week even though I already had a pristine copy staring at me from one of the shelves. Do get around to reading Room (its a very unusual and powerful book). All the Light We Cannot See didn’t strike a chord much with me.


  13. I reckon I have at least three years of reading on my bookshelves and I don’t know how many books on my Kindle – I daren’t count. My TBR numbers never seem to get any less each year. I blame reading book blogs… 🙂 But i wouldn’t be happy if I had nothing to read!


  14. I have 47 netgalley books, 193 e books and probably about 70 paperback or hardback. If I read the same as I have read this year I probably don’t need to buy anymore for about four years. Which won’t happen. Loving it.


  15. Have you read WEGENER’S JIGSAW by Clare Dudman ? It’s a wonderful and truly poetic book based on the life of German explorer Alfred Wegener.


      1. I am delighted that you enjoyed it too . It is moving and beautifully written.
        I have translated three chapters into French and sent them to many French publishers but -so far – have found no takers interested in the French version.


  16. Don’t worry Cleo I definitely have more to read them you… At last count almost 500 I kid u not!! Oh please please read Room soon!! It’s fab, u won’t regret it. 😍


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