Tackling the TBR: Goodreads Purge 2017


Back in 2015, I did a few posts where I talked about Tackling my TBR. Back then, it was all about curbing my library holds addiction and creating a more manageable reading “schedule”. Each month, I would set goals and/or rules in the hopes of making 2016 an even better year for reading.

And it really, truly worked!

I was able to create a fantastic reading plan that not only helped me read more efficiently, but actually helped me avoiding reading slumps and ARC overload in 2016.

So I wanted to bring it back in order to help me achieve a new goal: getting my Goodreads TBR down to 500 books (it’s currently set at 900+ books).

Now, you’re probably thinking a one of three things:

  1. Wow! You have a lot of books on your TBR!
  2. Wow! Why do you want to get rid of so many books!?
  3. Wow! You are insane if you think you will read 500 books!

And here are my respective responses:

  1. Yes, that is a lot! Which is part of the problem I want to solve.
  2. Because that is a lot of books to read and I know I won’t read them all.
  3. Actually, 500 is pretty reasonable considering I average 200 a year.

Why the Change?

I’ve recently discovered that my tastes as a reader have evolved. While I do enjoy YA reads, there are certain genres that I am struggling to connect with now. For example, paranormal YA series used to be my jam, but now, I find myself bored and annoyed with the tropes. I’ve moved on to fantasy or New Adult versions. I know that a lot of the titles on my Goodreads account are from my “youth” and that I won’t want to read them when the time comes in the near future.

Before I go any further, I want to define some things.

When I say I have 900 items on my TBR, I mean that I have 900 brand new series (first book only) or standalones that I “want to read”. This doesn’t include sequels. On my Goodreads account, I have a separate shelf called “to read” that contains sequels to series I have already started.

It’s this “want to read” shelf that I want to decrease. I know I won’t get around to all of these series, even if I do read a lot of books in one year. I also know that a lot of these titles are freebies I horded from Amazon and Kobo over the years. (Not that freebies aren’t worth my time, it’s just that I know I grabbed titles that don’t necessarily interest me simply because of the $0 price tag).

I’ll be cleaning up both shelves this year. I plan on reading a lot of sequels on my “To Read” list this year, in addition to releasing some series I haven’t touched in years. But it’s my “want to read” shelf that I plan on purging.

The Numbers

As of writing this post (Feb 2, 2017), I have 911 books on my TBR. That means, I have to eliminate 411 books from my shelf. My Goodreads challenge is set to be 175 books for 2017 and so far, I’ve read 23. Because I plan to read at least 175 books this year, I can deduct the difference of 152 from 911.

911 books – 500 – (175 Challenge Reads – 23 already read) = 259 books

So in total, I need to manually remove 259 books from my TBR by January 2018. Easy.

How will I do that?

Like I did 2 years ago, I’m going to set up some rules and guidelines that I’m going to try and stick to.

The Rules:

  1. Remove any book from < 2014* that is not a “high anticipation” read
    • *the exception is any title selected for the 5 Year 5 Book Challenge
  2. Remove any 12 books at the end of every month
  3. Remove any book that I do not have a reading source for if published < 2015
  4. Add no more than 2 books to my TBR a month

I really think #4 is going to be the hardest. I see so many great books on a daily basis reading everyone’s blogs but I’m going to have to be a little more strict with what gets a spot on my shelf. (I’m keeping track on my 2017 Reading Plan Spreadsheet)

Am I going to the extremes?

You betcha! But that’s just how I like to do things. I swear, half the fun for me is coming up with these schemes in the first place! I plan on documenting my saga in my newly returned Monthly Inventory feature so keep an eye out for that.

>> Did I Succeed? Check out my December 2017 Post

How do you manage your Goodreads TBR?

Any tips for removing books?

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Comments 7

  • This is a good idea. I try to purge my TBR every once in awhile, but usually only end up getting rid of like 5 or so. I also get way, way too many free Nook books that I have never ever read (and probably never will), but I usually don’t add them to Good Reads.
    stephaniesbookreviews recently posted…Funny FridayMy Profile

    • Amazon for a while was automatically adding any book I got from them on Goodreads (guess my accounts are linked). So that really didn’t help :S
      I try to mark the freebies I read that I’m really interested in so I’m hoping that will help!

  • Sounds like you have a good plan in place! In 2017 I really want to focus on the books I own. Last month I went through my ‘want to read’ shelf on Goodreads and removed any books that I do not physically own, so now I have 194 books. It isn’t too bad but I only average ~70 books a year. Hopefully I can push through and manage to get it down to 100 (since I don’t have classes anymore).

    Good luck this year!
    Ana @ Ana Loves recently posted…Netflix Book TagMy Profile

    • Thank you! It’s been going well so far. I’ve removed about 200 books but I still want to clean them up a bit!

  • I recently culled my “want to read” shelf by about 120 books and it felt SO GOOD. I really admire the thought you’ve put into your method, however, because mine is much more rudimentary (I literally just went down the list and deleted anything I felt “meh” about). I have this weird obsession with ensuring that my “want to read” shelf is never more than my “read” shelf, and I’ve found that a LOT of the books I added back in 2011 when I started my Goodreads account are DEFINITELY not books I’d pick up now (I’m also right there with you with paranormal…I’m wondering if the quality has just decreased over the years or if I’ve become a more jaded/cynical reader).
    Cristina @ Girl in the Pages recently posted…Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven | ReviewMy Profile

    • If I didn’t put thought into it, I probably wouldn’t be able to remove any 😛 I tried not to read synopsis for every book I was looking at getting rid of because I would just end up keeping them. It helped that a lot of the books were freebies I just picked up on a whim.

      And I have no idea what it is about the YA paranormal stories! I think it’s the tropes (like the love triangles) that are getting to me. I have no interest in reading that. Also, they don’t seem to break out of their typical molds–maybe I’m just reading the wrong ones.

  • I really like this plan. I’m hoping to get my goodreads list down from 401 this year to get it to be more manageable number under 300 books. I really love this post.
    Rachael Turns Pages recently posted…My December TBR List: Review: Bah Humbug by Heather Horrocks (no spoilers)My Profile

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