Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Show Your Shelves Some Love Challenge: January Update + Sharing My TBR Piles


The January topic for the Show Your Shelves Some Love challenge is "Show Us Your TBR Piles," so I'm sneaking my post in at the eleventh hour. I must admit, I don't just have a TBR pile or a TBR shelf -- it's more like TBR bookcases. I don't shelve my TBR books separately from ones I've already read, so I'm just going to share some photos of our home "library."

The living room, a.k.a the library room

$5 yard sale find that fits mass-markets perfectly

My bookcase nightstand

My husband's bookcase nightstand

I'm pretty diligent about updating GoodReads which tells me that of all the books I own, I have 545 books that are TBR (this doesn't count cookbooks or other reference-type books). I know there shouldn't be any shame associated with books or reading, but I can't help being a little embarrassed by that number. And while I've certainly read a lot more books in my lifetime so far, of all the ones in my house, only 159 are ones I've already read. (Yes, I walked around and tallied them up because, why not?) Given my tendency to purge the collection periodically, that number actually isn't as low as I thought it would be. But still, 159 read vs. 545 unread is not exactly the balance I'd like to see in my collection.

Now, I certainly did not buy all 545 of those unread books -- some were gifts, a handful are Kindle freebies, and lots were gotten on trade from used bookstores (I don't know about you, but a 25 cent handling charge doesn't really feel like a "purchase" to me). Not to mention the $1 or $2 library book sale books that just barely count as purchases, if you ask me. Now, how much I spent (or didn't spend) on a book doesn't make it any more or less "worthy" as a reading option, but I was curious to see how many books I read in 2014 that I actually bought. As it turns out, the answer is 15 -- out of a total of 100 books read. And you can be darn sure I purchased WAY more than 15 books last year. Granted, a lot of books read earlier in the year were review copies, so while I didn't buy them, they were physically present in my house and reading them reduced the number of unread books lying around. But given the amount of money I've spent on books, it's a bit ridiculous that only 15% of my reading for a whole year came from books I bought. My other big source of reading material is the library. Don't get me wrong, I love libraries -- they are such amazing resources that I am lucky to have access to, but I think I should probably try to ease up on the library books just a little this year if I want to have a bit more balance.

But regardless of my library borrows, as long as I cut way back on the number of new book purchases this year, I will be one happy camper. I won't feel so bad about my number of unread books or how many I pick up from the library if the number of new purchases doesn't continue to outpace the number of owned books I'm reading. So far, I've stuck to my budget/rules for the year and have only purchased one book for the month of January (OK, OK I also bought one ebook collection of short stories related to a series I'm catching up on, but I read digital so infrequently I'm not sure that even counts? OK, I know it counts, but at least it's not cluttering up my shelves!) And of all my books read so far in 2015, seven have been from my shelves plus three re-reads of books I own, but I listened to the audio from the library instead. I call that progress!

How are you doing on your 2015 challenges or goals so far?

30 comments:

  1. You have so many. My post is coming up today also. Plus you probably won't read as many books this year with the baby so it is a great year to work on your shelves. The great thing about your shelves is that there are no deadlines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, it's a little crazy! Looking forward to your post :) It definitely IS a good thing that my shelves don't have deadlines or due dates -- though the library is still super useful for when I'm trying to curb my buying, but still want to read something I don't have -- lately I've been checking out a lot of kid books and graphic novels because I just need something shorter/easier/lighter, but I can totally live with that :)

      Delete
  2. Ahhh, I have so many on my TBR!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right? It's so hard not want to read ALL THE BOOKS :)

      Delete
  3. LOVE the bookshelf nightstands!!! It really is an eye opener to look at our stats and see how much we've read vs. what we've bought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Gotta fit book storage in wherever we can :) My stats were eye-opening for sure, but I think if anything it has just made me even more committed to reading more of what I already have, which is definitely a good thing. It felt pretty good to fess up though, I must say :)

      Delete
  4. I love looking at your shelves!! So many awesome books. I am super jealous that you are so good at updating what books you own on goodreads. That is such a good idea. I should make a shelf for that. Maybe when I move and go through them all.

    Even though your tbr pile of books you own is pretty high, don't feel too bad, I have seen higher. Plus, as a reader you do get lots of books as gifts, and super cheap sale books, etc. so it's not all bad money wise.

    I definitely call your reading/buying habbits of 2015 progress! I think you are starting the year off strong. I read so many library books even though I have a good amount books at home that I own and need to read, hence why I banned myself from the library for January. It helped a lot!

    Keep going strong! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am a little OCD about updating Goodreads, lol. And you are right -- it's not as bad as it seems money-wise, just a little unrealistic about how much I can actually read -- 2015 is definitely off to a better start just by keeping myself accountable through this challenge. I have used my library SO much the past few months which doesn't help me read from my shelves, but at least it keeps me from buying even MORE that don't fit in my house :)

      Delete
  5. Ooh, those are some good looking shelves!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great pictures. I love the shelves in the first picture.

    Really looking at my shelves for this challenge was eye opening and therapeutic.

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! SO eye-opening -- I mean I knew I had a lot, but actually admitting to a number was quite humbling -- and motivating to make a change.

      Delete
  7. Your library is gorgeous! I have to keep my TBR books on a separate shelf otherwise I'd never keep track of them (I know some people use stickers but I can't bring myself to do that).

    Over 500?? That's a lot of unread books! I don't think I even own that many. Good luck with the challenge this year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And I know -- there are just so many! This challenge is really helping me curb the influx which I'm very happy about.

      Delete
  8. Your bookshelves seriously make me happy; your love for books is so apparent!
    :-)
    Bits & Bobs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jade! My bookshelves make me happy too :)

      Delete
  9. I recently rearranged my bookshelves into read/unread and it was shocking to see all of those unread books sitting there! It's also been motivating as I love putting the books in the read section now :)
    How are you feeling at the moment? Hope everything is going well xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that idea... but my shelves would be very depressing if I split them up that way! Even though it's hard, I think I actually get rid of more books than I give myself credit for because I've read a lot of books in my life, but the vast majority of what I own is unread.

      I'm feeling SO much better, thank you :) Getting closer now!

      Delete
  10. You have such a well organized book case. I love it! I need to get my back in order. For 2015 I removed books I have read and did not want to keep any longer. It did barely filled one box. I just have a hard time giving away books signed by the author whither I liked it or not. LOL!
    Good luck on cutting back on the purchasing of books. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Alysia! I have a hard time culling unless I am getting rid of books I really didn't like -- then it's easy :)

      Delete
  11. Your book buying habits sound exactly like mine. I love those library book sales! I'm trying to limit myself this year, too - no more than 5 books purchased per month. I only bought 2 in January. So far, so good! Hopefully we can both get this under control in the near future! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Off to a great start! My library book sale shelf is too good to pass by most of the time -- they don't have a lot on offer, but what they do is usually pretty current stuff as they buy a ton of copies of popular stuff and it doesn't take too long before they then cull a few copies. Good luck sticking to your budget this year :)

      Delete
  12. My habit goes like this read 10 books buy twenty, so my tbr pile is oh so much worse than yours.(I do not have them added to Goodreads, as I would look insane) I love all your bookshelves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Knowing how fast you read Kimba, that makes me feel a little bit better! I always think it wouldn't be so out of control if I read faster, but who am I kidding?!

      Delete
  13. One good thing about reading mostly electronic is that I don't have tons of TBR staring me in the face all the time LOL
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is definitely a plus! I am still a sucker for print though and I don't *really* mind having a lot of pretty books to look at, even though I do feel a bit guilty sometimes :)

      Delete
  14. Replies
    1. Thank you Melinda! I am so happy with how that room turned out :)

      Delete

I'd love to hear what you think :)