I have a nice relationship with my TBR.
And by “nice” I mean, I simultaneously hate it because it wants to kill me and I think it’s stalking me and most definitely growing without permission….but yet. I would be lost without it. My TBR is my darling. It is full of potential. It is exciting. It is magical. * There is no way in the history of ever that I would be parted from my TBR. It’s a very tragic love story, honestly, and we’ll probably die together — my TBR never completely read, and me probably dead because it fell on me. **
So our tragic co-dependant unhealthy relationship aside…there comes a time in every bookworm’s life when they wish to control their TBR. I am here, most graciously, to help you with that. Because TBRs can make bookworms unhappy! It is a fact! Sometimes you look at that mountain and you just say “NOPE” in 32 languages and you lie on your face to have an overwhelmed existential crisis.
BUT NO MORE. All my tips are obviously true, tried, and tested and I wouldn’t lie to you or lead you astray. Never. ***
* No, seriously. Magical. WHERE DID ALL THESE BOOKS COME FROM??? I swear after a while they just start growing on their own like evil mushrooms with too much personality.
** True romance. Someone write a book on this??
Is something burning? Oh just my pants because LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE. Ahem. I mean, wait. Who’s writing this. Delete this section immediately I never lie.
1. GIVE IT A NICE PLACE TO LIVE SO IT FEELS LOVED.
There is nothing more terrifying than a TBR that gets the feeling it’s not loved. No, no. Do not let this happen. It will come and bite you with a vengeance. Always give your TBR an honourable place to occupy. I mean, an entire room is probably best. An ENTIRE HOUSE is obviously #goals here. But in case you don’t have one of those lying around, make sure you follow these rules:
- keep your TBR on a nice shelf with a nice view so it can watch your every move and not feel left out of your life
- or in a nice pile somewhere with plenty of air and sunshine so it can grow
wait we don’t want this stahp stahp abort
- rearrange it casually so the books on the bottom of the piles/shelves don’t feel like they’re holding up the weight of the universe because who needs that kind of constant pressure?? Do you want to pay for counselling for your TBR? No. You do not. So share the weight and burdens.
- stuff it in a dark corner or under the bed or in a cupboard where you can’t see it, because it will come for blood
- store it in boxes in dark places far from you because you’ll forget it exists and it’ll have damaged emotions
- dump it in an unloved pile
- hide it behind other books because it will start a rebellion and you’ll be very sorry
2. DON’T LET IT SMELL FEAR.
Because it will explode if you do. These things can be nasty little creatures and, seriously, stand firm. Do not quake. Do not make eye contact. DO NOT LET IT KNOW THAT YOU PLAN TO CONQUER IT BECAUSE THEN YOU’RE DOOMED. You must do this on the sly or it bites.
3. ORGANISE IT INTO SEPARATE PILES OF PRIORITIES.
I find TBRs respond well when you stack them up with their friends. They get less lonely see??? I have 4 piles. Which include: (1) ARCS, (2) library books, (3) books I’ve personally bought, and (4) kindle books which you can’t see SO THEY GROW REALLY BADLY.
I prioritise them in that order, too, because I’m obligated to review the ARCs (if I’ve asked for them) and I want to be honest and respect what I’ve committed! And then library books come next because I GET FREAKING FINES IF I DON’T READ THEM FAST ENOUGH. What is this life. Who could be so cruel to me. And then books I’ve bought, unfortunately, come last on the priority list because they don’t have imminent-time-schedules. They usually get neglected the most. They cry a lot and I comfort them by adding more books to them and it doesn’t help at all.
4. GIVE YOURSELF GUIDELINES.
I hate book-bans. UGH. They’re the worst. Curse that phrase and burn it at the stake with lots of pepper and salt and mayonnaise — wait this is not a sandwich order. I HATE THE PHRASE “BOOK BAN” AND IT IS NOT A DELICIOUS SANDWICH.
So. I give myself TBR rules.
- you cannot library more than 2 books at a time (I currently have 4 out and I am hopeless why are you reading my blog??? it is hopeless)
- you cannot request more than 5 books on edelweiss/netgalley at once.
- I only ever buy 4 books a month because that’s how much my freelance book vouchers cover anyway
- if there’s a library sale — ALL BETS ARE OFF, THE BOOKS ARE $0.50 EACH I’M HAVING AT IT
- do these seem like rules to you?? Because I think they have problems. Let’s move on.
5. YOU SHOULD TAKE IT OUT TO TEA ON OCCASION.
Because we bookworms spend a lot of time glaring at our TBRs and they need positive experiences with us too. I mean obviously we’re glaring because we’re just thoughtfully trying to figure out what to read next. We’re not glaring because we can’t FIGURE OUT HOW ALL THESE BOOKS EVEN GOT THERE.
Hahaha. Of course not.
Treat your TBR to tea. #nice
6. TRY MAKING IT FEEL USEFUL WITH ALTERNATE OCCUPATIONS.
No one likes to sit in a dusty pile for 87 years like my TBR has been. * But there are many fun things your TBR can do besides sit uselessly in a pile all day.
- you can use it to make a wall to keep people out of your room
- you can take photos of unread books for #bookstagram
- you can make a domino line of your books and knock them over and then listen to their screams and feel terrible and horrible about yourself
- you can use them as hats
- you can put them in the kitchen and see if they might make toast for you?
- you can get them gloves and a shovel and send them out to do a little gardening
- they can babysit your kids
- you can hit a zombie with one
- or hit an annoying person with one but you didn’t hear that advice from me considering I am a nice person and would never condone hitting annoying people with books **
* Never mind I’m only 22. What is wrong with you? How dare you come to MY BLOG and question MY MATH SKILLS and shake your head like I MIGHT BE WRONG WHEN CLEARLY I’M NOT.
** HAHAHAHAHAHHA…do it.
7. RENAME IT BECAUSE NO ONE LIKES TO BE REFERRED TO BY ACRONYMS
It’s insensitive. Did you ask the TBR its feelings on the matter? Maybe it wants to be called Andrew or Mulgabill or Eleanor? Or Theodore Berry Reginald. (See what I did there?!! #SoClever) I’ve started calling my TBR Frank because FRANKLY IT’S GOING TO KILL ME SOMEDAY BY FALLING ON MY HEAD.
8. ALERT PEOPLE THAT YOU ARE LIVING IN IMMINENT DANGER AND MAY NEED HELP.
I’m just saying: take precautions. This TBR may bury you alive someday…so alert various loved ones, friends, family, or poisonous reptiles that they might need to come dig you out if you’re not heard from after 3 days. *
Be proactive. Have an escape route in place.
* I’m saying 3 days because apparently you can live that long without water, but who cares about water? I’M NOT SURE I COULD GO THAT LONG WITHOUT CAKE.
9. ADD MORE BOOKS TO THE TBR SO IT’S NOT LONELY.
Because this WILL HELP. Studies have shown that TBRs get very lonely because they’re neglected for long periods of time in favour of other things like (A) socialising with other humans which is a weird thought or (B) Netflix or (C) the need to bake delicious fruitcakes to give to those in need. *
So add more books!! Let your TBR know it’s loved and remembered and here are some friends to keep it company in your absence. This step is guaranteed to be helpful.
10. IF ALL ELSE FAILS STAND ON IT AND STRIKE A CONQUERING POSE.
Because now you have technically “conquered” it and no one can argue. Because you STAND UPON IT! You are Napoleon! You are a Grand Explorer! You have prevailed! #BookQueen
I mean, obviously you could also read from it.
That would be a logical way to attack it. Especially if you read more books than you acquired. THAT would actually help. Keep that little piece of advice tucked nicely in your pocket, although I highly recommend following #10 most often. It’s very satisfying and climbing on top of your TBR is a much wiser use of your time than, well, actually reading books.
YOU’RE WELCOME FOR ALL THIS SAGE ADVICE. Now go forth!! Control your TBRs and be majestic!