Submitted by been1awtn t3_10lnaip in books

I've recently began reading last year, not knowing I would become the book hoarder I am today. I now having a huge TBR of about 20-30 books. This past year, I've only read a handful of books, and none were from my TBR. I have a bad habit of browsing book stores with a coffee, and spending hours reading through books, inadvertently buying one or two. I seem to prefer reading inside a bookstore than my own house, which is probably why my TBR continues to pile on.

What are your rules or guidelines on visiting bookstores knowing you have a hefty TBR at home? Sadly, I can't seem to care and just enjoy roaming about a bookstore with a coffee. Should I relax on the book buying and start taking a hack at my TBR?



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mubydram t1_j5xvg9n wrote

Get a library card. Borrow all the books you want and if you don't read them you can return them without the guilt.


okiegirl22 t1_j5yhvw6 wrote

Hmmm. My TBR lists are several hundred books long each and I still keep buying even more books.

But seriously, don’t worry about it too much. If you do or don’t read from your list it’s all good, and as long as you’re not financially straining yourself buy whatever books you want. Relax and enjoy it!


viper1001 t1_j5yurrp wrote

This is what I was looking for. My SO and I do this all the time, and we don't put pressure on ourselves. We're mood readers and just read what the mood strikes us to read - on the TBR or not - I don't actually have a list, if I haven't read it yet and want to, it's on the TBR.


overthebridge65 t1_j5xx4qn wrote

I’ve loads of books to read but one of my most favourite things to do is browse in a bookshop. There are worse things to spend my money on and if I enjoy it, where’s the harm!

I don’t have a lot of space at home so I tend to only keep the books I really enjoyed and usually once I’ve read them, I pass them on.


InvisibleSpaceVamp t1_j5ycbsb wrote

How about bringing one of your unread books to a nice café and do some reading there? If you like to read in public with a coffee, this has the same vibe.

I do almost all of my book shopping online, because Germany, but general rule for my TBR - one out, one in. Unless its free books from public bookshelves. I take a lot of these because you can't expect a book to still be there a week later. But I declutter my TBR regularly and bring a lot of books back.


Vintagegrrl72 t1_j5yh5zq wrote

I recently saw a post that read: buying books and reading books are two different hobbies and I thought that is so true! My tbr pile has hundreds of books. I put myself on a book buying low buy to try and help. I can only bring in a new book if I read 4 I already own. Ebooks are limited to 2 a month, and I have to read one I already own before I can get a new one. So far it’s helping!


BooksandCigs t1_j5xwkv3 wrote

I mean absolutely start reading your TBR.

But there's nothing that says that you can't do both. If it makes you happy is there anything wrong with it? Obviously don't bankrupt yourself, and as far as I'm concerned living spaces are to be lived in, if you've got the space for them. Fill it. And then find another space and fill that one.

I've always maintained that book collecting and book reading are two different hobbies.

I'm currently running at about a 400 book deficit, with a collection somewhere over 1700, (currently between cataloguing apps), if that makes you feel any better.

If you've got the space, and this is something that makes you happy, welcome to book collecting, we're a bit of an odd bunch, but you're gonna have a great time!


Banananachlor t1_j5xxlbi wrote

Read a bit every day from a book on your TBR, even if you are reading something that's not on it. Should melt it down at least a bit.


Jenniferinfl t1_j5z9y3h wrote

Meh, I have something like 900 unread books. I think.


minimalist_coach t1_j5z6s48 wrote

I used to do the same and over the years I acquired hundreds of books that I never read. I don't want to think about the money I spent. When we decided to move and downsize our house I decided to address my books, I decided to only pack what I thought I would realistically read in the next 2 years and anything I needed for work. I only packed 2 boxes of books. Which left me with about 800-1000 books to deal with. I sold, gave away, and donated them all. I had at least 4 large bookshelves that I also got rid of.

Now my rule is to not outgrow my single small bookshelf. It's been 3 years since my move and this year I'm committed to reading the last of the books I brought with me.

A few things that have helped me not overbuy books since the move are: I decided that buying/collecting books is a separate hobby from reading and it was not a hobby I want to participate in. I know myself well enough to accept that I like "fresh" books, I lose interest in books once I've owned them for a while, there is always something more interesting to catch my eye. I'm a sucker for a cover or a display, so I don't spend much time in bookstores.

I get most of my books from the library these days. I'm retired and have a lot of time to read and between physical books, ebooks, and audiobooks the library keeps me very well supplied.


boxer_dogs_dance t1_j5ysr5l wrote

I have a date with myself to read at least 30 minutes per day.

I also have an excellent local bookstore. I am buying fewer books now that I use the Goodreads want to read list to store books and authors that intrigue me. But it is a problem. Shopping is fun.


murasan t1_j5zdtay wrote

Do you make it a point to get to the bookstore everyday to do your reading?


boxer_dogs_dance t1_j5zg7x6 wrote

No, I mostly read at home. But it is a nice book store.

Edit I also read in coffee shops


GrudaAplam t1_j5xzlep wrote

Don't. Just don't. I know you will but don't.


LordPizzaParty t1_j60ltgs wrote

I can be the same way about a lot of things, so I say this in a friendly tone: just do what you want. Seems like you really enjoy browsing the bookstore with your coffee. You say sadly, and call it a bad habit, but it sounds a really pleasant way to spend some time! Your TBR stack is just a pile of inanimate objects. Don't let that pile rule over you and how you spend your time. You don't owe the books anything, and no one is keeping track of if you have a big stack of books or not. You do not have a duty to read those books.

Unless buying books is putting you in serious financial trouble, there's nothing wrong with what you're doing.


Trick-Two497 t1_j61klgk wrote

You call 20 books hefty and hoarding? OMG, I don't even know what to say about my house, filled with bookshelves in every room, all the books unread because I give books away as soon as they're read. Chill and enjoy your books.


Double_Bat8362 t1_j61os3v wrote

I keep buying books and adding to my TBR pile at home because I like it. Yes, I could just borrow books from the library, but I like buying books. I grew up a very poor bookworm. I only had access to books from libraries (not very good ones) or for free from whatever people discarded that I was lucky enough to get. I really like being able to financially support authors and bookstores now, especially while the authors are still alive to benefit from it. I couldn't afford it for most of my life, now that I can it's a treat I indulge in.


melatonia t1_j5y696r wrote

You can always make a shopping list while you're there. Think of it as a waiting room for books.


PandaReal_1234 t1_j5zmp43 wrote

You can't buy a book until you finish X number of books at home. Allowed to peruse bookstores to get ideas but use it as a treat to purchase once you accomplished your X goal.


Shadow_Lass38 t1_j627zqv wrote

Only 20-30? Some of my TBR piles are nearly as tall as me. And there's eight or nine of them.


Fun-Investigator676 t1_j62ctcv wrote

Well books don't expire or anything so i don't think it's a big deal. Maybe just keep a TBR list instead of buying them, and waiting until your pile is reduced a bit before actually buying them. That's what I do


[deleted] t1_j5yobch wrote

I have book buying lists that feed my TBR lists, all connected to my library card TBR lists. Searching for free books online and free/$5-$25 out-of-state library cards saves me a lot. Doing a monthly/bi-annual scrub saves my friends and family headaches on what I “could” want for a gift lol


ChronicTeatime t1_j5yq22k wrote

I have about the same amount of unread books and I made a rule for myself. I can only buy a book after 10 books read or if an author I love drops something new that I’m hyped about.


Arrow_from_Artemis t1_j5yy5fp wrote

If I have more than one or two TBRs at home, I won't buy or check out another book until I've read them. Around the holidays I always get tons of books as gifts, so during the first part of the year my TBR pile can be pretty big. I won't step foot into a bookstore until I've finished the books I have at home. I totally get the pull to do so though, so I understand how you have a large TBR pile. I love roaming Barnes and Noble, but I don't have the space for books, so I'm usually able to curb my desire to buy too many books outright.

Since your TBR pile is so big, I would recommend working through it before buying more books. You could maybe let yourself buy one more book for every five books you read from the TBR pile, or something like that. You could also try reading in coffee shops, since you like browsing for books with a coffee, maybe you'll enjoy reading with a coffee.


Ascian5 t1_j5ze477 wrote

Bring your books with you to the bookstore? Or a Cafe.


deereys t1_j5zf0hr wrote

Whats a tbr


penngi t1_j5zhxj9 wrote

"To Be Read"


deereys t1_j5zksnt wrote

Oh.... idk. Do you want to start a library or something? I legit feel like a librarian so i almost never buy books any more altho book shopping is my fav thing to do like ever. It makes visiting bookstores fun tho cuz i get to hang out longer.


penngi t1_j5zi8zu wrote

I'm running out of space to store the books I have bought. So, I have set a goal of reading the books I have before buying more. If I stick to it, I can probably go the rest of the year without buying another book. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to hold out, though.


NunsNunchuck t1_j5zu83b wrote

I look at my “want to read” and compare to what I can get at the library. Get the ones that aren’t at the library.


casualroadtrip t1_j600zkt wrote

20-30 books doesn’t sound too bad. I’ve got about 300 books and half of them are unread. I’m building a personal library. I would like to see my read vs unread percentage stay around 50 percent.


OverallDistance5778 t1_j60hc01 wrote

I allow myself 1 book when I go to the store for a random trip. Going to the bookstore is therapeutic to me, but it's not satisfying without walking out with at least 1 book. I also have this weird thing where I feel guilty walking out of stores empty-handed.


Nerdy_bitch_1984 t1_j60ihom wrote

I happen to be lucky enough to have a pretty sweet library near my place.. and they sell decent coffee too. Usually I just take a book along and read it there.. I can also browse around when I get bored or take a break. I haven’t been doing it much recently, but if OP can find a library/cafe nearby where they can read and also browse books (some cafes have that apparently) then hopefully they will resolve your problem :)


flowerpanes t1_j60kozh wrote

Honestly I have a huge set of stacked TBR second hand books I picked up over the last three years. So I limit myself to visiting bookstores solely to find new books by authors I am willing to buy new, or to look at books I may be interested in taking out from the library. Books are my weakness, I can’t live without them but keeping the TBR in very plain sight has helped me avoid too much temptation. I’ve never had these many books waiting to be read but also knowing that I have that many waiting for me to enjoy has been one of the bright spots of the past few years, I have to say.


GFVeggie t1_j60u7br wrote

An eReader is a life saver.

I'm older and downsized a year ago. I've had a Kindle for ages but still bought books. When It was time to move from 2400sq ft. to under 1000 I knew I had to so something.

I only kept special books. I have a few 1st editions, some that were my grandma's and have some books that are so old they aren't available on Kindle or Audible and my cookbooks, though I went through those.

When you browse your book stores and find interesting books, take a pic of the cover and get the eBook. I know it isn't the same but now I have room for all of my books and can add to them without worry about where I will put them.

My TBR is long but unpurchased. That make it all the nicer.

I am a bear about keeping books in categories. I even have one labeled ICK since I like to reread and there is noting more aggravating than downloading a book and it isn't the one I think it is.


Volcano_Tequila t1_j613ss6 wrote

As new and used bookstores began to disappear, and the pandemic impacted onsite shopping, something odd happened: I lost the compulsion to buy books. I could still buy online, and purchased nonfiction that way, but purchasing fiction books lost its appeal regardless of channel. I too have a gigantic backlog of unread books, and am now slowing reading through that pile. So maybe out of sight, out of mind applies.


Gingerpyscho94 t1_j61eg1t wrote

I use a local bookswap. So when I’m done reading I swap them out for someone else to read. I’ve also found loads of good books there. I also give them to family members who also read. Sharing is caring


[deleted] t1_j61fnmj wrote

The top comment is what I also suggest! Normally what I do is I go into a bookstore with my phone, and I take pictures of the books that I'm interested in. I take my time, look at what I'd like to look at and immediately leave. My friends make sure that I don't buy anything. When I get home, I look through the photos and I google them and see if they're at my library. I normally get them there, and if I don't read them then I don't end up buying them. If I do end up reading them and they're amazing, I wait until I read 2 books off of my TBR and then I buy it. It's worked for me for awhile! Before that I was buying every book I saw. It was a lot and really hard at first.


QueenRooibos t1_j61hl4n wrote

There are worse habits!

But I second the suggestion to get a library card --- you can enjoy browsing there just as much.


Kinbote808 t1_j62naqb wrote

Buying books and reading books are two almost entirely unrelated hobbies.


AggravatingBox2421 t1_j63ru9o wrote

As someone who’s TBR (owned books) is 400+ long, I love the library! It lets me read new titles without expanding my unread books at home


3andalib t1_j63u6r7 wrote

yep, it’s a problem.


crutonic t1_j64e6p1 wrote

Every time I feel anxiety about having and constantly adding to my endless TBR list, I stop and realize it’s a good problem to have. I admit I listen to too many podcasts and add any interesting recommendations to by TBR in my Notes app. I also get a lot of good recommendations here.