New Year TBR clearout

New bookcase - ready and waiting.
New bookcase – ready and waiting.

Happy New Year! For 2016 I have set my Goodreads challenge to 80 books (I don’t really use it as a target so much as a counter to check against my spreadsheet. Last year I was somehow 6 books out, so I either read 85 books or 91. Or maybe a number inbetween!). I have already made a good start on my primary aim to reduce my TBR by giving it a good old clearout.

For my birthday my Dad bought me a set of shelves for the master bedroom, which gave me the perfect opportunity to collect my unread books from the spare room and give them a thorough sorting before re-shelving them in their new home.

I thought I would struggle to discard any of my books so I gave myself the rule that I would remove anything I’ve had for more than 10 years. I’m not sure if I quite stuck to that but I actually found it fairly easy to set aside no less than 35 books! These are mostly older classics, with a handful of freebies and other books I’ve tried once and decided not to give a second chance to.


I reckon I could probably shed another dozen books by reading the first 20 pages of any I’m slightly dubious of, but I’ll leave that for when I actually pick out those books. The best way to get that TBR (now reduced from a frankly ludicrous number to a more manageable 118) down to the only-once-before-achieved 100 books or fewer is to get on with reading them. Which means no more buying books, borrowing books or downloading freebies to my Kindle. I’m not going to set a timer on that, I’ll just do it for as long as I can manage. And it shouldn’t be hard with these beauties waiting for me.

Not yet read

One consequence of this clearout is that 9 or 10 of my discards had been on my Classics Club list, so that has also had a thorough edit. I’ve replaced those older classics that no longer interest me with more modern and/or feminist classics. I might switch it all up again in the four years I have left to complete the challenge, but right now I’m excited to get round to reading those titles like The Second Sex and The Feminine Mystique that kickstarted modern feminism. Of course, I don’t own any of those books so I’ll need to make a good dent in the TBR before I check them out from the library.

At the moment, I’m reading Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales, which, being short stories, slots quite nicely around our various holiday activities. What book have you started your new year with? Did you carefully plan it? Did it have symbolic meaning for your 2016? Or did you just pick up a book that looked good?

3 thoughts on “New Year TBR clearout

  1. Bryan G. Robinson January 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    118: That’s not bad at all, and they look great on the shelves too. If only our shelves (with less books, but more clutter) could look so clean.

    As for a first book, I’m reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and did plan it as I want to read more nonfiction this year (only four all of last year) and thought this also would be a good self-help book. It’s short but so far is good. I’ll probably finish it later today or tomorrow at the latest.

  2. Gaby January 3, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    I always like to start the new year cleaning and organizing. I’ve been cleaning my shelves and just being honest with myself about the books on my TBR shelf that I was’t interested anymore. I currently have 63 books TBR plus 23 on my wishlist :S. I know it isn’t an exact number but it’s still a lot more that I feel comfortable with! So I’m also stopping with the kindle freebies….I just erased a bunch of freebies from my kindle that I never even tried to read.

    I started the year reading comics and a book about optimism. I didn’t plan it, but I guess it’s good to start the new year being optimistic.

  3. looloolooweez January 7, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Oh, good job clearing up your book collection. That can be a tough chore for a lot of us. Your new bookshelf looks lovely and organized.

    I’m interested to see what you think of those feminist classics. The history of the movement & how the efforts/thoughts of feminists in the past is reflected in today’s society — that’s fascinating, isn’t it?

    My year has started with a read of The Circle by Dave Eggers, which is the 2016 pick for a one city / one book club thing around here. I’m about 1/3 of the way through and still not sure if I like it or not….

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