Olivia’s Catastrophe ~ Cut That Virtual TBR!

Olivia’s Catastrophe ~ Cut That Virtual TBR!

Hi everyone!

Olivia’s Catastrophe is a discussion meme on Olivia’s Catastrophe which is something I haven’t done in a very long time. But I’m back now, and I can’t wait to share with you something that I finally decided to do!

I’ve started to feel a bit saddened by my huge TBR pile in my room which is piling over with about 200+ books. It can be a bit heavy thinking about how much there is to read – and sometimes a bit glorious, I’ll admit. But on top of that physical pile there, and the books sitting on my Kindle, I also have a virtual TBR. Or had to be more precise. Because when you read about 4 book blogs a day there are so many books that you can’t buy but sound lovely so you want to mark them as to reads for later on!

I had 2000 books sitting on my virtual TBR and one day I looked at it and thought, “That’s ridiculous! When are you ever going to buy/read all of those?” And it’s true, when I was ever going to? So I decided I was going to do something crazy. I was going to sit down, and in one go, write out my whole TBR by hand. 



No, not make a TBR Jar. Just write it as a list. And delete the virtual one. 


It may take a few hours, but it is going to save you a lot of trouble later on.

After happily copying down about 100 books, my hand started to ache. I started to get a little bit bored, despite the music accompanying me in my task. And I started to get seriously frustrated when I realised that I had 1900 books to go through yet. 

You start to cut down. You don’t list every single book in a series you want to read, but instead write ‘books by Agatha Christie’ or ‘The Divergent series’. It’s still not enough though. Your hand is going to start to cramp unless you cut and don’t write down those books that you can’t remember/don’t have interest in anymore/the ones that make you ask yourself: do you really want to read that? Just so that you can save your lovely, dying hand. 

The result: My 2000 book virtual TBR has been cut down to five pages of neat, hand written book titles that are each books I want to read for sure. I think I have about 200 books on there. Maybe it is still quite a lot, but I’m definitely not staring at 2000. 

Oh, and if you want take it one step further? Fold up that written TBR and put it in a room that isn’t your office or bedroom. Because every time I feel like adding a book to my “unbought” TBR, I know I have to walk to another room, get it, and write it down. Every time I realise I need to do that, I end up asking myself if I really want to read the book. If I really want to stand up and walk that way to write it down. If I do, then it means it is worth it and I actually will get to it one day. If I don’t, then I’m saving that virtual TBR from becoming a looming axe over my head. 

So I challenge YOU to hand write your TBR. Do you think you can really do it?

Let’s discuss! How do you keep your virtual TBR from becoming too large? Do you use a TBR jar? Or is your virtual TBR just massive and you want to do something about it or don’t mind at all?

Olivia-Savannah x



41 thoughts on “Olivia’s Catastrophe ~ Cut That Virtual TBR!”

  • I can definitely imagine writing your TBR list down will help you think about what books you are most interested to read and prioritize. 2000 books on your virtual TBR sound like a lot! I was recently nearing 1000 on goodreads and have also been removing books from my list. When I went through my list I actually realized that there were so many books I just wasn't interested in anymore…

  • I'm pretty sure I currently have 1,000 books on my GR TBR and each day I add more and IT'S JUST SO OVERWHELMING. The last time I went through it I saw so many books I didn't even recognize and books that are just so not my thing and it's like why??! I've thought about just cleaning it out by going on GR ans deleting the ones I don't want to read anymore but, let's be real, that takes so long on the mobile app and I know I'll just be like 'you know what, I should keep all of these because maybe one day I'll give them a chance' and that accomplishes nothing. But this is such a genius idea — I'll definitely try it! πŸ™‚

  • I did that last year. I wrote down all the books on my TBR and since then I've been trying to read books from the list each time I decide to buy other books. Basically, if I've just bought some books online for instance, I try to read the same number of books from my TBR before my new books arrive. That way, my TBR stays manageable πŸ™‚

    Also, I’ve nominated you for the Book Fangirling Award! If you feel like doing it, you can check out my post with all the info here: http://ofstacksandcups.blogspot.com/2016/02/book-fangirling-blog-award.html

  • I can definitely see how writing by hand and needing to go to another room to add to the list would help keep the list a bit more manageable. I have quite a few lists. Currently I am trying to read as many of my borrowed books (from friends and family) as I can in the next month so I can get them back to the people they belong to and also clear off my shelves. I have put myself on a ban until I return at least 10 books. So far it is going slower than I thought- but I hope to pick up the pace. πŸ˜‰
    ~Jess

  • Yikes – a list that long would send me to hide under the covers. I have a list of review books that's maybe 30-40 books, and then a physical pile that's on a shelf under my nightstand. Once that's full, I have to weed stuff out and remind myself that I can get books from the library.
    Great job on the cutting!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  • I had (well, still have) a very long tbr list on Goodreads with pretty much every single book I think I might enjoy. Not very long ago I created another one called "tbr next" (already owned books)… then I created another one for books I also wanted to read, but had yet to buy… Sounds like a mess, but surprisingly, I feel very happy with my lists now haha πŸ™‚

    Oh and of course there's the "provided for review" list, with books I have to read soon for review… πŸ˜€

    Lipstick and Mocha

    • I know what you mean about needing to organise the TBR a little more. I have one for review copies, one for my actual books and then one for ones I want to buy. I feel like it wouldn't make sense to anyone but me πŸ˜€

  • This touches on something I've been meaning to do (when I find time). I have so many books on my kindle and I'm afraid it's becoming overloaded, so I hope to go through and eliminate all of those that are no longer as attractive as they once were. One day!
    @dino0726 fromΒ 
    FictionZeal – Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

  • This post made me laugh. Mostly because I'm guilty of most of these things myself! I've gotten to the point now where I try to schedule my reviews well in advance. This way I have an outline of what I have time to read and what I don't. It has definitely helped me to manage my TBR list.

  • That is quite an impressive amount of books, Olivia! I love the thought, energy, and time you put into your passion. How do I handle my virtual TBR? I think my solution stem out of laziness–I don't right titles down. If I can't keep it in my long term memory and recall it when I am ready for a new book, then it was probably a book that I felt so-so about to begin with. There! One book striked out and 1999 to go…Then again, I have a few that I end up missing out. I can't win. But, I'm okay with that. πŸ˜€

  • I've been honestly thinking the same. I recently started deleting any of those free kindle books I swore I was interested in but I'm not really. AND I've been deleting books on my GR's that I know I'll probably never read.

  • Mine has been large for many years, and it seems the more of them that I buy, I tend to add at least 10 more. EVERY TIME. It's good that I'm reading a lot of them from the library, so that's a huge help. I don't think I can actually write them all down though. I have, however, been deleting a lot of the ones that I know I'll never probably read. They seemed interesting at the time, but I've since started to not even want to read them.

  • I am trying really hard to make a list with all the books I want to read (mostly classics and non-fiction books), but I am concentrating more on reading the books that I already have.

  • Ha – great post! My problem is that I have a load of books in my room, a load on my Goodreads TBR, quite a few lined up on my Kobo, and a bunch of 'maybe-reads' in my head. Luckily, I have a rule that when I borrow ebooks from my library service, I *try* to choose something from my Goodreads TBR – which tends to stop it getting too ridiculous. Of course, as a serial book polygamist, I think I'm currently part-way through about 7 or 8 books, so the TBR is the least of my worries! πŸ˜‰

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