Let’s Talk Bookish: Overwhelming TBRs

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the September 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

Do You Ever Get Overwhelmed by Your TBR (to-be-read) Pile?

Prompts: How do you keep track of the books you want to read? Do you have a lot of books on your TBR? Is there any order/organization within all the books you want to read? Does your TBR ever feel overwhelming?


It was only when I started book blogging and using Goodreads on a regular/daily basis that I’ve started trying to be more organised with the books I want to read—including the ones I already own and those on my radar—by creating new shelves and cleaning up my main to-read shelf by removing titles I’m no longer interested in or likely won’t get to ever.

I’m not well organised enough to keep track of the books I want to read outside of Goodreads—I’m honestly not even that great at keeping track of them on GR either—but this year, I decided to download Kal’s spreadsheet to track the books I own and I’ve found it pretty helpful. I thought I would be intimidated by the spreadsheet life because I’m not proficient at Excel or Sheets but I’ve simplified it more for my taste and so far, so good. I’ve still got a long way to go to complete this personal catalogue though so as of right now, Goodreads is still the most “complete” list I have.


I currently have 976 books on my main to-read shelf on GR. 😅 I know this seems like a lot (yes, I know, it is a lot!) but I expected to find it a lot bigger than this because it’s been a very long time since I sorted through the books and removed the ones I may no longer be interested in. Also, I always like to note that this list includes books I own and those that I don’t own but hae piqued my interest. I wish I could afford to buy all these books and that I had the space to accommodate them too, but alas, no. Lol.


I really don’t have much of a system for keeping track of my books. I tend to keep it simple and categorise them based on book type (physical/digital), whether I own them, and year of publication. Since last year I also started to make new shelves for that year’s new releases and I think I’ll keep on doing that for the foreseeable future as it helps me keep track of the books I want to read as they come out! As a mood reader, I don’t organise my books based on priority or anything like that because it’s constantly shifting as well.


I mean, sometimes? 😂 Like when I first started cataloguing all my unread owned digital books, the longer the list grew, the more overwhelmed I became thinking about how and why I bought all these books and when, if ever, I’ll read all of these titles. That feeling never lasts very long though because I always end up adding even more books to my to-read list and buying more books to add to my shelves. It’s a never-ending cycle and y’know what? I don’t think I’d have it any other way!

How do you keep track of the books you want to read? Do you have a cataloguing system or method? Do you ever get overwhelmed by your TBR?

27 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Overwhelming TBRs

  1. I recently went through my goodreads and wishlist on my library. I deleted a lot lol. I just find that I click want to read because of the cover and then just end up never being interested again or have seen meh reviews. I finally started to calalog my ebooks and I have 50 unread and with way more to go! It’s insane. 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg, I know without a doubt I already have more than 50 unread. I’m pretty sure my ebooks number strongly in the mid-high hundreds and… I have many many of those that are unread 😂 I should probably be more embarrassed to admit this, haha! I need to do what you did and delete books on the Goodreads TBR and wish list. Its been ages since I’ve looked at both and yet I keep adding books as soon as it piques my interest! 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

      • haha, I need to get back into adding them into my unread list but I am terrified to continue. 😂
        I definitely add books just for a cover or even because it piqued my interest slightly. I need to not do that because I end up deleting most of them. It’s so hard not to though!


  2. I don’t know have an actual TBR that I refer to. I mean, I have my Goodreads “to read” read shelf, but that’s not set in stone. Sometimes I add books there just to keep them on my radar. Whether I’ll actually read them… *shrugs* There are definitely books on my physical shelves that I want to read sooner than others. And many on my Kindle. And if I gave it much thought it might be overwhelming. I just truck along and read as much as I can. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to try a lot harder with my TBR. I would record all the books I owned and then ones I wanted to read. I abandoned that. My Goodreads TBR plus my Amazon wishlists plus shelving on Edelweiss is how I kinda of sorta keep track of books I would like to read. Every few months, I purge too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also really only started keeping track of my TBR and the books I read when I started blogging. Before that, I only really had a mental list of books I was interested in, and the books I owned but hadn’t read. I’m not great though with organizing my TBR though, and I have lots little lists all over the place, as well as my main long TBR on Storygraph!!

    Great post, Dini!! 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to have a spreadsheets keeping track of the books I owned, those I’ve read and haven’t, but since then the books have changed considerably so I haven’t used it a lot 😅 Goodreads by far is my most comprehensive list also, I categorized it based on year of release, genre and tropes which makes it easier to go through and clean up haha! I used to have more than 1000 books on to-read shelf but now I think it’s only around ~700 (and growing!) 🤣

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The thing is, it’s always so easy to start the spreadsheets and lists but I’m terrible at keeping it going after I start them and manage some semblance of organisation! 😂 I recently (in 2020) started making yearly release lists and I agree I find those more helpful and I’m trying to do better with categorising by genre. I think the thing with cleaning out the ‘to-read’ shelf is that after that it just keeps growing and then you have to keep going back and culling more! I used to have 1000+ too and I’m ngl, I’m hella surprised my list is below that right now cos I didn’t think it would be, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t even have a TBR haha! I’m a very mood reader. I’ll just download or find the books that I’m interested in reading at whatever point. I seldom add books to my TBR on Goodreads too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m also very much a mood reader so this “TBR” is very much a loose idea of it and is basically a list of all the books I see that pique my interest and I immediately add to the list. 😂 I admire you only downloading or finding books that interest you at whatever point—that keeps things so simple!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My TBR is no longer overwhelming because I spent time a year or so ago cleaning it out. I went through my GR TBR and got rid of books I was no longer interested in. It’s sitting around 85 books right now and most haven’t been released yet.
    I did the same on my Kindle. It took a long time, but I looked up blurbs and deleted ones I knew I wouldn’t read. Then I made an excel spreadsheet with the remaining books and fit them in between ARCs throughout the year. I finally got all of those books read. Now, I am accumulating some again, but I make sure to try to read as many as I can again in between ARCs. It’s really helped me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Holy wow, 85 books is AMAZING! I don’t know if I’ll ever get down to that level of pro culling 😂 I just keep adding books whenever I come across something and usually I add it in the hope of not forgetting it… But then I rarely actually ever look at my full “to-read” list on Goodreads! I can’t even fathom doing that for my Kindle with the # of titles I know I have on there but it’s amazing that you got that done, Deanna! You are seriously goals! 😍 I am just too good at accumulating and… accumulating, haha 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

    • Honestly, I very rarely look at the full ‘to-read’ list that I have on Goodreads as well. I need to have a proper go through them and delete, it’s just that whenever I see the covers/titles again my interest usually gets piqued (again) and they end up staying on there anyway! I’ve begun looking more at the yearly release lists that I started curating in 2020 and I’m finding that more helpful, especially because there’s no way I can rely on my very shoddy memory, lol.


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