Friday, 6 June 2014


According to the most recent count (aka on Monday), I have 64 unread books on my (physical) bookshelf. This number isn't 100% accurate because I didn't count sequels in series where I haven't read the first book. (If I did, the number would probably be closer to 70.)

It's kind of getting embarrassing. Especially given the lack of actual room on my bookshelf. I live in a small apartment by myself and there is legitimately no room for another bookshelf. So I have to make due.

Despite the problem, it can be difficult to actually walk up to that bookshelf and physically pick a book. Because the options are at times overwhelming. Especially when I have no clear reading mood.

I've seen the idea of a TBR Jar floating around the blogosphere for some time now, and in a fit of boredom and inspiration (funny how those seem to go hand-in-hand) I decided to make my own. 

I started a simple table in a blank Word document and parked myself near my bookshelf and started typing. Then, I made the font a reasonable size. After printing and some cutting (and a little bit of creativity for lack of an actual jar) I was ready to go.

As I was cutting up my TBR list, I had several moments of doubt. As certain titles popped up, I was thinking, "I hope I don't pick that one..."

Woah. Wait. Hang on a second! That shouldn't be right. Why is that book on my shelf in the first place if I didn't want to read it?

As I examined my feelings, I realized the books fit into two categories: "I don't know if I'm in the mood for that right now" and "I don't know if I want to read that".

I decided that if I picked a book I wasn't in the mood for (and I have a few massive epic fantasies on the shelf) that could be forgiven. But if I had lukewarm feelings in general, then I really needed to think about why it was on my shelf in the first place. And maybe I needed to donate it.

Despite all this, I was still really excited to pick a book. And the random pick was just as thrilling. I bounded over too my bookshelf to grab it.

And, of course, I documented the process. (And yes, that is the lid of a CD spindle, in case you were wondering.)

I'm about halfway through Sabriel as of this writing (with Lirael and Abhorsen ready to go!) and I'm loving it.

I almost can't wait until the next time I don't know what to read, because I know my TBR Jar is waiting for me. (And yes, I plan on buying an actual jar this weekend. There is possibly even decorating in its future.)

What do you think? Do you have a TBR Jar? How do you pick what to read next? (Especially when you're not lacking for options!) Let's chat in the comments.