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How Out of Control Is Your TBR Pile (Based on This Scale I Invented)?

The beginning of the year is a good time to evaluate your life, make resolutions, set goals and clean things out.

As I glanced at my own 497-book-high to-be-read list, and my heart palpitated. And, I couldn’t help but morbidly wonder, am I the worst reader and TBR-maintainer ever…or are there crazies out there WORSE THAN ME?

I was hoping for the latter, so I created this handy dandy chart to help you see how terrible wonderful your TBR pile is looking.

How Out of Control Is your TBR Pile (Based on This Scale I Invented)?

out of control to be read pile

Shut It Down – 50 Books

Stop while you’re ahead. Fifty books isn’t too bad! Conceivable, you could work in books on this list into every 4th novel you read for the year and cut it down considerably by the end of the year.

But…and it’s a huge but…you’d have to STOP ADDING BOOKS to your TBR RIGHT NOW!! Is that realistic? No?? Then, you’re on track to advance to the next level…

out of control tbr read breathe relax

Check Yoself Before You Wreck Yoself – 100 Books

How did we get here? Surfing lists of all the new year’s releases and marking which ones we want to read, i.e. all of them??

This is officially in the “Danger! Danger!” zone. This is the drowning in books zone.

Let me put it this way, if 100 books were to fall off your shelf and onto your head, you would most certainly become completely buried beneath them. It would be quiet and dark and happy underneath them, but it’s certainly a health hazard.

out of control tbr pile read breathe relax

Critical Mass – 200 Books

At 200 books, I would consider evaluating your friendships because you’ve got some SERIOUS enablers in your life. Ignore all future “OMG, this sequel (<--Goodreads link) is coming out next year)!!!!!!" emails. Unfriend and unfollow this person. They are causing undue strain on your TBR. But, let's get real. At this stage, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Wait, no, that's not right. IT'S THOSE SEXY BOOKS THAT ARE TO BLAME. If it wasn't for those alluring covers and enticing descriptions, we'd be fine. We'd be able to resist all temptation. Right?? Right. [caption id="attachment_16619" align="alignleft" width="200" caption=" "]out of control tbr pile read breathe relax[/caption]

All is Lost – More Than 250 Books

Consider joining Readers Anonymous. You’ve got a serious problem. One that can only be cured with….MOAR BOOKS!!!!! Ugh, this condition is clearly highly contagious.

You know what? Just give in. Keep adding on. I know we will anyway.

Going to the dark side is freeing and fun, isn’t it!?!

out of control tbr pile read breathe relax

So what sick level of impending doom is your TBR pile at?!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Anonymous

    I’m probably at critical mass! I have so many on my list that I don’t even know the actual number. And, I have seperate lists (on Goodreads, on Amazon, books stacked in my closet, book titles texted to myself so I can add them to list, book titles scribbled on sticky notes on my desk…) I get stressed just thinking about it, LOL!

  • Kayla

    I thought I was at “check yoself” but then… no… I’m at critical mass. At least there’s no hope and the only way out is to embrace more books!

  • Hannah Spainhour

    At 114 tbr books I am actually better off than I first thought but it is still sad that I let it get so out of control.

  • Tanya Patrice

    I don’t have to “shut it down” quite yet – yay me 🙂

    Tanya Patrice

  • Amy Howard Sasser

    Just checked my Goodreads TBR list, and I have reached Critical Mass. I must READ ALL THE BOOKS!

  • I’ve worked very hard over the years not to pass 50 books waiting to be read,having gradually accepted that there are books I own that I bought in order to own, not necessarily to read in the foreseeable future. Or I’ve taken books off the list because I gave them a shot and then… just couldn’t get into them.

    Right now I’m probably hovering at just over 50. Not amazing, but could definitely be worse…

    (I should point out that I’m taking the list to mean only books I own. In terms of books I want to read… that list is way, way too long to count…)

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  • Judy Harder

    All is Lost — but I could not spend another penny on books and have great reads for a few years! (but I will spend that penny!)

  • Classy_Girl

    I love this. All is completely lost in my case… Upwards 300 and counting…