An unhaul – a potentially sensitive subject because some readers find it very hard to part with a book or delete a book from their Goodreads list. I can relate because I felt some of that anxiety undertaking this project but I have to say that now I feel great! I know that I am more likely to get to books I have really been looking forward to.
Why did I do an unhaul?
I saw a tweet by someone and I wish I could remember who, about only keeping books on her shelves that she could read by the end of 2017. That really hit me. I love having a TBR full of potentially incredible adventures but I also have that list because I want to read each and every one. I know what my yearly average is so I can easily divide my TBR by my yearly average and get a rough idea of how many years its going to take. That’s if I don’t add more, and lets me reasonable we all know I’m going to. So I had this idea to reduce my TBR to just the books I can’t wait to read. Getting rid of any books I was only keeping because I felt obligated to for some reason. Now there was no way I could reduce my TBR to 60 books (my yearly average) but I decided to aim for twice that, at 120. I think at final count my TBR is now hovering at 130ish and I’m happy with that. For those of you wondering I started with about 220+.
How did I make my choices?
Some were easy and others much harder. I went through my list on Goodreads and if I couldn’t even remember what the book was about I made myself read the summary. Then I asked myself if I was really even interested in it any longer. I got rid of about two-thirds of the books I had completely forgotten about. Next, I looked at the series that I was in the process of reading, especially the ones I haven’t touched in a few years and again asked myself do I still want to read this? I am notorious for feeling obligated to finish a series because what if it turns out to be the greatest thing ever? Lets be realistic if I didn’t feel that way about the first 2+ books what are the chances it’s going to change? Next, I weeded some books out by way of reviews. I don’t like to pay too much attention to the rating on Goodreads but for some books, I did read reviews from my friends. They enjoy the same sorts of books I do and more importantly are annoyed but the same things in books so I trust their judgment. This helped me cull or convinced me to keep a lot of the books on my list. The difficult ones for me were the ones I own. I felt like if it was a gift or I paid good money for it I should read it. However, I ended up getting rid of about 15 books I own because I realized I’m not interested in them and only keeping them out of obligation. Realistically they would probably have sat on my shelf with good intentions for years. For those of you wondering, yes I felt some anxiety about unhauling these books but at those moments I told myself if it’s truly a great book it will find its way back onto my TBR in the future, be it through a friend recommendation or happening upon it at the library.
Lastly, there were some really tough choices so I turned to Twitter to ask you all for your votes. There were 45 books grouped in sets of three and you can see the results below. I tried to group books with similarities but towards the end I had to just group them randomly. I also realize that the much older and much newer releases might not be as well read so their low scores might not reflect their quality. I took both of those factors into account in my final decision. I kept all of the winners, and some of the other titles. Honestly, I had no trouble putting the other books behind me. I really appreciate everyone voting, I thought it was a lot of fun to see the votes come in and read all your comments! I think I might use this idea again in the future, maybe for my TBR challenge next year!
SAVE THAT BOOK!! Every year I unhaul books on my TBR shelf and I need your help. Which book deserves to stay? There are 14 rounds below!
— Jessica (@NovelCravings) December 15, 2016
Voting Results From Twitter (Red won and bold titles were kept!)
- 10%Gates of Thread and Stone 37%These Vicious Masks 53%SomethingStrange & Deadly
- 27%The Impostor Queen 06%Queen Of Blood 67%The Orphan Queen
- 06%Enders Shadow 74%DayOfBlood&Starlight 20%The Infinite Sea
22%Beyond the Red 15%Broken Skies 63%ForDarknessShowsTheStars
27%AShadowBrightAndBurning 64%My Lady Jane 09%TheLoveThatSplitTheWorld
72%BloodSong RyanAnthony 22%Paladin SallySlater 06%Tribesman PaulFreeman
35%Angelfall SusanEe 42%Scythe Shusterman 23%TheWitchHunter Boeker
5%Dark Inside 14%Black City 81%Sea of Shadows
65%A Thousand Pieces of You 14%Girl At Midnight 21%Ruby Red
42%Shadowfell 37%Warrior Heir 21%The Naming
40%Alive ScottSigler 13%FalseMemory DanKrokos 47%WhatsLeftOfMe KatKhang
0%Below JasonChabot 69%Disruption Shirvington 31%Illusive EmilyLloydJones
65%StolenSongbird 20%Poison 15%Summer Prince
57%Dash & Lily 17%You Had Me At Hello 26%Life After Life
67%Rebel Queen 11%ThePrinceWhoFell 22%TheCastingsTrilogy
This unhauling business has felt so freeing!! Knowing that I could get very close to the end of my list in two years is exciting! And that wouldn’t be the end of my reading it would just mean time to go looking for new adventures! I know that I want to do a little unhaul at the end of each year because my interests do change over time. I would love to hear some feedback from you guys about your thoughts and experiences with unhauling.