Unbreaking the Shelves

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Unbreaking the Shelves button

This fall I will be joining Amanda and Kelly in their Unbreaking the Shelves challenge! There are two parts to the challenge:

Part 1: Actively organize, categorize, and otherwise be brutally realistic about the books you have in your pile.

Part 2: Actively work on bringing that TBR pile down to something that isn’t threatening you with bodily harm if you don’t start reading it. [from the sign-up page at On a Book Bender]

For more details, click the button above [also from the sign-up page at On a Book Bender] and it will take you directly to the sign-up and directions.

Goals for Part 1:

All of these apply to my GoodReads shelving

  • Make sure ALL my books are on the own shelf.
  • Create To-Read hierarchy? (READ NOW, Read soon, Read someday)
  • Make sure ALL books are properly sorted according to genre.
  • Sort through my classics list and be realistic about what I actually WILL read (Maybe sort them into “want to read” and “should read” shelves?)  DONE!
  • Take all “Read” books out of the “series-completion” shelf and add in all the ones that I haven’t yet. DONE!

Goals for Part 2:

(As of 9/2: 65)

  • Keep my to-read list as close to 530 as possible. Expert level: bring it down to 500.

(As of 9/2: 535)

Note: This number may change as I finish my goals from part 1 – any additions made as part of completing those goals will NOT count against my overall total (I figure technically those are already on the list and I just forgot about them).

Series Completion

  • EXPERT LEVEL: Read a total of 57 books from the TBR list (overshooting my original GR year goal by 25)

Total Books

Since I don’t read well when forced to stick to a specific list of titles, I will be allowing myself a lot of leeway in which titles to choose off each list, and I won’t be listing them here. I hope to add a short updates section to my CR posts each week so I can check in and you can all keep me accountable! Good luck to everyone else participating!

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12 Responses to “Unbreaking the Shelves”

  1. Kelsey says:

    Good luck with this! It can be hard to get a collection under control and organized :)

  2. I like the idea of a TBR hierarchy. I think I’m too moody to do that myself, but I like it.

    Good luck with your goals, Anne! You can DO EET!

    • Anne says:

      Oh I’m sure there will still be a TON of books on each list, but I find I usually have 3 different reactions to books (based on blurbs or whatever): “OMG MUST HAVE THIS BOOK NOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!”, “that sounds fun I should probably read that soon” and “oh, well maybe I’ll like it. One day when I have nothing else to read I’ll pick it up.” That’s about as far as my hierarchy goes though.

      Thanks! Good luck on yours too!

  3. Alexia561 says:

    Good luck with this challenge! I’m actually afraid to take a hard look at my TBR piles, as it would be too depressing. Love your idea for Want To Read vs Should Read shelves!

    • Anne says:

      I find that looking at a TBR list instead of just piles is much less intimidating/depressing. It’s more like a reminder list than anything else lol. Then again, I’m cheap and don’t buy books much soooooo… this may just work for me :)

      Thanks! I always feel like I *should* read so many of the classics but I’m not actually interested in the story. Doesn’t mean I feel very good about relegating some of them to the simply “should read” pile instead of the actual TBR pile…

  4. I like that you’re being realistic about the classics on your list … I purged a LOT of classics from my list because I know that I’ll never get around to reading them. While I had great intentions when purchasing them, there are only a handful I still feel eager to read.

    I made a change to my shelves on Goodreads to only list the books that I OWN on my TBR list … other books go on my wishlist and are marked read once I read them, rather than added to my To-Read list, or else it’d get CRAZY out of hand!

    Good luck with your goals! I was leery about listing books, too … I’m like you and tend to get antsy when sticking to a list!

    • Anne says:


      Sorry. Endrant.

      See, now, if I only listed the books I own on my TBR list it would have like, oh, 20 books on it? I seriously DO NOT BUY BOOKS. I feel like a bad blogger for confessing that… BUT since I make excessive use of my local library, I feel like I’m at least doing it for a good cause (I figure the fines I rack up in a year must pay at least half of one of the pages’ salary – I’m forever returning something ONE day late because I was almost done, or forgot, or whatever). And that, friends, is why I have 500+ books on my TBR list – it’s a reminder when I’m ready to go get more books of which ones I wanted. For years I was just a browser at the library, and I’d pick up whatever looked good, but then some days nothing would jump at me so I’d wish I had a list of all the ones I’d seen other days and not picked up because I had a stack 20 high already. I swear some tiny part of me thinks that is going to happen again, because if I have even the slightest interest in a book, I can’t help but mark it to-read. Seriously, I need therapy! lol

      • I think I’m a nice person, too! I don’t like being flagged as spam! *sobs*

        There is NOTHING wrong with not buying books. I think it’s healthy. I mean, buying books can easily go from buying only the books you love by favourite authors or books for favourite series to hoarding. Have you ever seen that Hoarders episode with the guy and his books? He had to walk SIDEWAYS through his house because he had WALLS made of books. WALLS!

        Seriously, I’m ENVIOUS of you and your tiny TBR pile of physical books … I cannot WAIT to get my books into the double digits!

        • Anne says:

          I actually don’t have cable so I’ve never seen Hoarders. But I can imagine! I had a friend in high school who just had books stacked in piles along the walls of his house instead! It made my teeth itch! lol Oh and of course, my grandmother is like that. Yes, literally – it used to be we’d have to warn her when we were coming so she could make sure to make a path to the bathroom through the books. Yeah, my family is crazy.

  5. Excellent goals. Even after cleaning up my GR shelves, I feel like it’s unorganized. I need to do something more in line with what you’re doing.

  6. […] signed up for Unbreaking the Shelves and gave myself some rather unrealistic […]

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