Your Reading Life

RIFers and Their (Massive) TBR Piles

1000+ UNREAD BOOKS

“I have a large (almost 2,000) TBR list on Goodreads…and have 250 books on my tablet’s “shelf,’” says RIFer Pamela S. “The books on the shelf are all the galleys I need to read and usually the next book in various series I am reading.”

Other RIFers keep their TBR pile in their eReader. Take Richard, for instance: he has 1300+ unread books on his Kindle! “There are 622 books in my bedroom (counted just now) unread,” he shared with us. “I have an Amazon shipment coming tomorrow (gifts! gifts to me!) with 11 books in it . . . Once I’ve finished with a book, I give it to a friend, donate it to a library, or – in rare cases – stroke it and sniff it and revel in the fact that it’s MINE!”

RIFer Donna R. has over 1,800 books in her TBR stash at the moment. “Romance, romantic suspense, erotica, horror, science fiction, thrillers, a couple of mysteries, some nonfiction/history, paranormal fiction and nonfiction and even a few biographies. I’m an equal opportunity book junkie,” she says.

ORGANIZING THE TBR PILE

RIFer Carla W. keeps her TBR pile organized. Very organized. She admits, “OMG…I have a list that I’ve now made into a excel spreadsheet! Yikes! I have several going at once. I usually only read novels, but I do stash a few non-fiction in their occasionally! I have six book cases in my house, five of which are TBR, and one is ones I’ve read that are my favourites and ‘keepers.’ If I allow myself, I could get a little panicked, about trying to organize my reading!”

TBR PILES . . . PILED AROUND THE HOUSE

“I have several piles around my house!” says Vicki G. “They are all different varieties of genres too. Sometimes I have several books going at once other times, I’ll just read one at a time. When I’m ready for a new book, I just pick one based on my mood.”

NOT A TBR PILE … A TBR ROOM

Now here’s an idea. RIFer Rosemary S. says, “I generally just close the door to one bedroom . . . All my autographed books are in the bookcase and are mine forever, but as I read a book they are passed forward for others to enjoy.”

Rosemary isn’t alone. Keira G. does the same thing: “I have 368 books on my TBR ‘Pile’ (Or should I say TBR ROOM). My TBR pile rarely gets low, because I buy books almost every week. I buy them way, way faster than I can read them!”

ON BEING A BOOK HOARDER

RIFer C.E. is another voracious reader who has 1000 Kindle books waiting to be read. A self-professed “book hoarder,” C.E. says, “Counting all of the books in our house to give you an exact number would take me hours actually, but suffice to say that I need to live to be 127 to be able to read all of them. . . . I feel ‘wealthy’ when I know that I have all of these great books ready for me to read when I am ready to read them. It is like having a fully stocked pantry and refrigerator – a very comforting thought!”

How about you? Tell us about your TBR pile!

About the Author

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life. College English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, book marketer, and now editor at Read It Forward. When not reading, she’s doing yoga, meditating, or hiking with her dog, her husband and his daughter. As much as she loves living in the Colorado mountains, she misses her favorite place to read: the NYC subway.

Read It Forward is brought to you by a team of readers who love books as much as you do. Questions? Comments? Contact us at readitforward@randomhouse.com.

  • Amanda Fite

    I don’t consider it a TBR book unless I’ve already purchased it and am waiting to read it, and it’s probably about 400-500 books on a shelf wall in my house. Once I read a book I give it away, I have to many to save them unless one has really touched me in some way.

    • http://www.readitforward.com/ Kira, editor @ Read It Forward

      Wow, Amanda! How do you ever choose what to read next?!

  • Denise

    I have an old army trunk filled to comps city with books that I’ve read and love, and books that I still need to read! Who knows how many are in there! Lol

  • Christina Oseland

    According to GoodReads, I have about 1400 books on my TBR shelf. This is without the books I don’t yet own. I still have many boxes of books that need to be unpacked and cataloged so I imagine that number is actually quite a bit higher.

    • http://www.readitforward.com/ Kira, editor @ Read It Forward

      That’s impressive, Christina. How do you organize them? I wouldn’t know where to begin to choose my next read!

      • Christina Oseland

        All my books are shelved by genre -> topic -> author -> pub date. I just know which ones I’ve read and which I’ve not. I choose my next read on my ‘mood’. Sometimes I know immediately which particular book I want to read and sometimes it takes me a few days to figure it out.

  • techeditor

    Our living room has turned into my library. It’s a big room, and my husband built a bookshelf into an entire wall. I have several stacks of books to be read. As I read them, I either pass them on or put them in my bookshelf, to be loaned out.

    I keep a list of books I want to read but don’t own on goodreads.com.

  • Lucile Barker

    I do it on a spreadsheet but I have six milk cartons in the living room. I can’t pass a library discard shelf without getting something. I mainline books. Ain’t no cure for literacy…

  • LDuffn

    I have an Access list with 3066 books on it. I have read only 192 on that list. But that list doesn’t include books I have added to by TBR list on Goodreads or books that I have gotten from amazon for free.

  • Lisa from Iroquois

    I have 4 TBR piles. Having just finished my Masters’ thesis there is a box near my desk of incidental interesting nonfiction books I have been hoarding til I got finished. Then there is a stash of partially read books in my bedside table (nonfiction), a stack of recreational fiction on the floor beside the bed. My favorite pile is on my partner’s side of the bed. It is non fiction stuff that we read together, which generally means I read them aloud to us before we fall asleep, about 10 pages a night plus the conversations they occasion. There are lots of other books to be read in various places around the house but they have less priority then the stuff that makes it into an official pile.