Discussion- When Your Book Pile Is Overwhelming


I don’t know about you but my September TBR Pile has grown to a level that I’ve realized there is no way I’ll be able to read and review all the books on time. I’ve talked to others and I think we are all in a similar place for this next month. I have been telling myself that I’m not stressed, I’ll get to them on my own time and it’ll be okay.

I keep saying that (over and over) but I still stare at the pile and feel intimidated and honestly it has sort of thrown me into a slump. I’ve knocked away at some of the books but I still feel that there are too many for me to handle while having a life too. And, to add to my stress, I decided to start a sister blog for my Lego obsession (aptly named My Friends Are Minifigures). It’s not live yet but I’m plotting what I’ll be posting. I’ve made a commitment to myself that I won’t let it stress me out or become a burden. My Friends Are Fiction will continue to be where the majority of my time and effort goes.

I’ve read a handful of posts on how to cope with all the review books like Debbie’s post last week on How to Manage your Blog (and Reading Schedule) and Octavia’s event going on this month ARC August. I love to readย your adviceย soย if you have a post dedicated to this subject please link to it in the comments!

What has been my method of coping? Well, I have been reading October books- yes, I threw out my reading list and have been reading whatever strikes my fancy. I figure I might as well get ahead on October now.

I’d love to hear from you- does an overwhelming TBR pile stress you out, put you inย a slump or motivate you? Do you have any tips you can link?


  1. says

    You already know that I’m struggling with this hardcore, too, but I’m kind of doing the same as you…picking whatever strikes my fancy and going with it. I’ll catch up with audio, I guess, because there is absolutely NO way I can read all of those September review copies, especially when more are still arriving. (!) I should have better prepared for September, but it is what it is. I’m pretty organized — I’ve got a calendar and spreadsheets — but still…I’m not a superhuman reader and I can’t finish a book a day…unless it’s audio. So, some of those books just won’t get read. Period. End of story. And I’m just going to have to accept that.

    Also, I had no idea you were working on a sister blog! That sounds like fun! I can’t wait to see it! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • says

      I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I try to be organized but in the end I never stick with it so I wonder if it’s worth the time. I will just do the very best I can do and read the ones I can. I’m still getting August and September books too! It has rained books (which isn’t a bad thing). Now my October pile is growing and I’m starting to get scared that it’ll be like September. I’ve actually just bought the domain and that’s about it. I’ve not had time (shocker) to do anything much yet. It’ll be a Lego blog with news, reviews and such I think. Who knows if I’ll ever get it off the ground at this rate! haha

  2. says

    *Hugs* <3 best of luck with reading all the books ๐Ÿ™‚ you don't need to rush it. Just read what you want to read, hih, as I do that. <3 (I'm never behind on writing reviews.. but I am behind on many books.) But those are books I'm not planning on reading at all anymore :p Thank you for sharing Kristen. <3

  3. says

    My September pile made me whimper some, but ultimately I decided to prioritize – get to the books I wanted to the most first, then the rest. It doesn’t do any good to get caught up if you burn out in the process!

    I also keep a list of what book is due when so I can keep a better eye on timing and know when I have time to throw in something I want to read from my personal collection. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • says

      Reading from your personal collection? I’ve not done that in months. I guess I should make it a priority more because there are so many old releases I want to read.

  4. says

    I love that photo of your Lego mini-me! That’s exactly how I feel when I look at my Kindle library and my pending pile!
    I agree that whenever I feel too slumpy cause I’m too stressed about the review pile, I just read whatever I feel like and that helps loads! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • says

      Thanks Pili! I’ve not even really considered the e-arcs. Eeps. I’m not nearly as good at reading them because out of sight out of mind. I need to break down and make a list.

  5. says

    Omg yes! This is why I decided to switch to “review consideration” so that I didn’t feel as much guilt and why I started the new feature for the books that I can’t get to in a reasonable amount of time so that they get a bit more promotion and I can just move forward and read the upcoming books I’m excited about (or, shocker, library books!). I think I really just had to get it through my head that publicists don’t have time to closely monitor exactly which bloggers read which percentage of books they receive, so as long as I do my best to promote the books I get for review consideration, it really doesn’t help anyone for me to force myself to read books I’m not excited for and be stressed doing it since I might end up hating something I would have loved!

    • says

      The books I’ve requested tend to not be the cause of the stress–it’s the unsolicited and then if I’m offered a book I can’t say no! If I could just say no once and awhile I’d be in much better shape. But if I have any interest in the book I have to say yes. Then time goes on and I have these books staring me down. I feel horribly guilty since I agreed to them. Eeps. I love that you are doing that new feature!

  6. says

    I felt that way when I first started blogging more about books. I have been blogging for 8 years, but it was always on my schedule, posting what i wanted, when I wanted.

    I started using a Google Calendar and have it synced to my phone. Every review gets plugged in on the date it is due color coded in aqua. Covers, blitzes, RDL’s go in red. Then I can look at my phone and say I have this this and this due this week. Yellow are books I bought and stuck on my calendar to read when I had time but then books came up tours I wanted to read and…yeah, that hasn’t worked out so well. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I personally schedule myself at a book a day. If I have a book I really want to read but no time open during the tour, I put it in my calendar on the first available day marked to read for (this date) and then mark the tour on my calendar for that date. If I don’t have any days open period, I have to skip the book, no matter how much I want to read it then. I add it to my Kindle Wish List over on Amazon so I know that I want to read it. I just looked at my calendar and realized there are a couple of days where I am reading two books because I really really really wanted to read one. LOL

    I took screen shot of my calendar for a blog post I haven’t written yet. It’s hot mess. You can see it here – https://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/821x415q90/673/QNKtnm.jpg just for an example of how I do mine. ๐Ÿ™‚ Excellent discussion!

  7. says

    I was feeling that way this month. But…for July books. I’m behind! I still have about 3 or so books that should’ve been read in July and I just…don’t feel like it? I’m actually not searching for ARCs atm because I need a break! I just want to read some books I’ve not had time for. Like finish up Percy Jackson and Harry Potter and maybe reread Mockingjay before the movie. So not so many ARCs for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But to be honest, i always pick the smallest ones on my tbr.

    I’m looking forward to your lego blog too!!

  8. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) says

    I actually found it really nice to take a blogging hiatus so I could just tackle my book pile. It’s really important to not get overwhelmed, and just take a step back when you need one. ๐Ÿ™‚

    OMG that lego!!! I love it, it’s so cute

  9. says

  10. says

    I have a fabulous solution Kristen send hmmm about half of those to me and you’ll be good to go. Lol. So your the lucky duck who got that ALA giveaway. Congrats that was a good one! I have no tips for as I am a slow reader but I do love seeing what goodies you’ve gotten. :-))

  11. says

    September is going to kill me this year. I can’t believe what I have to get to. I try to remember that I am doing this for fun and I try very hard not to lose that otherwise I get burnt out. I am a super slow reader so I have to kind of go at my own pace and do what I can do. It’s nice to know we are not alone ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. says

    It motivates me to read even more (only downside is that when I tackle some books, I buy even more, haha) Having a lot of books just makes me happy, even when it can be overwhelming. The hardest thing is picking the next read; when there are so many books I want to read, how am I going to decide which one is next? :p

  13. says

    Yes yes and yes – My AUGUST and SEPT reading TBR is out of hand. I’ve been in a slump pretty much ever since BEA. And how I’ve combat that is I recruited two of my local friends to help me with my review stack. I still want to read all of these books but I just know that I can’t read and review them all in a reasonable amount of time. So now I have help. I’ve also tried to put restrictions on myself as to how many review requests I’m allowed to make each month and the review queries I’m allowing myself to accept. I also took on another contributor who lives on the other side of the US and I send her a good number of the queries from pubs that come in to see if she’d like to review them instead. So by getting more help I feel less stressed. Unfortunately the pile is still GINORMOUS! and frankly its getting bigger because I’m in my first trimester of preggers and sick as a dog which makes reading hard so I haven’t been able to read the multiple books a week I would normally sometimes I can barely manage ONE! insane right.

    So I have to just not care at this point or everything will collapse. I’m jsut plugging forward, not agreeing to post reviews on specific dates at all and controlling myself for asking for new books and buying them instead. My Oct thru Dec is very light right now and I’m trying REALLY hard to keep it that way.

    Yes read whatever you want and you’ll read faster – I’ve noticed this with myself maybe times.

  14. says

    I wish some of these September titles would have been spread out a bit! They actually seem to be multiplying. Every time I think I have it all worked out another one pops up. It’s crazy in the best way, but I would be amazed if any single person could read them ALL. We all just have to do our best.

    I’ve been considering reading one upcoming book and then one book a few months out so that I have some ready for future months, but it just never happens.

    AND I’m excited for your new lego blog. I love your mini-figures!


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