ALL IS LOST.
If you have been checking into Land of 1000 Wonders lately, you probably know I have a TBR mountain. Indeed, it is named Mt. Kilamanchaos. My review requests have been closed for two years at this point, and I don’t foresee them opening back up again, in all honesty.
I still have books I have not reviewed from my first year of blogging. I had every intention of reading these books, and then life and blogging and Mt. Kilamanchaos happened. All I can say is, “Look! I’ve read Scott Cramer’s Night of the Purple Moon!” That was the first book I had to bail on.
And then came NetGalley. There should be a required training course before you are allowed to access NetGalley. They need to tamp down the MUST GET ALL ZE BOOKS! mentality. There needs to be a chastity belt so NetGalley safeguards their galleys for just the right folks, or else they’ll end up with people. People like me.
Yes, I went hog wild when I was approved for NetGalley. I remember two summers ago sitting on the floor of my bedroom, hiding in the corner like Allie Brosh, being 200 pages in and still going strong requesting books. It’s like self-hating addiction: I know it’s bad for me to eat this cake (ahem, request from NetGalley), but I just can’t stop myself. Perhaps in my head I am beginning to believe that only my books love me and I must have all the love. Anyway, that’s my story of how I landed 500+ NetGalley books.
I also have quite a number of audibooks I’ve been selecting from SYNC’s summer program. You get two free audiobooks each week during summer! I’ve very slowly been making my way through them, but this summer is fast approaching and I need clean shelves for the new titles.
And let’s not even talk about Amazon freebies.
To sum it up, my Kindle is a black hole of books.
I am no longer in denial. I have accepted it. Now the question is, what do I do? I have all these NetGalley books, all these free Amazon books, two shelves jam packed of books I’ve bought or been gifted over the last three-ish years, and a handful of books from The Story Plant. I’m like an ostrich with my head in the sand! I love them and want to read them all…I just don’t know how.
So I finally made myself do it. I concocted my own TBR Jar. I originally got the idea from Kelley and Oh, The Books!, and realized I really needed to start cleaning house…or rather, my Kindle and shelves. I used Kelley’s TBR Jar as a model to create my own.
I kept it simple. As pretty as the TBR Jars are out there, I needed to keep it simple and do my own. I needed to own it. I also needed to own my hoarding.
I started with the most basic of supplies: one tie-dyed cardstock scrap-booking set of paper (on clearance for $4), a nice sized glass jar, a cutter with 8 different line forms, my ever-faithful Flair pens, and Washi tape.
I have books to read from NetGalley. I have books to read from Amazon. I have books to read from authors. I have books to read from The Story Plant. I have books to read that I bought for myself or have been given.
When I started thinking about my TBR Jar, I knew I had to coordinate this. I am a very Type-A, organized person. Things must be color-coordinated.
I picked out a color for each category of books I need to read. It was pretty random in the assigning of color, and the colors didn’t really matter anyway. I suppose I could have coordinated NetGalley with green since that is one of their primary colors.
- Blue – NetGalley books
- Green – Amazon ebooks
- Yellow/Orange – Review books
- Purple – Audiobooks
- Pink – Physical books
- Red – Series I NEED to Finish
I started with one 12″ cardstock page of each color. I then cut the pages into strips and cut each strip in half to make two smaller strips. Each page ended up totaling somewhere around 30 strips each. For the categories with 30+ books, I used every strip for a title and dropped into the jar.
Of course, I didn’t use ALL of those strips. I still had some yellow, red, and purple left over after I put the titled slips in the jar.
The Honesty Rules
What is the point of a TBR Jar if you aren’t honest and faithful? I have to be committed! … So. There are rules. And they must be followed.
- You picked it, you read it! There are no take backs.
- I can select a certain color (category) when drawing. (Ahem, NetGalley!)
- If I draw a book in a series, I must read the next two books in the series.*
- If I am on a reviewing deadline, I can prioritize those books and read first instead of drawing.
*If I own the books. If I do not own the next book in the series, I will scrimp to find a copy. If I do not agree on the price and cannot obtain one otherwise, I can move on to a new pick. BUT I must create a strip for the jar on the book I passed up. That’s a fair deal.
At some point I will replenish my jar with more book titles. My objective this year was to focus on my NetGalley books, which I have been doing a spectacular job of ignoring. I also want to honor all those commitments I made previously to authors and get their books off my plate (and the guilty noose tucked neatly away).