Tame Your TBR

Are you one of the many readers who have so many books on your To Be Read shelf (or pile) that you don’t know where to start? Thankfully lots of bookstagrammers have the answer for you. Here are ten of my favourite TBR jars:

A TBR jar is a great move if you want to randomise your selection of books. @veronica.unabridged shared her selection of Tuesdays with Morrie.

Bascially it’s a way to make a TBR list, but without assigning an order or specific deadlines per book. Here’s @thereadingsiren_’s back in April.

You can choose your own aesthetic – I love @lostmymindinbooks’s reuse of a Golden Syrup tin.

Lots of people keep it simple. @bookwormnee2 vowed not to but more books “until this goes down sugnificantly” and, to be frank, that’s why many people start a TBR jar.

@neve.reads’s jar is practical and colourful, in a jar with flamingos on it.

@leahbookedition has 20 specific books she wants to read this year, and then other books that I guess are a sort of backlog on her bookcase. So she has a TBR jar for each. Great idea.

As you’ll have spotted, lots of people fold their slips of paper into bookish shapes. Another common choice is stars, as @annenikoline has made. I love their colour-coordination.

Another favourite, especially if you have an opaque container, is to use unfolded strips of paper, as @randombookhoarder has. Who doesn’t love a pineapple?

Minimalism is also a great look. @puttingwingsonwords shared in 2017 that they interfile books they’ve read, books they’ve still to read and books they have no intention of reading. This was the first time they used their jar as a selection aid.

Finally, here’s @cosy-books’s tweet from the weekend. I almost referred to it in the article I was writing about ‘unpacking my library’ but the brief was ten tips based on favourite books, and tweets are not books.

From a library perspective, a TBR jar is a form of index – albeit partially randomised. Have fun with yours!

Beginning Cataloguing loves helping people organise their personal libraries. We had to curtail this activity due to the Covid-19 lockdown, and are looking forward to being able to make home and studio visits again.

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