Five Books Out, Three Books In


I have over 300 unread books, between my bookshelves and my Kindle. All hail free ebooks and cheap secondhand sales!

But the mental weight of that is beginning to stagger me–I have enough books to keep me reading for about two years without getting any more. And how could I possibly go two years without buying more books, or borrowing from friends, family, or the library? I’ve got to get this under control.

Book-buying bans simply don’t work for me–if I see a book I want for pennies, well, I’m going to buy it, because what if I never get that chance again?

I can avoid temptation by not going to my local libraries and browsing their sales–and I have–and doing my best to stay off Amazon, perusing the most popular free ebooks. Which I also have.

It’s helping, but I know myself well enough to predict that I will cave at some point.

So I’m going to earn those new books.

I decided on the 40% TBR Reduction Rule: five books out, three books in.

I started counting just under a month ago, and I’m doing my physical and digital books separately, because the rule varies slightly between the two.

For digital books, which take up no real space, when I’ve read five of them, I have earned the ability to acquire up to three more. I don’t have to delete the books or even archive them, though at some point my Kindle will need a clean-out so I don’t run out of space.

For the physical books, though, it’s a much harder rule. I don’t merely get to read the five books, I have to actually get rid of five before I can earn three acquisitions. That means any books I keep don’t count–I have to give books away to friends or family, or re-donate them to the library (my usual choice) or a thrift/secondhand store.

Unsurprisingly, in the three weeks and few days since I’ve started tracking, I’ve only earned one new digital book. I have gotten rid of two physical books, but it might be a while before I get rid of any more, since I plan to read those unfinished series I bought soon, books I’m more likely to keep than give away.

If I can stick to this for the next few months, I might be able to justify hitting the huge $2/bag library sale in early December than I’ve gone to for the past two years, a large contributing factor in why I have so many books in the first place…


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