My Summer of TBR

Back in May, I looked at my bookshelves and was struck, yet again, by the sheer number of books I already own that I have not yet read. And so I bravely ventured into my summer of TBR, in which I pledged to myself that, outside of my review commitments to Shelf Awareness for Readers, I would read only books I already owned. That meant no accepting author or publisher pitches for new galleys, and no buying new books. That meant that my audiobook selections from the library would be audio versions of books I already owned before June 1.

And now it is September, and fall lists have started to descend upon the world, and I did it! ...mostly.

Of the 19 unassigned books I started since my public pledge on May 20, 14 of them were books I already owned. Which means I bent my rules a little, but also started to make a dent in my bookshelves. Rachel's 24 in 48 readathon helped, as did my participation in A Victorian Celebration, and my recent commitment to read Anna Karenina (which I already owned) along with a friend.

As I dive into September headfirst (this month started with a bachelorette trip to New Orleans, so I really do mean headfreakingfirst), I'm sure I'll explore new releases. I've already got my eye on dozens of books that look appealing, and that's not even accounting for the ones I haven't heard of yet. But this summer of TBR has reminded me of the wealth of reading material that I already have in my own house, and the joys I can find waiting for me in the books I've put off for too long (I'm looking at you, The Hobbit).

What lengths do you go to read books you already own? Or do you always look to new books and new releases for your reading material?


  1. For me, I compulsively buy books from charity shops so there are horribly, wonderfully high piles of paperbacks waiting to be read in my small living space.

    In an effort to get through them, I rifle through for a good variety and stack them on my nightstand. That is then my committed reading, which creates a nice anticipation of what to read.

    People also lend me lots of books, so they come as a higher priority. I hate to be that person that borrows a book and doesn't read it for six months.

  2. I do buy books at book sales and then gaze at many of them sadly in passing for the next few years in between trips to the library. But since moving to New York and having way less space than before, I think I've gotten a lot better about that! I'm so impressed with you reading 14 of your own books in the summer, that's brilliant! I should do that except I know me and I won't stick to it. :/


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