Cleaning up my TBR pile Marie Kondo style

Alright. That number is absolutely atrocious. I already know I’m not going to read three-fourths of my TBR list on Goodreads.

So I decided to clean up Marie Kondo style—keeping in mind her key phrase: “Discard everything that does not spark joy.”

I needed to ask myself if it sparked joy, if I was genuinely excited to read it or if I felt like I had to read it.

The answer was, for most of these books, I wasn’t excited. Some of these I had added years ago just because they seemed “interesting,” but we’re in 2021 now, and there are always amazing books being published each year.

I made rules keeping Kondo’s philosophy in mind:

  1. Like Kondo says, does it spark joy? Am I excited to read it?
  2. While going through my list, I decided to properly categorize it under my shelves. This way, when I was in the mood to read something, I could look in that category first and get exactly what I was looking for without going into the depths of the Internet to find it.
  3. I also made the choice to only keep a maximum of 100 books.
  4. In terms of a series, I would keep only the first book on the list in order to declutter. This way, if I didn’t want to continue a series, I wouldn’t have to remove the rest of the books from my TBR.
  5. I would keep books that were around 4 stars or above. There are too many 4+ books in the world for me to settle for less.

And so, I got to it.

It took me about 5 hours to sort through the clutter that is my TBR shelf, which is an absurd amount. But it was so, so worth it.

Here are the results:

My “before” shelf:

My “after” shelf:

I added a few new categories, renamed others, and downright deleted some.

It was weird. There were books in my TBR that I had already read but had miscategorized, books that I had forgotten about, and even books that I didn’t like the premise of at all—so why were they even on my TBR pile?

There were so many series that I hadn’t finished that I kept on my list, too. But why? If I hadn’t finished them then, what made me think I would finish them now? Not counting some series that hadn’t been finished when I started it, though. So out they went.

I also, for some reason, had the rest of the After series by Anna Todd on here. We all know that there was no way I was reading those.

Doing this saved me so much time and allowed me to find books that I had completely forgotten about that I had wanted to read! I have a terrible memory (Google Calendar, anyone?) so this made my reading life easier and put things into perspective.

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