I’m Unbreaking the Shelves

Unbreaking the Shelves

Part 1: Actively organize, categorize, and otherwise be brutally realistic about the books you have in your pile.

So, what does this mean? Well, part one is entirely at your discretion. You can make a new shelf on Goodreads. You can choose to delete those freebies that no longer appeal to you. You can be as brutal or as gentle as you want.

The point is to look at your shelves and establish some kind of organizational system so that you have an accurate picture of how many books (that you ARE going to read) are sitting on your TBR pile and a way of dealing with incoming books.

For examples of organization goals or ways to deal with your TBR pile, visit Amanda’s or Kelly’s tracking pages.

Part 2: Actively work on bringing that TBR pile down to something that isn’t threatening you with bodily harm if you don’t start reading it. What? Those books are tough. They break kneecaps and take names!

Once you’re finished with part one, you should have a good idea of what your TBR pile looks like. The next step is to set realistic targets for yourself. There are four months left in the year. Prioritize the books you have on your TBR list.

Quantify your targets. One thing we learned during our All Series challenge is that we work better when we have an active list to work from. When you can see your little progress bar filling up, you’re motivated to keep reading. A good example of a quantifiable target would be: Get TBR pile below [X number].


My main focus is going to be on Part 1 in this challenge. I want need to be more organized. Here are my goals:

  • Export my books from Goodreads and save to my hard drive. – COMPLETED!
  • Ensure that all review books are on REVIEW QUEUE shelf and are prioritized. – COMPLETED!
  • Add BACK BURNER shelf (books I have started to read but need to put down; not a DNF). – COMPLETED!
  • Add books to KINDLE FREEBIES shelf. – COMPLETED!
  • Add FIRST IN A SERIES TBR shelf. Decided against this.
  • Add books to FIRST IN A SERIES TBR shelf. Decided against this.
  • Add BOOKS IN A SERIES TBR shelf. Decided against this.
  • Add books to BOOKS IN A SERIES TBR shelf. Decided against this.
  • Add GIFTED shelf. – COMPLETED!
  • Add books to GIFTED shelf. – COMPLETED!
  • Go through books on TOP OF TBR shelf and organize (add/remove as needed). Got rid of this shelf completely.
  • Go through books on WISHLIST shelf and move books to TO READ shelf that I can get from the library.
  • Update KINDLE BOOKS TO LEND shelf and keep up to date. Oy. – COMPLETED!
  • Debate on whether or not to add genre-specific shelves. Decided not to add genre-specific shelves.
  • Debate on whether or not to add yearly top reads shelves. Decided not to add top reads shelves.
  • Finish cataloging print books from my physical bookcases on Goodreads. I have 2 shelves left.
  • Finish cataloging Kindle books on Goodreads. That’s just a big ‘ol mess. – COMPLETED!
  • Organize books on Kindle. I see a master reset in my future. I decided to keep everything in the cloud until I decide to read it except for review books, which will be loaded onto the Kindle. No more ‘Collections’ folder for me.
  • Go through KINDLE FREEBIES shelf and remove books (from the shelf as well as my Kindle/Amazon account) that no longer interest me. – COMPLETED!
  • Go through LIBRARY shelves and remove books that no longer interest me.
  • Make sure all ebooks on Calibre are cataloged on Goodreads. – COMPLETED!


Here are some of my shelf stats at the beginning of this challenge, which I’ll update every so often:

  • All: 1485 1477 1579 1576
  • To Read: 954 944 1002 985
  • Wishlist: 181 191 198
  • Gifted: 0 7 15 17
  • Kindle Books to Lend: 195 236 225
  • Kindle Freebies: 0 196 258 275
  • Own: 634 711 685 (includes physical & ebooks but excludes review ebooks)
  • TBR on the Kindle: 408 486 469
  • TBR on the Shelf: 273 276
  • Review Queue: 8 18


Hey J9, are you going to join me? Smile

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. Holy dark chocolate, that's a huge TBR! And I thought mine was pretty big, lol. I'd say organizing would help :) I should go through my freebies, too. It's too easy to download and then leave them to languish behind books I've paid to read.

    1. Yeah, it's a lot. I guess I should trim it down a bit but I'm going to work on organizing my books and shelves first.

      And you're right; it's too easy to download those freebies!

  2. Now double the count on your TBR pile and you have all the books in my library. Most are purchased books that need to be read still. Oy...I don't see an end to it. My bookshelves are TRULY overstuffed! LOL

    1. Holey Moley!! But you're right; there never seems to be an end to it. We're always constantly getting books.

  3. Um, holy SHITE, chic. You have crossed off a ton of stuff already. LOL

    1. I was motivated! And I was up until midnight last night working on it :)

  4. Wow. I love all the organization. For me, I feel like this challenge is as much about learning how to deal with incoming books in an orderly fashion as it is about clearing books off to-read lists.

    Exporting books is a good idea. I may have to do that as well.

    Glad you're joining us, Brianna! :)

  5. Oh wow! That's a wicked ton. I don't know if I can be that motivated without threat of mother-in-law visit (aka fate worse than death!) But I will definitely do some of this with you, though my TBR pile only has 3 or 4 books on it, and 2 aren't released yet so that shelf will be easy peasy lemon squesy!

  6. Damn...that's some serious organization. Love it!