The TBR Jar

The TBR Jar

So I did a little count of all my unread books yesterday and got to 60 before I got bored and gave up counting. Because I have such a large number I’ve decided to go back to using a TBR jar to pick what book I’m going to read next. I used this method last autumn and found it was a really fun way of picking what book I’m going to read next. It also meant I read some books that had been sitting on my shelves for years without being read.

The TBR jar is super simple to make. All you need is a list of your unread books and something to keep it in. And if you don’t want to make a physical TBR jar I’ve found a way of randomly picking a book using Goodreads. All you need to do is make a shelf with all your unread books, then view it as a list. Goodreads will number the books in the list so you can use a random number generator to randomly pick a book. I use this method if I can’t decide what book I want to buy next. Though its safe to say I won’t be buying any more books for a while.

I know that some people will donate a book if they pull its name out and they don’t want to read it. I’ve decided not to do this simply because I don’t want to donate a book I might enjoy just because I didn’t feel like reading it at the time.

And the book I will be reading next is…

The TBR Jar

Thanks for reading.
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116 thoughts on “The TBR Jar

  1. I’ve always liked the idea of a tbr jar but I’m such a mood reader that it just wouldn’t work with me, I’m afraid >__< But I love seeing other people's picks!
    I've also seen the reading challenge tbr jar thing, where you don't have a specific title but something like "Finish a series" "Read a novel by your favourite author" etc. and I think that one I could actually do without my moods interfering.
    Curious to see your next jar picks! 😀

    • Ahh yeah I know what you mean, sometimes I pick a book out and just don’t want to read it at that moment. Also it doesn’t really work if you pick the second or third part of a series you haven’t started yet. The tbr challenge sounds like a good idea!

  2. It’s crazy this post popped up today. I’ve been thinking about doing this with books, tv shows, movies, and video games.

  3. I might do this too! And I think if I draw the name 3 times without wanting to read it I will donate. Might add books to request from my library (since my wish list is about 150 books long!) Thanks!

  4. Great minds, Emma. I was just thinking I was way to lazy to make up all those little slips of paper and thought, oh, I’ll just use my Goodreads tbr shelf.

  5. I really like this. I think I’m gonna give it a shot soon. Also, really looking forward to hear what you think about Ocean at the End of the Lane!

  6. That’s a fantastic idea, what I’ve decided to do this year is choose five books and read those five (in no particular order) and then repeat the process and see how it goes 🙂

  7. If you haven’t finished the book yet I am sure you will enjoy reading it. Why I said about finishing it was because I couldn’t put it down once I started it – fantastic read and a great idea. I use my iPad for reading and I am wondering if I can find a random way to generate my next read on it. Will keep you posted if I succeed, or maybe a jar for me too. Happy reading 😄

  8. Is it fair to put in a book(s) you love so you can be surprised and read them again? 😉

    I like this idea, and have two book cases full of books I inherited from my in-laws. I actually did get rid of about 100 before we moved cross country, but there are still at least 100 or more left. A fun idea!

  9. Good idea. I go to the library with a little list, but they often don’t have the book I want on the shelf so I simply walk up and down the aisles and pick random books off the shelves. I’ve found some of the best books like that.

  10. I did this before Christmas to help me clear some books off my ereader! Its great for picking something different and unexpected that you wouldnt have consciously chosen yourself! 🙂

  11. Wow, this is what I should be doing! Sometimes I go back and forth when it comes to what to read next, and then get so frustrated that I don’t read anything. 😦 Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

  12. I read your post earlier today and have been thinking about it since. I have so so so many books that have been sitting on my shelves for years, have moved from one place to another with me, and are still unread. What a great way to inspire yourself to read all of those unread books. I actually like the idea of donating the ones you draw but still don’t want to read. But I would have a tough time doing that as well.

    I enjoy your blog! Thanks for writing it. 🙂

  13. What a great idea! I love the photo of it as well, with those little stars in there, it’s wonderful! Thankfully I haven’t needed to do this (yet)!

  14. Great idea! Great book, too =). When you used it last fall, how difficult was it to add books to the jar? Well, I suppose that’s not difficult, but to remember to add books to the jar? I’m worried I would forget to add the new books I hear about from friends as the year progresses.

    • Thanks! I have quite a bad memory and often forgot to add books to the jar. I got into a habit of keeping new books out somewhere noticeable and didn’t put them away in my bookcase until I had added them to the jar.

  15. That’s a good idea. I don’t usually have many books I haven’t read that I want to read, which is a different problem! But I love re-reading my favourites and have a good many to choose from. I seem to have an instinct about which book will speak to me best about whatever’s going on in my life – perhaps giving me advice or examples. It’s as if they fall into my hands at just the right time. I often don’t realise it consciously until I’m midway through reading. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this – my guess is that it’s quite common amongst readers.

  16. That’s a great way to chose the next book. I’ve been stuttering about the next book I’ve got to read as well. I usually mix it up: something heavy, something light. And you now reading a Neil Gaiman book – one of my favourite authors

  17. This sounds like a great idea! But I read according to my mood so this might not work for me. I might try it just for fun. 🙂

  18. I think this is a great idea! I always see or hear about books I’d like to read, but then I forget about them later. I will have to make one of these for myself. Thanks for your post 🙂

  19. This is a great idea. The problem is I went onto the kindle. I know books are nicer and I thought I’d never get used to it and would always prefer print books but I love it so much so I find print books uncomfortable and where’s the built in light?. Now I have about 1000 books on there last time I looked. Of those I actually only paid money for about 10. Free books are very variable some a great others awful – they may have been a good story but they are edited so badly it hurts to read them. Of course the classics remain the same in theory but they are not always transferred into an electronic book in the most user friendly way. Anyway I don’t fancy writing down 1000!! The problem is I forget what the book is about so have to go in to the kindle store to check the book description so I end up ‘buying’ another free one. Maybe I could come up with a similar system though.

    • I prefer having physical books but I really do like my Kindle as well. I didn’t know you could get so many free books on it. The free ones I have read have been terrible.

      I don’t think you would even need to write down all the books you have. Maybe make a list of the ones you really want to read. Could I also suggest you make a Goodreads account.

      I find it is really useful in organising all the books I have. I also think there is a way of automatically adding all the books you’ve bought on Amazon onto your Goodreads shelves.

      • Thanks for your reply I will have to have a think about Goodreads. I’m a bit obsessed I check Kindle top 100 best sellers the pick free books most days and download anything that looks remotely readable. I have also downloaded a lot of classics most of which are free. I also look on the kindle users forum frequently where they update regularly particularly useful for books that are free for a limited time. I find the best free ones tend to be from authors who have a number of books already but are trying to get themself known they tend to be better quality. There are also some very good ones that form part of a series I haven’t bought any from that but I have been tempted!!

  20. For one of those “last 10 books you bought” memes I had no idea what I’d bought recently so I closed my eyes and pulled 10 books at random out of my unread books shelves. Then I put them back in that order and tried to actually read them in that order. I think I made it through 4 before I got distracted by something I really wanted to read.

    • Yeah I’m always forgetting what books I’ve bought too. Apparently not having a pile of ‘new’ books is weird. Mine go straight on my shelves (usually to be forgotten about for a few months!)

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