CHALLENGE: Unbreaking the Shelves

If you’re just new to my blog, you probably haven’t yet realized the amount of books that are on my TBR pile. We’re talking HUNDREDS of books! It’s a little insane. Just recently, I marked off some of the books I planned to read as already being read. These were books that I had read previously, but hoped to reread for the blog. Needless to say, when the number of books that I own and haven’t read AT ALL started creeping up, I realized I should probably just mark these older books as read and continue working my way through the ever-growing pile.

So, when Amanda at On a Book Bender and Kelly at Reading the Paranormal talked about a NEW CHALLENGE to wrap up the year which involved whittling down their TBR shelves, I was IN!

My first plan of attack was to go through my Own-Must-Read and Wishlist shelves and get rid of some of books I was no longer interested in. The problem with my To-Read shelf was that I OWNED all of these books. So …

Goal #1: Pick out 10 books I am no longer interested in to donate to my library.

 Goal SURPASSED! I really took a look at the books on my shelves and found SIXTY-FIVE to donate to my library! As well as a pile of ARCs that I won through contests, but am just not interested in (I thought I’d give them to the library assistants, if they want them) AND some books that I’ve read but didn’t like. No sense in them cluttering up my shelves!

** Note: I managed to find more books after taking this picture, culling over 100 close to 150  TWO HUNDRED AND ONE books from my shelves. I’m feeling just a bit of anxiety getting rid of them, but life is about reading the GOOD books, not collecting books I’ll never read. 

**Note: Culled another 25 books from my shelves as of 09/30. 

Goal #2: Read more of my outstanding series books. 

Last month, I compiled a list of the series books that I had started reading, so I could see where I was in a series and what books needed to be read. There are a few of these series (what is the plural of series? series’s? series?) that I would LOVE to continue reading, but I always feel like there are so many OTHER books I need to be reading. So, I went through my list and picked out some series books that I would love to finish before the end of the year the series books I own for series that I’ve started:

  1. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (THHGTTG, #2), by Douglas Adams
  2. Life, The Universe, and Everything (THHGTTG, #3), by Douglas Adams
  3. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (THHGTTG, #4), by Douglas Adams
  4. Mostly Harmless (THHGTTG, #5), by Douglas Adams
  5. Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2), by Kendare Blake
  6. Deadly Appearances (Joanne Kilbourne, #1), by Gail Bowen
  7. Murder at the Mendel (Joanne Kilbourne, #2), by Gail Bowen
  8. The Wandering Soul Murders (Joanne Kilbourne, #3), by Gail Bowen
  9. A Colder Kind of Death (Joanne Kilbourne, #4), by Gail Bowen
  10. A Killing Spring (Joanne Kilbourne, #5), by Gail Bowen
  11. Verdict in Blood (Joanne Kilbourne, #6), by Gail Bowen
  12. Burying Ariel (Joanne Kilbourne, #7), by Gail Bowen
  13. Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood, by Anne Brashares
  14. City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments, #5), by Cassandra Clare
  15. The Strange Case of Finley Jane (The Steampunk Chronicles, #0.5), by Kady Cross
  16. The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, #3), by Melissa de la Cruz
  17. Keys to the Repository (Blue Bloods, #3.5), by Melissa de la Cruz
  18. Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods, #4), by Melissa de la Cruz
  19. One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2), by Jeaniene Frost
  20. At Grave’s End (Night Huntress, #3), by Jeaniene Frost
  21. Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4), by Diana Gabaldon
  22. The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5), by Diana Gabaldon
  23. A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6), by Diana Gabaldon
  24. Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, #2), by Charlaine Harris
  25. Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #3), by Charlaine Harris
  26. Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, #4), by Charlaine Harris
  27. Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse, #5), by Charlaine Harris
  28. Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #6), by Charlaine Harris
  29. Altogether Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #7), by Charlaine Harris
  30. The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, #2), by Julie Kagawa
  31. The Iron King (Iron Fey, #3), by Julie Kagawa
  32. The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4), by Julie Kagawa
  33. The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #3), by C. S. Lewis
  34. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #5), by C. S. Lewis
  35. The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, #6), by C. S. Lewis
  36. The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7), by C. S. Lewis
  37. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Twilight, #3.5), by Stephenie Meyer
  38. Dark Flame (The Immortals, #4), by Alyson Noel
  39. Such Wicked Intent (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, #2), by Kenneth Oppel
  40. The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson, #4), by Rick Riordan
  41. The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson, #5), by Rick Riordan

Goal #3: Read all of my outstanding review books. 

Since I am NO LONGER accepting review books, one major goal for me is to clear all of my outstanding ones out of my TBR pile by the end of the year. I’m sure I’ve already committed a major blogger faux pas by declining my NetGalley review books that I had on my eReader (I think 5 titles?), but I can’t do that to the physical books. Once they’re read and the review is posted or scheduled, I will feel so much better!

  1. Through to You, by Emily Hainsworth
  2. Little Star, by John Ajvide Lindqvist
  3. Catherine, by April Lindner
  4. Almost Amish, by Kathryn Cushman
  5. Who I Kissed, by Janet Gurtler
  6. Pretty When She Kills (Pretty When She Dies, #2), by Rhiannon Frater
  7. The Devil’s Metal (Devils, #1), by Karina Halle
  8. Husk, by Corey Redekop
  9. At What Cost, by J. Andersen
  10. Two and Twenty Tales, by various authors
  11. She’s Got Issues, by Nicole Unice
  12. The Breath of Allah, by Steven W. Ritcheson
  13. Furious, by Jill Wolfson
  14. The Humming Room, by Ellen Potter
  15. The Night She Disappeared, by April Henry

Note: Yeah, yeah, yeah. This list is getting longer. I just can’t stay away from some titles! Though, I admit, my incoming review books have gone down a LOT. 

Goal #4: Read some of the books that have been given to me.

  1. For Darkness Shows the Stars, by Diana Peterfreund (gifted by Lisa)
  2. Someone Else’s Life, by Katie Dale (gifted by Kelsey)
  3. Never Enough, by Denise Jaden (gifted by Sarah)
  4. Tommy Nightmare (The Paranormals, #2), by J. L. Bryan (gifted by Kelsey)
  5. Alexander Death (The Paranormals, #3), by J. L. Bryan (gifted by Kelsey)
  6. In a Glass Grimmly (A Tale Dark and Grimm, #2), by Adam Gidwitz (ARC gifted by Alexa)
  7. Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1), by Tahereh Mafi (gifted by Michele)
  8. This is Not a Test, by Courtney Summers (gifted by Sarah)
  9. Red Fox (Experiment in Terror, #2), by Karina Halle (gifted by the author!)
  10. Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight, #1), by Darynda Jones (gifted by Jenni)
  11. Send, by Patty Blount (gifted by Jenni)

Goal #5: Start some new series books.

As much as I am against the series book, I own a ton of them. I don’t know when I’m going to get around to reading them, so it would be best if I just started reading some of them. Some books aren’t listed here, but there are some series that I’ve actually started reading, but stopped partway through and now have no idea what happened or where they left off. These are all of the first books in series that I own and would like to start:

  1. Illuminate (Gilded Wings, #1), by Aimee Agresti
  2. The Turning (Blood Ties, #1), by Jennifer Armintrout (audiobook)
  3. Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, #1), by Kelley Armstrong
  4. Pure (Pure, #1), by Julianna Baggott
  5. A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1), by Libba Bray
  6. The Carrie Diaries (The Carrie Diaries, #1), by Candace Bushnell
  7. Insatiable (Insatiable, #1), by Meg Cabot
  8. Belles (Belles, #1), by Jen Calonita
  9. Eve (Eve, #1), by Anna Carey
  10. The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1), by Chris Colfer
  11. Matched (Matched, #1), by Ally Condie
  12. The Au Pairs (The Au Pairs, #1), by Melissa de la Cruz
  13. Croak (Croak, #1), by Gina Damico
  14. Bared to You (Crossfire, #1), by Sylvia Day
  15. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1), by Beth Fantaskey
  16. Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1), by Becca Fitzpatrick
  17. The Tale of the Vampire Bride (The Vampire Bride, #1), by Rhiannon Frater
  18. Cold Kiss (Cold Kiss, #1), by Amy Garvey
  19. Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things, #1), by Anna Godbersen
  20. The Changeling (Order of Darkness, #1), by Philippa Gregory
  21. Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror, #1), by Karina Halle
  22. Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool, #1), by Gemma Halliday
  23. The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1), by Jenny Han
  24. Switched (Trylle Trilogy, #1), by Amanda Hocking
  25. Wake (Watersong, #1), by Amanda Hocking
  26. Temptation (Temptation, #1), by Karen Ann Hopkins
  27. Reckoning Light (The Afterglow Trilogy, #1), by Alyssa Rose Ivy
  28. Possession (Possession, #1), by Elana Johnson
  29. 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1), by Maureen Johnson
  30. Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, #1), by Lesley Livingston
  31. I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1), by Pittacus Lore
  32. Pretty Crooked (Pretty Crooked, #1), by Elisa Ludwig
  33. The Spellman Files (The Spellmans, #1), by Lisa Lutz
  34. Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1), by Sarah J. Mass
  35. Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura, #1), by Jonathan Maberry
  36. A Rogue By Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels, #1), by Sarah MacLean
  37. Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1), by Tahereh Mafi
  38. Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1), by Jamie McGuire
  39. Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1), by Richelle Mead
  40. Incarnate (Newsoul, #1), by Jodi Meadows
  41. Cinder (Cinder, #1), by Marissa Meyer
  42. War Horse (War Horse, #1), by Michael Morpurgo
  43. Torn (Torn Trilogy, #1), by Erica O’Rourke
  44. Airborne (Matt Cruse, #1), by Kenneth Oppel
  45. Hemlock (Hemlock, #1), by Kathleen Peacock
  46. Summer of the Midnight Sun (Alaskan Quest, #1), by Tracie Peterson
  47. Wings (Wings, #1), by Aprilynne Pike
  48. Past Midnight (Past Midnight, #1), by Mara Purnhagen
  49. Virals (Virals, #1), by Kathy Reichs
  50. The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1), by Carrie Ryan
  51. Wicked Nights (Angels of the Dark, #1), by Gena Showalter
  52. Inside (Inside-Outside, #1), by Maria V. Snyder
  53. Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Smoke & Bone, #1), by Laini Taylor
  54. The Deepest Cut (MacKinnon Curse, #1), by J. A. Templeton
  55. The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings, #1), by J. R. R. Tolkein
  56. The Importance of Being Married (Jessica Wild, #1), by Gemma Townley
  57. Rabbit Run (Rabbit Angstrom, #1), by John Updike
  58. A Witch in Winter (Winter, #1), by Ruth Warburton
  59. Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1), by J. R. Ward
  60. Leviathan (Leviathan, #1), by Scott Westerfeld
  61. Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1), by Moira Young


Get free ebooks shelf under 20:

As of 10/08 — 69

Get own-must-read shelf under (or around) 300: 

As of 10/08 — 345

Get my raks-won-gifts shelf under 30: 

As of 10/08 — 53

Read my 4 6 signed books (leaving out anthology and series book):

As of 10/08 — 0/6

As far as my calculations go, with the 17 weeks that are left in the year, I could read at LEAST 3 books a week (hopefully more), so that means I COULD read at least 50 books before the end of the year. Of course, I’m hoping that I read slightly more than that, but even if I don’t, this should help with my goals!


When it comes to reading all of these books, my priorities for the first few months will rotate between review books and spooky books, then series books and gifted/won books.

EVENTUALLY, I’d love to get my Own-Must-Read shelf UNDER 400 300. THAT would be awesome! I dream of the day when it’s only double digits!



OK, yes, I do love having books on my shelves, but enough is enough. I have way too many books that I haven’t and will not read. I think part of me just wants to have ALL THE BOOKS on my shelves, but another part of me wants to have the books I love and the books I will want to reread. I have lots of these on my shelves, but I also have plenty of books I’ve gotten for free, or bought super cheap just to bulk up my collection. This has to stop!

2. Start utilizing the library!

My library has a GREAT selection of books! I need to use the library for those books where I don’t know the author, don’t know the genre, or maybe books I want to read, but am unsure on whether or not I’ll like them. More times than not, I’ll buy these books then be totally disappointed with them.

3. Learn to let go of books. 

Just because I bought a book doesn’t mean it has to stay on my shelf. Again, this goes with #1 — if I hate a book, donate it or give it to someone who will love it. Or else it just stays sad on my shelf.

4. Stop accepting review books. 

This was awesome when I first started blogging — it was awesome being accepted for review copies! But this is not why I started my blog. This is why I will NOT be accepted or requesting review copies. I won’t put a time limit on this, but let’s just say this won’t change anytime soon.

Are you participating in this challenge? What are your year-end goals?

© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.


35 thoughts on “CHALLENGE: Unbreaking the Shelves

  1. Oh wow!! Such a great idea for all these goals! I’m tempted to join in but a little afraid at making some unrealistic goals 😉 I’ve semi-done ones unofficially… where I tell myself I’ll get to at least a few of the self-pubs I had previously agreed to read, and balance it out with a few review books, a few purchased books, etc. .. so I don’t get bogged down with all one “reason” to be reading.. 🙂

    Best of luck to you on the challenge! 😀

    • Yeah, I make a lot of unrealistic goals. 🙂 I’m hoping this one works! It does help to go through and purge some of the books that I will NEVER read. Like I said, I’m such a collector of unnecessary books that it would be nice to go through them each year and get rid of the ones that just seem to collect dust. It also helps that I’m trying to NOT buy any books right now. Looking at my own-must-read list is quite daunting!

      Thanks for the luck!

  2. Your library is going to love you even more! The most I’ve ever donated at one time was

    This is an awesome challenge, but I’m not going to participate at this time, I actually don’t have that many books, right now. I think there is about 60 I have that I haven’t read yet.. Yeah, that’s still a lot, but managable!

    You’re very brave with all of these goals! I hope you love the rest of the Iron Fey books ❤ Team Ash!! ❤ I also love Grimmalkin and Ironhorse!! I also really enjoy the Sookie books!

    Good luck with this challenge!

    • Thank you, Jenn! I might have to hold off from bringing these to the library, though, since they’re renovating and don’t have the space right now!

      That’s awesome that you only have about 60 to read … I wish I could get to that point!

      I hope I love the Iron Fey and the Sookie books as well! I’ve started the latter and really disliked it, but that was about 3 years ago, so I’m hoping my tastes have changed!

      • I’m glad you think that that’s not very many, my husband thinks I have too Pssh, he knows nothing!

        Maybe when you give the Sookie books a second try you might like them more *shrug*

      • Oh, I’m sure my husband thinks I have way too many, too! I just hope I can stick to the plan of reading them all so that I can be like, “Oh, only a handful are unread!”

        I hope the Sookie Stackhouse ones are better a second time around … who knows!

  3. Woooooo!!! You can do it, Kristilyn! And seriously, get to the library! I get practically everything I read there, and it REALLY cuts down on cost! I’m so excited for this challenge (my goals post goes up tomorrow morning) – I’ll definitely be cheering you on!

  4. Wow. You are all over this challenge. I kinda love you right now for jumping in with both feet. Anything I can do help you stay motivated, let me know. Maybe we can have a motivational night on Twitter or… something.

    Seriously, I am way impressed and I’m so happy you’re joining us!

    • A motivational night would be awesome! I think I HAD to jump in with both feet … my shelves were getting out of control. The sad thing is that even with purging so many books, there are still SO MANY BOOKS on my shelves! It’s like taking away that many books still didn’t make a dent, but hopefully if I get my butt reading them, it’ll get down to a reasonable number in no time!

      I’m happy to be joining in, too!

  5. I can’t believe you have such a BIG PILE of books to donate. That’s awesome, but it’s going to be tiring carrying that off into the library! You’re absolutely crazy over books! Hopefully, you’ll reach all of your goals and also your personal goals as well.

    • Thanks, Leanne! I guess this is why we have cars, right? But still … there are at least 10 bags worth of books. I might hold off for a little while before bringing them in. My library is renovating anyway and doesn’t have the room yet!

  6. Using the library helps a lot, and it really can save you money as well! I’m trying to stick with using it more while finishing what I already have, I don’t want my collection to get out of hand either.
    It’s so awesome that you’re doing this, and I wish you lots of luck! Donating a bunch of books must feel really good too.

    • It feels so good! And I haven’t even brought them in yet! Just seeing my shelves breathe a little easier makes me feel better.

      And I really hope to keep using the library — with interlibrary loans, it makes reading all the great new books so much easier! I need to start really paying attention to what I’m spending my money on! Can’t be frivolous with my books anymore.

    • Yes, we should!! I’m glad that A Great and Terrible Beauty is on your list, too! I’ve been wanting to read it FOREVER! I figured I was taking a step in the right direction with finally getting it. And Belles, Cinder, and Bitten all look good, too! You pegged me as someone who’s already read that Kelley Armstrong series — I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who hasn’t!

  7. Holy SHITE! I mean, wow. I definitely plant to join the fun but your awesomely organized post has me freaked out, a little. Heh. I mean, I love to organize but it’s a lot of work. I guess I better get to it…

    • It’s a LOT of work! I’m glad to be getting it done, though. It’s so much easier to get organized in other parts of my life, though … you’d think the books would be the easy part!

  8. 201 books??? Jesus Christ!

    I completely agree with you, by the way. I need to learn to let them go, say no to requests (and stop requesting them from publishers) and stop buying them. I actually managed to stop buying books about a month ago – I realised I’ve way too many review books – way more than I can handle right now. So I declined my NG books as well and stopped buying new ones. I’ll try to finish my review books in the next few months – I know I’ll feel so much better afterwards. 🙂

    Best of luck with the challenge!

    • It’s so hard when you’re a book blogger — you just think that you MUST say yes to everything, or at least some things. That’s great that you haven’t bought books for a month! I wish I could be like that … here’s to a good start!

      And I’m happy to see I’m not the only one who declined NetGalley books … I felt bad, but it had to be done! And you’re right — you WILL feel much better!

      Thanks for the luck!

  9. Holy CRAP! There are a LOT of books you still plan to tackle by the end of the year. I wish you the best with racing through them.

    Also, doesn’t it feel GREAT to cull the bookshelves? I do that periodically and take them down to Half Price Books for a little bit of extra cash (unless, of course, they’re ARCs).

    • Thank you, Kelley!

      And yes, it feels great to get rid of a lot of these books! I only pulled one from the pile! We did have a used bookstore in town where I was going to take them, but they’re closing down, so I can’t. Oh well — I took them to 2 libraries!

  10. Your librarians are going to love you!! That is a lot of books to get rid of. But it’s also a good thing to keep the books that you really want to read and have read/loved. I didn’t participate in this but I did clean up my goodreads shelves. (I culled my own shelves a few months ago).
    That’s is also an impressive amount of books to read by the end of the year! Go you!

  11. Pingback: Clock Rewinders (5) | Reading In Winter

  12. Pingback: DISCUSSION: How to Purge Your Bookcases | Reading In Winter

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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