TBR Challenge

Cora’s TBR Challenge 2017

It grows and grows and grows…unless we tame it. Here’s to another year of trying to conquer our TBR piles!

Photo credit: ginnerobot via Flickr
Photo credit: ginnerobot via Flickr

The past few years I’ve done a romance A to Z challenge, in addition to this TBR Challenge and the overall goal I set on Goodreads. But this year I’ve decided to forgo the A to Z challenge (it’s a bit confining–reading books whose titles or authors begin with each letter of the alphabet) to focus on reading in general, and my older books in particular. With all the writing I’ve got on tap for this year, simpler is better when it comes to reading  🙂

Here are my conditions for this year:

1. How many books from your TBR pile will you read? I’m setting my goal at 21 books from the TBR pile this year. That three more than last year, but in letting go of the A to Z challenge I was participating in, I’ll have more freedom in the titles I select.

2. How long have your books been waiting? For the purposes of this challenge, the books I read must have been acquired by me or placed on my library TBR list before August 1, 2016. This means I can’t buy new books in January and count them toward my TBR Challenge come September–which I found myself doing at least once during the first year, and kind of defeats the purpose of the challenge.

3. How will you hold yourself accountable? Like years past, I’ll post here once a month to share my progress and see how you all are doing. I found that creating a Goodreads shelf and the dedicated page on this blog to be enormously helpful, too, so I’ll do both again. I’m a very visual person and being able to see the collection of books that I’ve read gives me a nice sense of accomplishment, which makes me want to read more TBR books.

4. What about adding more books to the pile? This year I’m going to keep track not only of the books I read, but those I buy. At least half the reason I have such a TBR problem is because I buy books faster than I can read them. So this year I’m making a second Goodreads shelf to keep track of what exactly I purchase through the year. Being a former Math teacher numbers appeal to me, and having the number of books I’ve read to compare directly to the number of books I bought ought to make an impression. I won’t promise to stop buying books, but at least I’ll know how fast I’m buying them!

So how ’bout it? Who’s in this year? Leave a comment with your goal and any special rules you’re using. We can do this!

9 thoughts on “Cora’s TBR Challenge 2017”

  1. Happy New Year, Cora! I just set up the TBR shelf on GR, per your suggestion. My GR reading goal for the year is bumped up to 150. I don’t want to know how many new books I purchase – that might be too scary! For your challenge, I want to set up a goal to read some series books I have long been holding on my shelf.

    1. Finish Mackenzies & McBrides (3 books & 2 novellas left)
    2. Start and finish Cynsters & the extended series (I only read the 1st book and a couple of the spin-off books, which will require rereads)
    3. Start and finish Pennyroyal Green series
    4. Finish Deep in the Heart of Texas series by Katie Lane (4 books & a novella left)
    5. Mary Balogh’s Survivor’s Club series (I only read the first book)

    I will definitely mix in some other series and books, new and old. I am sticking with romance and women’s fiction (HEA required.) I will include one book a month of books I have won, either on GR or other blogs or directly from the authors. I get upset that I put these off, since I feel I am letting the authors down. And I have won a lot, over the years!


    1. I like the clause about reading at least one book a month that you’ve won. That’s a good way to stop books from piling up in the first place (or at least slow down the pace they pile up!). The Cynsters, the Pennyroyal Green series, and the Survivor’s Club books are all on my list, too. I don’t know that I’ll ever get through the Cynsters (not the extended series, anyway) because there are so many, but I might finally read the other two 🙂


      1. I read the Cynster Sisters Trilogy and they were so, so good! Also, By Winter’s Light. Maybe we can both get through Pennyroyal and Survivors this year. Not too daunting.


  2. I really love plotting out what I plan to read for the year ahead of time. I am usually an impulsive reader, but that often means I start many and finish few books. I’m also a “read multiple books at the same time” reader, but I could still make this sort of plan work. It actually helps me to have less choices, to train my focus on one or two books at a time. I’m going to add creating a Goodreads shelf for this to my To Do list for this week! Thanks for the great idea, Cora. 🙂


    1. I’m definitely an impulsive reader, and I frequently have multiple books going at once, too. It’s my way of reading for fun and getting my research in at the same time 🙂 Good luck with your reading goals this year–and your writing ones, too!


  3. Happy New Year, Cora!

    Last year, I created a ‘Priority To-Read Shelf’ on Goodreads and I’ll be focusing on these books during 2017. I have 73 books on there at the moment and I’m hoping to read at least 36 of them, an average of 3 books a month (I’m allowing time for reviewing as well).

    I’m restricting the acquisition of additional books to new releases by my top favourite authors only. As the releases will be spread out throughout the year, it should allow me the capacity to read these as well my target of 36 books.


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