TBR update: year three – much progress?

Readers have this funny habit of buying books faster than they can consume them. This often leads to TBR growing at an exponential rate while the actual number of read books stays relatively low. I was one of those readers. The desire to own all those books outweighed the ability to read them. However, I have changed my ways. Back in 2018, I made the choice to focus on reading the books I owned and limit how many books I purchased. I certainly still buy books, but I feel like I am doing a much better job of keeping up with those recent purchases while working through my backlog. In the first year, I put a decent dent in the pile. During the second year, I once again worked hard to reduce my TBR. And now it’s been three years since I started and that means it’s time for TBR update: year three, to show how much I have read in the last year.

TBR update: year three

The read & reference shelf

As the name would suggest, this shelf mostly houses my read and reference books. Those books that make it onto this shelf are ones I have read and enjoyed enough to want to keep. There is a bit of overflow on this shelf as well, unread books that don’t fit on my other shelves. However, for the most part, these books have previously been read. Because of this, is also one of the best-looking shelves when showing off my ratio of read to unread books.

The shelf before any of the unread books are removed.
The shelf after the unread books are removed,.
A decently small pile of unread books.

As you can see, there are very few unread books on this shelf.

The manga shelf

My beloved manga shelf. The vast majority of my reading as of late has been manga. While I still love full-length novels, there is something special about absorbing an amazing story in a single sitting, especially with the beautiful art that comes along with it. My manga collection has grown quite a bit since the last update. In fact, there is quite a bit of manga that no longer fits on this single bookshelf because I own so many of them. But this shows most of my manga.

The manga shelf in all its glory. Full of read and unread books.
Not much has changed now that the unread books have been removed.
A small pile of unread books.

Again, it’s not too bad. I am actively reading Sword Art Online, so it won’t take too long for me to get through those books. As for that single volume of The Girl From The Other Side, I am waiting to get my hands on volume 9, which has been hard to get, otherwise, I would have read that one already.

The fantasy shelf

This is where we go from good to worse. I love fantasy, it’s my favorite genre and because of that, I have accumulated a number of fantasy books over the years. A number of these series I have started but never finished – though that’s something I will be working on in the future. This shelf is also home to some manga and read books overflow from my other shelves.

Look at all those beautiful fantasy novels. I’m sure I have read most of these, right?
Where did the books go? I may love fantasy but I clearly don’t read it enough.


One big pile of unread books. This shelf certainly needs so work.

It’s a big pile. However, I have gone from 2 piles of shame last year to one big pile of shame this year. Clearly, I have made progress but there is still work to do.

The Star Wars shelf

I saved the best (or worst) for last. My Star Wars shelf holds a collection that took about 20 years to build. It has all of the Legends, previously known as Expanded Universe, novels. There was a time when I almost exclusively read Star Wars books and loved all of them. Then, there came a point when I didn’t have time to read but kept building this collection in hopes I would read them one day. I may still be waiting for that day to come, but these books bring me so much joy.

The Star Wars shelf with all of the books on it.
The Star Wars shelf once all of the unread books have been removed.
A very large pile of unread Star Wars books.

Yup, that is a whole lot of unread books. I did put a small dent in it compared to last year, but it’s clear that I really need to work on this shelf. Luckily, this pile of unread books means that I have a near-endless supply of reading for the next few years. I will get through these books.

I hope you enjoyed my TBR update: year three. How is your TBR looking? Is it small and manageable or large and overwhelming?


  1. I love the visual of the shelf with the unread books removed. That’s a great way to see at a glance how much you have done. It must have taken a long time to rearrange each genre! Thanks for your explanation of why manga books are so appealing to you. I always have fun reading your book posts!

    1. It really does highlight how many books are unread. It took me an entire day to pull the books off, take pictures of them, and put them back on the shelf. Good thing I only have to do this once a year.

  2. I should organize my books like this. Thanks for sharing! I love to read!

    1. Certainly, give it a try. Doing it this way will give you the motivation needed to read them.

  3. You will go through them all at some point!:) I am mainly reading digital books and constantly delete the ones I’ve read, but I regularly download new books too, so it is a bit tricky to see where I’m at—but still reading!

    1. That’s the plan! I figure I easily have a few year’s worth of reading at my fingertips if I read a minimum of 5 books a month. Ah, yes that would be hard to keep track of how much you have but deleting them as you go is a great way to do it. I don’t even want to see how many ebooks I have unread, haha, I so rarely pick up my Kindle since I prefer physical books but I know I have a ridiculous amount of ebooks to get through as well.

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