I just cut my Goodreads TBR list down by over 100 books. AND IT FEELS SO GOOD!
I should note that I use the to read shelf as a list of books I’m interested in reading, most (less than 1%) of which I don’t actually own. It’s a reference list. I don’t typically buy books that I haven’t read (with a few exceptions).
Its amazing the types of books that end up on your to read shelf. Now whenever I open my to read shelf I don’t the same 5 books that have been there since I started Goodreads staring at me and I can more easily find the next book I’m actually interested in reading. Not all the books I cleared out were there for ages, many of them were from the time I had just learned about BookTube and was adding all the books! to my list that I was remotely interested in. However, since I was in the middle of grad school having finished 4.5 years of undergrad where I banned myself from reading books, I was mostly just missing books. Thus a pruning was very much needed.
I thought I would hate removing all those books from my to read shelf but it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. Part of this is because I found a way to have shelves that are exclusive of the read, to read or currently reading lists. Basically, if you have ever wanted a DNF shelf but couldn’t figure out how to make one without also having the book in the ‘read’ shelf….I learned how to do so! And what I did with this power is make a ‘read someday’ shelf where I can put the books I do want to get to…..someday. This allowed me to mentally delete the ones that I knew I wasn’t going to ever get to, move aside the ones I still wanted to keep track of for someday and leave my to-read shelf open to the books I’m interested in reading now or in the near future.
You could argue that I just moved the bulk of the clutter to a new shelf; I’m not going to lie, that is the truth. However, I also did delete a lot of books from my to read shelf. I started with about 285 books on my to read shelf. Now I have 153 books on that shelf and 62 books on my read someday shelf. Meaning about half of the books I removed and half I shuffled to another shelf, but over all less clutter all around. And more organization. Most of the books now on my read someday shelf are ones I need to be in a certain mood for. There is a handful and a half of more biography/sciency type non-fictiony books that I am very much interested in but you need to be in the right mood to read about the job of a medical examiner.
Overall, instead of feeling sad about possibly deleting a really good book that I might want to read someday, I feel lighter, happy and free-er from the clutter and expectation that was dragging me down when I looked at that shelf that was supposed to be a happy reference but was really just weighting me down.