I don’t consider myself a particularly crafty person. I know how to crochet (barely) and cross-stitch, and I’m pretty good at following directions. But one day over on Twitter, Brianna of The Book Vixen was talking about her TBR Jar. So I found her original post and thought it sounded like fun. Plus, it might solve my issue of too many books, too little time.
I’d picked up some large mason jars at the grocery store for the BF when he decided he wanted to try canning (which, by the way, he was quite successful at). I’d been using one for jar salads, and we had a couple left over, so I grabbed one of those.
Next came the titles.
The idea is you write (or type) the titles of all the books on your e-reader and your physical bookshelf that you haven’t read yet. Some people use colored paper, some use white paper. I didn’t have any colored paper, but I do have in my possession some sparkly colored pens, so I set to work writing out titles.
I ended up dividing them by category: grey is erotic romance, red is New Adult, orange is fantasy/urban fantasy, pink is romance, blue is Young Adult, and purple is fiction (a category including some chick lit novels and some mysteries/thrillers).
When it came time to fold them and stuff them into the jar, I realized I had a problem.
There were a lot of them.
Now, I know I have a one-click addiction. If it’s free or 99 cents, nine times out of ten it’s going to end up on my Kindle. I’ve been trying to cut back and do samples instead, but…it doesn’t always work. As evidenced by my pile of paper. I knew I wouldn’t be able to mix them up once they were in the jar, so I got out one of our one-quart sauce pans. They didn’t all fit. At this point, the BF started laughing, and it got worse when I had to dig out our stockpot.
They didn’t fill it even halfway, but it gave me plenty of room to mix them up without having them fall out. And by some miracle, they all fit in the jar! They might be a bit squished, but whatever. If I can fit them all in the jar, that means I don’t have a problem, right?
Now for the rules:
This jar doesn’t have any titles that I’ve borrowed from the library or a friend. There are no non-fiction titles (though I have a few of those I haven’t read, either). And it doesn’t include any title I’ve received for review.
At the beginning of the month, I’ll pull out a slip of paper. That’s the book I’ll read this month. Depending on what category it falls into, I may end up pulling more. I read fast, and I read a lot. It’s not unusual for me to read 8-10 books in a month (mostly of the romance variety).
If the title doesn’t appeal to me, I’ll set it aside and pull a different one – but I can only do that once. So if the second title doesn’t appeal, either, I’m shit out of luck. I can choose between those two. Whichever one I don’t choose goes back in the jar.
Last rule: I ended up with a couple full trilogies in there. So if the title I pull is not the first in the series/trilogy, and I have to read the first book first in order for the overall story to make sense, I’ll read the first book instead. And if I have time, I’ll read the original one I pulled, too.
In the process of doing this, it occurred to me I may have a small problem buying books. Just a tiny one. Yeah, I read a lot, but apparently I’m not reading fast enough. So from now until the end of the year, no new books for me. Or at least, no new titles that I pay actual money for. What? My birthday’s next month. My family always gives me books.
I know, I know. Caveats defeat the purpose. But I’m hoping this will help me get through the massive backlog of books I’ve got. Anyway. If you make your own TBR jar, send me a picture!