The Unread Shelf Project 2018

I came across #theunreadshelfproject on Instagram and immediately knew it was something that could finally help me tackle my out-of-control TBR pile. The idea aims to encourage you to read all the unread books lying on your bookshelves. I love how the creators emphasise that there’s no shaming involved – the aim of the project is simply to slow down and read the books we already own.

Saz B  

Challenge 1: Count your unread books.

Thankfully the majority of my owned books are shelved on Goodreads otherwise this would have been a mammoth task. As of today, the number of unread physical books I own is 342. That’s quite an overwhelming number.

Challenge 2: How many unread books do you want on your shelves by the end of 2018?

Because I have such a high number, I’d love to reach 275 unread books by the end of the year. That means reading all the new books that arrive from now, as well as reading some of my owned books.

Challenge 3: Make a realistic plan to tackle your TBR.
  • No book buying from now until the end of February (except for my Goldsboro BOTM and my Illumicrate).
  • Sort out my unwanted books. Specifically those I know I’ll never actually get around to reading.
  • Reduce my book buying from March until the end of the year. If I feel compelled to buy a book, it should ideally be one I’ve already read. I think scheduling what books I can buy is one way to do this. I also can’t buy more than 5 new releases / new-to-me books per month.
  • Finish any series I’ve started.
  • Read new purchases within one month.
  • Catch up on ARCs.

Aga Putra  

What series’ do I need to finish?
  • Morning Star and Iron Gold by Pierce Brown – I’m almost finished Golden Son so want to read the rest of the series as soon as possible.
  • Traitor by David Hingley – this is the most recent book in the series and a new addition to my TBR pile.
  • The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin – this is the last book in the trilogy which I’ve put off reading as I know I need to reread the first two books before starting.
  • A Darkling Plain by Philip Reeve – this is another I’ve put off reading because it’s the last in the series.
  • Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel – I loved Wolf Hall so have no idea why I still haven’t read this yet.
  • Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas – I’ve been saving this until it’s a bit closer to the next ToG release.
  • Origin by Dan Brown – I’ve just bought this one so haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

I have so many amazing books to read that I really hope I commit to this project. I definitely think scheduling a few book purchases per month is the way to go for me as I’m quite an impulsive buyer. I also love collecting Folio Society and signed books so limiting these to books I’ve already read is one way to keep my buying under control. If anyone has any tips for reducing my TBR pile, please let me know in the comments!


  1. Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!

    20 January 2018 at 2:44 AM

    Good luck with this! I have a lot of unread books I own, but they are going to be left unread until I get back from college. I also have to sort out which books I actually want to read with the ones I own so long and have lost interest in. I also have to catch up on ARCs! I have only about four right now, so I can get through those pretty quickly if I stop dilly-dallying!
    Genni @ Ready, Set, Read! recently posted…The Brushed Off Sexual Assualt in Oblivion by Jennifer L. ArmentroutMy Profile

    1. scorpiobookdreams

      20 January 2018 at 3:21 AM

      I agree – I think sorting through all my books to get rid of the ones I’ve lost interest in is the first step. It’s quite overwhelming having so many books to read! 🙈

  2. kat @ paperbackdreamer

    20 January 2018 at 1:36 PM

    that is too many books !! I thought I was bad with my unread books being 102 and I’m dying now!
    Good luck to you though! 😛

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