TBR Pile Envy: How to read more and get your “must reads” down to a manageable stack.
They say, “Leaders are readers” and we at WWG tend to agree. TBR piles (meaning, “To Be Read” pile for those who aren’t up on the “lingo”) tend to grow at a rapid pace—increasing exponentially any time you step into a bookstore or talk to your favorite book buddy.
Bookworms unite! Don’t let your books stress you out! They’re meant to be a tool to help you de-stress, learn, and even relax!
You probably have one of these lists. It’s likely longer than you want it to be. You probably don’t even know where to start with it because it’s starting to creep its way down off the bookshelf and into other rooms in your house. Sound familiar?
It’s time to dive in head-first and start flying through those pages. Let’s talk about some great and easy ways to get through that pile (so you don’t feel as bad when you add two more books later today)!
Keep your TBR pile(s) visible.
You’re a lot more likely to get a few pages read if don’t have to dig your book out from the back of the bookshelf or from the inside of your oven (crazier things have been known to happen). Your books want you to read them—picture the look your dog gives you when he wants to go for a walk.
Re-evaluate your “must-read” books.
Don’t feel bad if this means one or two don’t make the cut. If it’s important enough, you’ll get to it! Use it as motivation to get through your others—or, recognize that maybe it didn’t belong on your list in the first place.
Organize your pile.
This can be done multiple ways—by date you found it or bought it (the longer it sits in the pile, the less likely you are to read it), by how much you want to read said books, by publication date, by color (also known as the “Pinterest method”), by author, by page number. There’s a million other ways to organize your own stack, but you get the idea. Make some kind of order from the chaos. Even doing just this will make you feel accomplished. Feeling ambitious? Take a look at our article “5 Key Distraction Blasters” to learn about staying focused while you grow your side-hustle, and organize more than just your books!
Start a TBR book club!
If you’ve got a few people reading the same genre of books (i.e. leadership, self-improvement, historical fiction, comic books, funny work memes), get together and talk it over. Other people wanting to interact with you about the books you’re reading will help hold you accountable in getting through chapter after chapter. This means two things: faster reading AND great conversation. Add appetizers and you’ve got yourself a party.
Make time for your books.
Take your book with you everywhere—EVERY. WHERE. You’d be amazed how much you can get through when you squeeze in a few minutes during your day.
It’s hard to imagine being able to find time for something like reading if you’re not already a reader. Life gets crazy-busy and the calendar fills up sometimes in the blink of an eye. If you make time to read, you will reap the benefits almost immediately.
December Book Challenge
Check your phone settings to see how much screen time you’ve spent on social media and your phone this week … it’ll tell you, down to the minute, by each specific app.
Now, take this information and do something with it! Instead of Facebook™ for an hour, try Audible™ during your commute or while doing dishes. Instead of Instagram™ scrolling for 20 min before bed, keep your book on your nightstand and get in another chapter (plus, your sleep will thank you for shutting off your screen before bed). A couple pages here and there and all the sudden you’ve finished another book!
No matter how you prioritize your TBR pile, and no matter how fast you get through it—one thing’s for sure, reading books is important. It’s another way for you continue to grow as a person, grow your business, absorb and learn new information, and create new connections in your brain that you can’t get anywhere else.
How do you manage your ever-growing TBR pile? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!