The TBR jar is a concept that quite a few readers (or, obsessive book hoarders who buy more than they read) use in order to decide which of their many unread books to read next. Now, I have a TBR pile that, upon stacking, would probably reach the moon, and I have a horrible habit of reading the most recent addition to the pile and forgetting the older ones. Add this to the fact that I never get rid of books and I always have the intention of reading a book until it has been finished, and you get an increasingly huge pile of books that I run the risk of forgetting about. How do I combat this? I created a TBR jar.
My TBR jar (or rather, pot) is a container in which I place slips of paper containing the names of every book on my shelf which I have yet to read. I drew two slips from this ‘jar’ upon its creation, and those books have to go on the TBR for that month. The rule is that I can only have two slips withdrawn from the jar at once: these books have to be read, I cannot discard a slip and choose a replacement, nor can I choose another until I have finished one of the previous selection. Therefore, I always have two books at a time which have been drawn from the jar that I am either currently reading or intending to read that month. If a book is not completed within the month in which it is drawn, it is rolled over into the next month’s TBR.
I put the name of every new book I come into the possession of into the jar immediately, so that it is not forgotten about. I also do not sit and go through the slips to eliminate read books as it is incredibly time-consuming, therefore if I draw a book that I have already read, I discard it and pick another slip.
This jar has been in action for a month or so, and has served its purpose so far. ‘The Book of Tomorrow’ and ‘PS, I Love You’ by Cecelia Ahern and ‘The 5th Wave’ by Rick Yancey have all been selected from the jar and completed. All three books may well have remained unread for a while had I not selected them from the jar, and all three turned out to be brilliant books! The two current TBR jar reads are ‘Forsaken’ by Jana Oliver, which I have started but am not enjoying, and ‘The Uninvited by Liz Jensen, which I am yet to start.
That is about all I have to say about my TBR jar. If you find yourself in a state of despair over what to read next, create one of these jars, as it really is a useful way of reading those books that you otherwise may not read. You may even surprise yourself and find that a book that has been sitting on your shelf for an absolute age without being read becomes a firm favourite.