Clearing Out My Life to Clear Out My Head | (Featuring a Big TBR Dump!)

Bookshelf with variety of books, flowers and objects

2019 didn’t exactly go off to the start I had planned. I was all ready to work on my blog, participate in a buddy read (with the Dragons & Tea Book Club) and just generally jump into the new year.

Instead, I got ill within one day of the buddy read and (unfortunately!) had to drop out. I kind of… disappeared as far as blogging’s concerned. On top of all that, my mental health wasn’t exactly great through most of January.

So What Did I Do About It?

While I wasn’t doing much during this time, I did come up with a plan. Since I couldn’t create, the best thing I could do was create space for myself to think. As a notorious collector of clutter, I have half a closet of clothes I don’t wear, a good number of books I don’t really want to read, and a Goodreads shelf I can’t even contemplate. Or, I did.

Clearing Out

I started by throwing out all the random rubbish I was keeping around my room. Then I had to go through my extensive jumper collection and narrow it down a bit (the rest of my closet is still staring at me menacingly). Next came the part you’re probably interested in:

The Big TBR Dump

My Goodreads Want to Read shelf came in at a whopping 574 books – a number I was never going to read. It was also filled with titles I had little to no interest in reading. Books I had seen a photo or review of once, then added to the growing shelf. There were also a lot of hyped books that I felt like I had to read in order to be part of the bookish community – even if I wasn’t that keen on the sound of them.

They all went. 574 books were cut down to 307. I divided these between my Want to Read shelf and a new Interested shelf I created, for books that I didn’t want to forget about but wasn’t sure I wanted to read. This left my TBR at 139 books. Quite a step down, and quite a bit less overwhelming for me.

Here are some that got axed:

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas UK book cover
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Possibly the most hyped series in the YA book community, I even owned a physical copy of this book. But I just realised I just wasn’t that interested in it. I gave my copy to a friend who I think is more likely to read it than I am. A Court of Thorns and Roses also went.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare book cover
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Despite the popularity of this series (not to mention my closest bookish friend telling me it’s her favourite) I couldn’t get myself to feel excited about this book. Cassandra Clare wasn’t a complete write-off however, I’m still keen to pick up The Infernal Devices.

Lancelot by Giles Kristian book cover
Lancelot by Giles Kristian

This is a huge historical fantasy which I’ll admit I bought purely because it was cheap – £5 for a hardback! But I’ve been in a real bad fantasy slump for months now, and the more I looked at this book sitting on top of my shelf the less I wanted to read it. It just wasn’t right for me.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard book cover
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Another victim of hype, I dumped this series from my shelves after realising I’m just not that fond of generic YA fantasy. Not to mention the disappointing reviews War Storm got.

Honorary Mentions

I’m feeling a lot better after this big clearout, and my bookshelf looks a lot tidier too. For anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed by their TBR, I’d recommend it! It takes a little bravery, but the results are highly satifsying.


How big is your Want to Read shelf? Have you dumped any books lately? On the contrary, what’ve you added to your TBR that you’re really excited for?
Let me know in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Clearing Out My Life to Clear Out My Head | (Featuring a Big TBR Dump!)

  1. This is such a great idea!! It’s so easy to let our TBRs keep growing until they become too overwhelming. I’m feeling inspired to clear mine out now too! Also even though you took City of Bones off your TBR (understandable!) I’m super glad you’re still interested in The Infernal Devices❤️ My fave!!

    Liked by 1 person

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