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Lets Talk | My Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge


So years ago I had an owned TBR that was totally out of control. I had over 100 and something unread books and it stressed me out like you may or may not be able to imagine. I felt guilty about reading newer books and buying any book, I even told people not to buy me anymore books because I felt like I was not appreciating their present enough because it took me way to long to read. This was years ago, maybe 5 years ago? I can’t remember off the top of my head, but it was around this time I tried everything to help my TBR shrink.

I tried buying bans, I tried setting monthly book goals, and I tried unhauling a ton as well. But, that just didn’t work for me. Buying bans are not realistic for me, I like adding new books to my owned TBR. I watch booktude and run a bookblog, How am I never going to buy a new book until I read all of my old ones? It is unrealistic, so it failed.

I tried saying I must read x amount of books a month to get to 0 by this date…. Yeah, that was way to much pressure for me and I ended up reading less than I ever had. On top of that I felt pressured and just donated a ton of books. That didn’t work as well because I did really want to read them so I ended up buying them again anyway. All the “typical” getting your TBR lower didn’t work for me.

So one day on tumblr, yes I started on tumblr and I am proud of that, I saw someone say “I need to read 5 books!” I wish I remembered who because I would send them so many thank you notes constantly. This simple phrase led me into figuring out a system that worked for my personality and my TBR.


What is Read 5, Buy 1?

Well, Read 5, Buy 1 is something I used to get my TBR down to 30 earlier this year. It is now nearly at 60 thanks to bookcon, which I am okay with. This is a very straight forward system that is easy to track. You read 5 books, any books, old or new, just read any 5 books. Then you are able to go to the store and buy 1 without any guilt.

I have used this “Challenge” to get from over 150 books down to normally 30 book on and off for years. I recently started it again on April 23rd, 2018. Now, you may have been read Amy’s post New Goal: Reducing My TBR and crediting me, but I think that was just because I kept talking about it so much. One thing that makes this work so well for me is I need to find ways to make myself accountable. I tell people, I make lists, chat, and annoy people with it. You can even see it in my bullet journal posts, Bullet Journal | June 2018. The more people know you are doing it the less likely you will want to disappoint them. Also, Amy if you are reading this YOU CAN DO IT!


My Current Read 5, Buy 1 Update

  • Irena’s Children
  • Fingerprints of Previous Owners
  • Circe
  • Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde
  • The Female Persuasion
    • The Nest
  • The Haunting of Hill House
  • My Lady’s Choosing
  • The Storm of the Century
  • When Dimple Met Rishi
  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
    • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
  • The Pieces
  • Sleeping Beauties
  • And Then There Were None
  • Every Exquisite Thing
  • Cleopatra
    • All The Ugly and Wonderful Things
  • Of Mice and Men
  • End of Watch
  • The Red Pony
  • West
  • The Nest
    • NOS4A2
  • The Death of Mrs. Westaway
  • Your Soul is a River
  • Perdy Vol. 1
  • The Universe Has Your Back
  • The Little Princess
    • The Poppy War
  • Lying in Wait
  • In the Days of Rain
  • The Pillars of Earth
  • The Invisible Man
  • TBDDivider

As you can see from this challenge I read 29 books, but I only added 5 books to my collection through buying. I am not counting that books I picked up at bookcon, because that would defeat the purpose of bookcon. But, you can see I was able to remove 29 books from my TBR and not miss out on books everyone has been talking about. That is why this is the best method for me personally.

DividerHow do you keep your TBR under control?

Would you consider this challenge?


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30 thoughts on “Lets Talk | My Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge

  1. I too have had trouble with most bans, low buys, etc. (for everything, not just books) but this sounds like a nice idea.


  2. This is such a great idea! I’m currently very stressed out by all the books I want to read and book buying bans are not working for me. I like this challenge because I could still get books, but I could also start catch up on everything I want to read. Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great way to keep your tbr in check! I’ve tried something similar to this but with ten books instead of five, but I never have enough self control to go through with it. Maybe if I lower the number of books to read before buying a new one I can actually stick with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. this is such a nice idea! I should try to do this for next year! I was checking some of the books that you are planning to read and I am so excited for you haha
    Circe has me obsessed and I am dying to read it XD
    Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde is such a good short story! I love it! I have the Penguin Classic that explains a lot of the Victorian era! How homosexuality was a crime, which had a strong role in the mystery! Also, the Darwinism is super important for this story! and lastly the gothic elements of labyrinth-like streets!
    The Storm of the Century is the King one? I burned that book haha
    I like that you will buy The Nest and it is within the 5 books to read haha

    Good luck with your reading!!! :3

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a really great idea. I’ve currently set myself a book buying ban until Christmas. Yes. That’s ages away and no I probably won’t manage it. But the amount of books I really want to read on my kindle will EASILY last me till then plus any arcs I get. So I’m going to try! I’ll probably end up buying a handful but that’d still be an improvement if I get through a lot of my owned tbr too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I also have such TBR troubles! I like your idea! I will definitely give it a shot!

    I saw your blog’s name somewhere and I checked it out because it reminded me of Luna(Luna Lovegood) in Harry Potter!

    Liked by 1 person

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