bookish chit-chat

How to make a to-be-read jar | The TBR shelf from Hell

Hi friends!

How are you? I’ve been having a bit of a crisis with my to-be-read pile lately. Undoubtedly something a lot of us struggle with. Each month it gets harder and harder to choose from the all the books on the shelf and I really needed something that would make the decision easier for me. There are currently 94 books waiting to be picked up. Arguably not the biggest number I’ve seen in this community but they all scream “pick meeee!!” every time it comes to selecting my monthly stack. Constantly breaking the book buying ban is only adding to the mess!

I stumbled across Charlotte’s Wonderfully Bookish blog and honestly her Book Jar idea is heaven-sent. Plus it cost me absolutely NOTHING!

What I used
Old colored envelopes (yay for recycling!)



Old jalapeno and olive jars

I picked the bigger jar for the TBR books and the smaller one to include my 2019 Reading Challenge. ( Check it out if you haven’t already!)

Before I started

I created a home book library list writing down every single book on the shelves. There are many apps available to do it on your phone, but I love spreadsheets (a lot!) so opted for that.

You can check out the current to be read list in my Book Library

What I did

The rest was easy. I cut out small labels and wrote all the challenge prompts and books on my TBR on the slips.

When ready, I folded the papers and put them in respective jars, ready to be used.

That’s it!

Soooo easy to make and you can reuse any old jars that are sitting in the cupboard, and like me, some scrap paper. What took me the longest were collating the library and writing down all the books I have individually on each slip.

But it was fun! I will definitely be looking for more DIY ideas so if you have any suggestions, please do let me know.

I’ll pick up to 3 books from the jar and an additional prompt from the challenge jar per month. Make sure you follow the blog and my social media to keep up to date and join the journey of destroying the TBR from hell 😉

Thank you Charlotte, you’ve really made my reading life so much easier 

Check out Wonderfully Bookish post for a detailed “how-to” here.

Do you plan your monthly reads? If not, what’s you secret to getting through your TBR?


Lets Chat! :)

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