Conversations | Unread Books

Hello, everyone! Recently, I watched a video on Ariel Bissett’s channel about unread books. In it, she asks BookTubers about how many unread books they think they have on their shelves, which got me thinking, “How many unread books are on my shelves?

I took it upon myself to count all of my shelves to see how many books I have in total, as well as how many I’ve actually read. I’m sad to say that the numbers are a bit disappointing. In total, my book collection is around 600. This total doesn’t include the shelf of ARCs I have because I don’t really count them. I’m not sure of the exact total because I got lazy and didn’t count the shelf I have of classics/school reading books along with the row of YouTube/comedian books I have stashed at the bottom. Is it weird of me to not want to know an exact amount? I’m not sure. I do know for a fact that this collection total is dramatically lower than what it was about a year ago. I’ve recently fallen in love with unhauling and purging my shelves of things I know I’ll never get around to.

Of those 600ish books, I have AT LEAST 400 unread. That, my friends, is around 66-67% of my collection. OVER HALF. I know I have to take into account the multiple editions of books I have (exclusive covers, UK editions, etc.), but even if I factor that in, I’m still looking at around half of my books being unread. That’s hundreds of books that could potentially be some of my all-time favorites. That’s hundreds of characters and worlds that I haven’t experienced yet, and I’m sad about that.

That is why I’ve decided to create a TBR goal of sorts for myself. I know I can’t stop myself from buying books. Book buying bans never work for me, so instead I’m going to read at least one book from my bookshelves for every new book I purchase. One for one.

I also think I should try and read more of the books I get from Owlcrate every month. I’ve been an avid subscriber of Owlcrate for over three years now, and I looked back to see how many of those books I’ve actually read. I have received 44 boxes and 44 books – I skipped two months since September 2015. Of those 44 books, I still own 26 of them. And of those 26, I have only read 9. That means I have 17 books that I’ve just pulled out of a cardboard box, stuck on my shelf, and ignored for months. I’m going to make it a new goal of mine to read the Owlcrate books before the next box arrives.

This is a long-winded post just of me complaining about my never-ending TBR pile, so I apologize. I’m sure other people have way more unread books than I do, and if you barely have any, what are your secrets?? Let me know in the comments how many unread books you have and if you want to join in my Bookshelf Breakdown™ (that I might turn into a readathon)!

Until next time,


8 thoughts on “Conversations | Unread Books

  1. I totally relate to this, most of my books are unread as well although I don’t know the exact numbers. I’m planning on reorganizing my shelves over the next few weeks and logging each one that I keep on an “owned TBR” shelf on Goodreads so I can see exactly how many unread books I own and start to move some of those books to “read,” haha.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not a bookseller but I totally agree! I like the idea of a TBR cart but I don’t want to separate my books and then constantly have to rearrange them so they’re in alphabetical order again on my shelves every time I finish a book, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. After I watched that video, I counted my books and I only have about 40 unread, which is about 15% of my collection. For me, I only try to buy books that I’ve already read and liked or books that I’m pretty positive that I’ll enjoy. I read books from the library mostly. I’m frugal and live in a relatively small apartment, so I don’t spend much money on books! I also I have tbr shelf so I know which books I need to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I honestly need to utilize my local library more! They don’t get a whole lot of newer stuff in though, so it makes it a little difficult. But that’s super awesome for you though!


  3. Oh man. I don’t even want to think about the number of unread books I have sitting on my shelves… I wouldn’t be surprised if the number is close to 500. I’m too scared to count lol

    I set a goal this year to read 30 books off my shelves… BUT I’ve been buying new books when I said I wouldn’t… It’s a vicious cycle lol

    Liked by 1 person

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