The Unread Shelf: What’s Working

Part of the challenge for May is to read the most recently acquired book on your unread shelf — and I’m so excited for that part! The other part of the challenge is to talk about what has been helping you push on with this challenge for the last four months, and for the next eight!

For the most part – participating in this challenge has been the biggest factor! Finding out about the challenge each month and picking the book off my shelf that I’m going to read for the month makes reading my unread shelf exciting again!


But of course there are other factors too.

  • I’ve been limiting my Book of the Month subscription! When the selections are released each month, I try not order a book unless something looks really good. I have a changed perspective that receiving a book I won’t read in a timely manner just becomes a burden. I often check if the Book of the Month selections are available at my library and ask myself “does this book look good enough to want to own it after I read it?” Since the beginning of the year I’ve ordered boxes three out of the five months, but still I consider that to be two steps in the right direction!
  • As an add on to that that last point, the two months I skipped happend to be in a row, and I found myself really craving bookmail. I ended up caving and buying a few books from the bookstore instead. So, even though I’m trying to be more intentional with my BOTM subscription, I think keeping the subscription active keeps my other book buying in line!
I love opening this box when it arrives on my doorstep!
  • I’ve been loving the library! What a great resource! My boyfriend – a video game and movie buff – is so jealous of how much of a resource the library can be for a book lover like me, since there isn’t really an equivalent for his hobbies. That really gave me perspective on how lucky we are to have this institution! I’ve been placing books on hold that I want to read – particularly new releases. If I’m sitting on the holds list and lose interest, that’s so much better than losing interest once it arrives in the mail from amazon! And I’ve also been letting myself browse and choose books when I make it in to the library. It’s been satisfying my craving for wanting to have the books I see on the shelves!
I got these books from the library – read one, half read/half listened to another, and didn’t read the third! And that was totally ok!
  • I made the top shelf of my bookshelf a TBR shelf! My bookshelves are about 4 feet tall, so the top shelf puts those books at perfect browsing height. The shelf has every book on my shelves that I haven’t read yet + plus library books that should never get a permanent spot on my shelf and books I’ve read but need to return to friends. It’s been a great system because I find myself browsing them when I’m bored and getting more and more excited to read them!

Overall, this has been a great challenge, and I’m glad Whitney asked us to look back at some of our top keys to success! And now on to Beartown — my most recently acquired book on my shelf 🙂

Have you been participating? Let me know what’s been helping you?

7 thoughts on “The Unread Shelf: What’s Working

  1. I’m struggling, as I’ve been acquiring more books. However, I have been reassessing the books I’m not super excited about and will be starting them soon. If they don’t hook me, they’re going.


  2. Love this post! I’ve tried to skip months on BOTM (and have done it twice in the year+ I’ve had my subscription) but only because the books offered just didn’t click with me so I had no genuine interest. The top shelf of my bookshelf is also my TBR shelf. It’s teetering over now. I should probably stop buying books…


    1. haha yeah luckily (or unluckily depending on how you look at it) I’ve been less blown away by their selections in the past few months, so skipping hasn’t been overly difficult! But skip two months in a row and you’ll feel it haah

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I found “What Happened” so hard to get through. I wanted to like it but it was slow. I felt like I had to read it because it was a Christmas gift. Good luck haha


    1. I’ve heard similar things from another friend too! I bought it for myself more as a coffee table book, but now I’m like oh shoot I have to read that


  4. Hi Erin. I am liking Amor Towles first novel: Rules of Civility. Thanks for the nice blog. I was in a bit of a rut as I got bogged down with the Leonardo da Vinci book. But I’m feeling better now that I am reading a book that I am enjoying again!


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