Shaking Up the Shelves: Physical TBR Challenge

Hi Book Friends!!

I’m a very lucky lady in that my husband is also a big fat book worm.  We’ve always bonded over books and since we’ve been living together the past 5 years, we’ve combined our book collections and most certainly grown them.  We don’t always overlap in the types of books we like to read but we still have great bookish conversations and when we do find books we both like it’s the best.

We live in a small one bedroom apartment right now that in many ways suits our current needs but in other ways we are growing out of.  Specifically, we are running out of space for our books!!!


We haven’t really wanted to invest in new furniture much recently since we might only be staying in our place another year before upgrading but I convinced him over the weekend that we needed to get new bookshelves that’ll offer us more space and organization.  BRB while I stare at the street waiting for our Ikea delivery!


Then, the topic of reorganizing with new shelves led us to challenging each other to:

  1. guess how many physical books we had that were TBR for each of us, and
  2. challenge ourself to read a specific amount of those we already own by the end of the year

So we took out all the books we still want to read and haven’t, counted them up and then put them on one bookcase, separated by my TBR, his TBR, and our overlap TBR. Turns out the genres that we cross over are mostly science fiction and classic literature.

Our guesses:

Me: 50 unread physical books
Hubs: 75 unread physical books

In reality:

Me: 46 + 10 overlap* = 56
Hubs: 80 + 10 overlap* = 90

(a few of these are single bindings of series or full sets of author’s work with 3-7 books within them but for the purposes of this we decided to count them as one)

Goals for end of 2018:

Me: finish 15
Hubs: finish 10

Then we decided to pick out specific books we’d ideally like to finish by the end of the year.  We aren’t going to force ourselves to stick to this but it’s a great jumping off point and something I’ve never really done before – I’m a mood reader so setting myself a list always seemed pointless.

Our hopeful TBR check offs:


  1. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  2. Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  3. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  4. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
  5. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
  6. War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
  7. Night Fall by Isaac Asimov
  8. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  9. The Wanting Seed by Anthony Burgess
  10. The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
  11. Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut
  12. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  13. The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu
  14. Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer
  15. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith


  1. Imajica by Clive barker
  2. Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism by Ian Bremmer
  3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  4. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
  5. Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber
  6. I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
  7. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  8. Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer
  9. Spin Selling by Neil Rackham
  10. Life by Keith Richards

So while we don’t have to stick to these lists, any new physical books we acquire will NOT count towards our challenge goals we set.

I’m feeling pretty confident about hitting my number count but not so confident about reading all the books I picked out, especially ones that have been on my TBR forever. Like Slaughterhouse-five which has been on my TBR for the past… 11years… omg this is shameful when I type the years out like that. My husband said it’s embarrassing I haven’t read it yet and he isn’t wrong.

What do you guys think of our physical TBR reading challenge for the second half of the year??
Anyone surprised by how different our reading tastes are?
What do you think of the books I selected for myself? 

Also if year one of marriage has us playing with our books, reorganizing our books shelves, and setting reading challenges for fun on a weekend… than married life is the best. Happy wife happy life, right? 


  1. I like the idea of this kind of challenge! In fact, I think I should be doing something similar… I have SO many actual, already bought books on my shelves (and TBR list) that I’ve somehow never read.

    Liked by 2 people

    • you should! I was and wasn’t surprised that we managed to fill+ an entire book case with books we own and haven’t read yet. Though I doubt it will stop either of us from buying more…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I don’t think it really has an effect of holding back either… I decided earlier this year not to buy new ones until I read the ones I already have. I could the it for like one month or so. Then I went on one of my craziest binge-buying of books. I’m positive I’ll always have books on my shelves that I somehow don’t read for a long time. The only realistic goal I have a chance to achieve is to make that pile a little smaller. 😀


  2. I am terrible at reading my physical books. I mostly read during my commute, and it’s just easier reading on my kindle. The Illuminae Files is one series I HAD to read in physical book form. They are such a feast for the eyes (though I have heard amazing things about the audiobooks). Good luck with this challenge.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is always so much easier to read on my kindle too, plus having the kindle app means I can sneak in some reading almost anywhere when I have my phone like at work, waiting in line, in bed when I’m supposed to be sleeping etc etc haha. And I totally feel like same way about Illuminae, idk if it would have been the same to read it in ebook form.


    • you totally should! it was actually really fun and I like being able to actually see all the books we still need to read. Yeah I just got an amazon gift card for my birthday so there’s no way I’m not using that all on books lol..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, this sounds like such a good idea. My husband isn’t a big reader but he does support my habit. I like making TBR lists but I don’t like following them 🙂 My monthly TBR’s are always bigger than I know I can get to because that way I have some choices! Good luck to both of you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That smart, I like having choices too because I’m always like hmmm I don’t actually FEEL like reading this book right now and never can predict what I’ll actually ever be in the mood for ahead of time.


    • I’ve had this on my shelf for too long and I’ve been wanting to buy the other two in the series but decided I needed to wait until I actually start the first one lol


  4. This is an awesome idea! My TBR is out of control so I think it would be helpful to do something like this. Also, I’m so jealous that your husband likes to read. I wish I could geek out about books with my boyfriend. Lovely post ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • You totally should! It was actually really fun counting them all out and now being able to actually see all the ones that still need read. I just wish my husband and I had more books/genres in common that we both like, but this is still pretty good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The thought of counting all of them overwhelms be a bit hahaha but I’m planning on rearranging my shelves so when I do that I think I’ll count them 🙂 It would also help me decide what I want to read next. That’s understandable, it’s always fun to discuss books that you’ve both read.


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