Down the TBR Hole, Week 1

Happy Sunday everyone! It’s an unsurprisingly overcast and damp 4°C in my little corner in the South East of England, Radio 1 is playing Greatest Hits for the next few hours, and Liverpool will hopefully deliver Manchester City their first loss of the season at Anfield this afternoon (a girl can dream, right?). It’s gearing up to be a good day all around.

So as my own personal pre-game, I’m going to finally do a bookish challenge that I have been avoiding since the first time I saw it on This Dark Material‘s fabulous blog.

The challenge is called ‘Down the TBR Hole’ and it was created by Lost in a Story with the purpose of assisting in a purge of your ‘to-read’ shelf on Goodreads. It’s silly but I’ve grown a bit protective of my TBR shelf, even if I can’t actually remember why I added a fraction of the books to begin with. So as painful as this challenge will be, I’m going to go for it. My TBR shelf is currently only (ooonllyy…) holding 207 books, so I think this is a good opportunity to keep it under control.

So here’s the rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? I’m going to aim to do this every Sunday until I’ve gone through my entire shelf. Which means every Sunday I’ll be crying while I part with a book I completely forgot existed and probably had little intention of reading.

I’m going to do 10 books this week because I have a few hours to kill before the match starts and absolutely nothing else to do today. So with my tissues ready, let’s go!

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin (1967) KEEP

This isn’t a good start to my purge because this is a book I have every intention of reading. I really love this movie and have been meaning to check out the source material out for ages. So this is an easy ‘keep’.




The Omen by David Seltzer (1976) KEEP

This is a favourite horror film of mine; probably in my top 5 favourite horror films of all time. I definitely put these both on my TBR list after reading The Exorcist (another favourite). I’m going to have to keep this as well.



Hell House by Richard Matheson (1971) — PASS

Noticing a theme here? I think I added this book to my shelf when I read a ‘Top Horror Novels’ list online or something. I don’t really have any intention of seeking it out to read. If I happen to stumble upon it I’ll probably give it a go, but I don’t think it needs to be on my TBR shelf, so I’ll pass for now. A tiny bit of progress!


A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin (2011) — PASS

This one is going to be painful. I have a lot of feelings about these books and even more about the show. I could write an entire post (rant) on both. In short, I adored these books until A Dance With Dragons which I own and attempted reading a few years ago. I have some serious beef with Tyrion’s chapters, who was previously one of my favourite characters (but let’s be real, no one can top Jaime Lannister as my fav). I tried and for a million reasons I couldn’t get through it so it’s been gathering dust on my TBR shelf for years. If it wasn’t for the show, which I very much enjoy (other than the bizarre changes to Jaime’s character), I would have likely soldiered on and finished the book. But I’m getting my ASOIAF fix through the show now so I’m perfectly satisfied having never finished A Dance with Dragons. The fact that Martin seems to be delaying the release of The Winds of Winter for the next millennium also influenced my abandonment of the books in favour of the show. If the sixth book is ever released I’ll probably re-consider finishing book five. But until then… farewell, A Dance with Dragons. See why I brought tissues with me?

Matilda by Roald Dahl (1988) — PASS

Another favourite movie, this time from my childhood. I do need to read a Roald Dahl book at some point. I’m pretty sure I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when I was in elementary school, but that was a depressingly long time ago. Because I really don’t have any intention of reading Matilda I’m going to give her the axe. Sorry, Matilda.


Okay, out of five books I’ve removed three. Let’s do five more! I’m getting an adrenaline rush.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman (2006) — KEEP

(I hadn’t marked a book as ‘keep’ for so long that I forgot what shade of green I was using for the text.)

I don’t understand why I haven’t read Coraline yet. I bought it when I was visiting London before I moved here a few years ago and I read it for a couple days before it got lost somewhere in the bottom of my backpack. But I really liked what I have read and I love Neil Gaiman, so Coraline makes the cut.


Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (2000) — PASS

I had a fleeting chick-lit phase that I don’t think I’ll revisit anytime soon. So I’ll pass on this. I don’t really have much to say which I think says more than a paragraph long explanation.




The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (2000) — PASS

I think I know this entire movie off by heart. When I was in high school I would put it on when I was going to sleep. Something comfy, lighthearted, and familiar. But I don’t really have any interest in reading the book.




The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L Baum (1900) — PASS

I definitely read the Oz books when I was a kid. I remember owning an old set of them that I think belonged to one of my grandparents. I must have put this on my ‘to read’ shelf after re-reading The Secret Garden a few years ago and wanting to revisit some childhood favourites. Though I might read the Oz books again one day it isn’t something that needs to be on my to-read shelf.



The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (2003) — PASS

Another from the chick-lit phase. I don’t think I ever wanted to read this so I’m not sure why it’s even on here. Pass!





Well, that was… empowering, and a lot easier than I thought it would be! I got rid of a staggering 7/10 books. Before I started I assumed I wouldn’t be able to part with any of them, but once I cut a couple it was a lot easier to say goodbye to some more.

So I will definitely make this a weekly thing but I might not always do 10, it will depend on the Sunday. If anyone else decides to do this let me know, I’d love to see your TBR shelves! Enjoy the rest of your day!

9 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole, Week 1

  1. daniellepitter says:

    I’ve done a Down the TBR before but I haven’t done an update in awhile. You’re getting rid of both Princess Diaries and Devil Wears Prada?! Anne Hathaway is shaking lmao!!!

    • Ashley says:

      Haha I know! I feel like I’ve attacked her personally by taking both those books off. But Les Mis is still somewhere on my to-read shelf so she hasn’t been erased entirely!

      • daniellepitter says:

        Oh yeah, that’s good. I’ve only read Princess Diaries and I thought it was cute! Devil Wears Prada is a better movie than a book, so I’ve heard. But I love the movie!

        • Ashley says:

          I’m so embarrassed to say that I’ve never actually watched The Devil Wears Prada. I think I’ll do that this weekend!!

  2. JJ (@darkmaterialss) says:

    Oh yay, I’m so happy you started this! A few of these are on my TBR too. We’ve taken opposite approaches to ASOIAF though, haha! A Dance with Dragons was a slog for me at times (my favorite POV is Sansa and she wasn’t in it) but I’ve fallen off from the show in favor of waiting…and waiting…and waiting for the next book instead. At least I won’t be tempted by new show material until 2019!

    • Ashley says:

      I’m glad I’ve done it as well! I’m already feeling slightly more organised. These books have been on my to-read list for 4 years so it was time to sort them!

      We are definitely taking much different approaches to ASOIAF! I do wish I had just pulled through and finished it, but I ended up giving into the show. That’s so true though, less temptation from the show when the next season isn’t for over a year! Maybe I’ll be so desperate to jump back into the story that I’ll finally finish reading A Dance with Dragons. Only time, and my impatience, will tell! 🙂 I think the really cool thing is that when he does end up finishing the series it will likely be completely different than the show. That’ll either be really great or super confusing. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.

    • Ashley says:

      Out of all the books I passed on I think Hell House is the one most likely to end up back onto the list at some point in the future. I think I have I Am Legend on my to-read list somewhere which I will probably end up keeping. I have been intending to reading the book before watching the movie!

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