The Unread Shelf 2020


I have never participated in The Unread Shelf. But just when my frustration with my overflowing bookshelves had peaked, I ran across its concept on #bookstagram. It was like kismet – exactly the solution I was looking for!

Over the course of this year, I’m going to focus on the books I already own. The books I bought with every intention of reading, but quickly got disctracted by the shiny new books instead. Not only do I want to clear my bookshelves a little bit, the books that are sitting there currently are books I acutally want to read!

In full disclosure, I will still be adding some books to my shelf. I have a few partnerships with publishing companies and I will continue to honor those relationships. Also, I have credits with Book of the Month so I’ll still pick some books from them (although I am going to try to be pickier with my selections and only pick books I really, really want to read)! Along the same lines, I have a paid subscription to Books Are Magic which my husband purchased for me so I will get those books monthly as well. Lastly, I got a few gift cards to Barnes & Noble for Christmas and I will save those for those books I have severe #fomo over!

As you can see, there’s absolutely no reason for me to actually be buying books – I get plenty as it already is! It’s kind of ridiculous when I think about it, so this is a great option for me!

For the first assignment, Whitney had us count up the unread books currently on our shelves. Between physical books and my Kindle, I have 417 unread books! I was floored! Ugh. That number feels overwhelming and ridiculous; time to start tackling it!

Every month, Whitney has challenges to participate in and January’s challenge is to read any unread book from our shelves. My book selection for this category is:

Screen Shot 2020-01-05 at 1.04.51 PM

The Garden of Small Beginnings by: Abbi Waxman

In addition to the monthly challenge, there are also tasks to complete. Besides counting the total unread books on our shelves, we are to make a Top 10 TBR list for the year. Here is my Top 10 TBR:


Additionally, there is a book buying and library BAN for the monthno book buying and/or library books all month long! I LOVE this…and was caught redhanded because I’d already checked out some library books. Back they went, and if I still want to read them in February, I’ll recheck them out. Every other month this ban will be in effect; I like this idea and I’m going to follow it!

Lastly, because these books are already bought and paid for and my ultimate goal is to decrease the amount of books on my shelves, I am not going to suffer through a book that isn’t working for me. I will DNF with no apologies.

If you’re like me, the thought of a cleaner library is exhilerating. I’d love to hear if you’re participating in the #unreadshelf project so we can cheer each other on!


18 thoughts on “The Unread Shelf 2020

  1. I’m in the same boat – my unread book collection is getting embarassing, and between my physical books and downloaded but unread ebooks/audiobooks, I easily have enough books on hand to meet this year’s reading goal without buying any more.

    … but I’ll probably still pick up one or two.


  2. I thoroughly cleaned out my bookshelves a couple years ago and got rid of a lot of books. Since then I’ve missed a few, but for the most part it was a good move for me. I admire your commitment and know you’ll have great success.

    As for your top ten TBR, my favorite in there is A Prayer for Travelers. It was one of my top twelve last year. Happy reading!


  3. This is a great idea for a challenge and I like all the tasks and monthly challenges that people will be doing together! I also want to get through my books, but I don’t think I’m willing commit to something this strict, because it conflicts with other goals I have, like reading more nonfiction; reading books by marginalized authors; and reading a lot on single topics. It’s always a balance!

    I loved The Gown and I’m excited to see it on your to-read pile 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s