Books I Just HAD to Buy…But Are Still Sitting On My Shelf

I am incredibly guilty of buying books that sound amazing…and then letting them sit on my shelf for months (hahaha ok, years). I thought it would be an interesting exercise to look at some of the books that I just HAD to buy, but are still sitting on my TBR shelf.

Hopefully, at the end, you can help me pick what my next read should be!! Let’s get into it!


My TBR shelf has different sections. All of the books in this stack are actually signed copies from the Southern Festival of Books back in 2018. You can actually see my blog post about that festival here!

I took this picture a few months ago, and I’m sad to say that the only one from this picture that I have picked up in the interim is Gunslinger Girl by Lindsay Ely. I picked it up mainly because it fit one of the PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge prompts! I still really want to read all of these books, but I am a mood reader/challenge reader, so if they don’t strike my fancy in the moment or fit a challenge prompt, I am unlikely to pick it up.



These are all books that I have received in various book subscription boxes over the years. Most of them are from OwlCrate, but I think I have a few other boxes are in here as well. This section has actually gotten significantly smaller over the past year or so, as I have been trying to prioritize this section a little bit more than others.



This section is all of my hardcover fiction titles. I’m ashamed to say that this is the section that is generally overflowing, and then I just buy more. I know this is a problem. I am attempting to rectify this during quarantine by not buying physical books if at all possible. Some of these books have been on my shelves for years, while others are fairly new. Why is it that the new ones seem so much more appealing? Have the old ones just lost their luster? Or was I never that interested to begin with?

Interestingly, several of these books are the second book in a series. If I loved the first book, I bought the second. So why haven’t I picked these up?



These are all books that I have received as gifts from someone. Whether I asked for them and received them as Christmas or birthday gifts, or if they were books that someone just thought I would love. This is a section that I definitely feel like I need to focus on over some of the others.



This section is my non-fiction section. As you might know, I tend to gravitate more towards fiction than to non-fiction. I am really interesting in reading all of these, but I have to really be diligent about making myself reach for a non-fiction title rather than fiction.



This is my paperback fiction section. I do tend to buy more hardcovers than I do paperbacks. I didn’t realize until writing this post that I apparently have a preference for hardcover books. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe because they are more substantial? The only book I have read from this section since I took this picture is Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, which was fantastic. I read it for one of my grad school classes last month.



This is my library cart. This cart holds the books that I am trying to prioritize reading. This system has actually worked fairly well for me. Since I took this picture, I have read three of the books shown here: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, and Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch. I am realizing that I do tend to neglect the bottom shelf with the paperback titles. Those have been sitting there for an embarrassingly long amount of time.



So, what I have learned is that I need to really prioritize the books that I already own. It can be hard when all of these fun new releases come out and they are so shiny and new and exciting. But, I need to remember that these books were all exciting to me when I bought them too.

Maybe I need to set myself a challenge for this as well. Such as, I need to read a certain number of books from my TBR shelf before I can buy a new book. Thoughts?

Are there any books on my shelves that you absolutely love? Make a case for them in the comments! Convince me to pick it up next!! 

Do you have issues with an ever increasing TBR pile? What do you do to combat it? Let’s talk in the comments! 

Love and happy reading,


6 thoughts on “Books I Just HAD to Buy…But Are Still Sitting On My Shelf

  1. I read The Night Country last month, I was so proud of myself for getting to it finally! It was the book I had on my TBR the longest. Now it is a book called March by Geraldine Brooks.

    Murder on the Orient Express was a great read! I remember reading it when I was on vacation and it was snowing so hard. I was sitting next to the fire and I was not moving. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up: August 2020 – Whit Reads Lit

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