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Reading What I Own (Participating in #0by16 + why!)

Late last year I made the conscious decision not to buy books that I wasn’t intending on reading immediately. Luckily for me, a large amount of the online book community also made the same decision. 2015 seems to be the year of unhauls and TBR challenges such as 0by16, ProjectTBR. I love that people are so actively trying to lower their TBR and read more of what they own, because it’s inspiring me to stick to my promise of reading what I own!

(In saying all this, if you want to have a big TBR I have absolutely zero issues with that!)

What I really want to discuss here is #0by16 (Zero by 2016), a challenge hosted by a bunch of booktubers (who I will not name, but here’s the twitter page) where you aim to get your physical TBR down to 0 books before 2016 arrives.

I’ll admit, when I first heard about this challenge at the end of 2014 I was almost desperate to join. I had spent the past month binge watching minimalism videos on YouTube, and I was desperate to cleanse myself of unwanted junk. But in saying that, my books were my biggest issue for me. I was happy to throw away old trinkets I didn’t use, donate a bunch of clothes so I only owned things I wore regularly and loved, however my books were always an issue. I mean, I had over 150 books that I owned physical copies of and had not read. It was a serious issue. I wanted to read some of them, sure, but the idea of having so many that I knew I had lost interest in was really getting on my nerves. So hearing that a bunch of other people that I watched regularly on booktube were making a conscious effort to eliminate their TBR’s made me feel less alone (and while I wasn’t discussing it with them in any way or form, I felt like I had a massive online support team.

As 2015 rolled around and people started uploading their ‘2015 resolutions’ and began actively discussing the challenge on twitter and YouTube, I really began to take the whole thing seriously. ‘Unhauls’ became one of my favourite videos to watch. If someone said they didn’t like a book (and had a reasonable reason as to why) and were getting rid of it, heck, I was doing the same! I reckon between January and April I unhauled around 80-90 books! Now, I didn’t donate all of these. Some of them were series or classics that I knew I would want to read at some point in my life, so I put those in boxes and stored them away in the shed, however I did donate around 50 books to family, friends and second hand bookshops for a bit of extra cash.

Unfortunately, as I don’t remember the exact number of books I had on my TBR shelf on January 1st I don’t have extact statistics, however between January 1st and June 9th (today) I have gone from approximately 150 books on my TBR to 34! While I know it’s still a lot compared to some people’s progress (shoutout to @jacquelynreads) I feel so much better with myself and what I am reading. It’s such a high to be 100% interested and excited to read every book that you own on your shelf!

So I thought I would mention some of my main reasons for participating in #0by16 and why I am looking forward to having 0 books on my TBR shelves within the next 6 months!

  • Like I said, the whole minimalism thing. But I’ve ranted on about that a bit already.
  • I can use my library again without feeling guilty! Even now that I have 34 books left on my TBR, I am beginning to use the library again. Something I haven’t done in years. I have bought so many books over the years that I’ve gotten 100 pages into and just hated and I’ve ended up regretting spending that money so badly. Now I will be able to pick up over-hyped new releases from the library and be able to judge them for myself without spending all that money!
  • Contrast to that point, I can also order new releases that I have been anticipating and read them immediately instead of feeling guilty!
  • I can re-read my favourite books without feeling stressed and that I should be reading something else. I don’t really understand why I always feel bad and like I’m wasting time when I re-read a book, because the amount of times I’ve re-watched my favourite TV shows (Gilmore Girls, I’m looking at you) is ridiculous! And I enjoy re-watching TV shows, so I’m really excited to be able to get the same joy from re-reading some old favourites!
  • I AM GOING TO FINALLY HAVE SAVINGS AGAIN. I have worked on and off for 3 years now and I have no money to show for it. Every pay day I used to go crazy on Book Depository and spend my money on sales at bookshops when I could have been saving up and getting the hell out of my parents house and travelling! I currently just got a new job, and I’m so excited to be able to put money away without feeling the need to go crazy and buy 10+ books every fortnight (I was crazy, let’s ignore that).

In general, this whole experience of cleansing my TBR shelves and participating in #0by16 has really helped me realise what it is I love in books. I have refined my tastes a whole lot, and realised that I am really not a fan of some genres. I also tend to buy books on a whim all the time without looking into them at all, and I’ve definitely stopped doing that this year. I mean heck, it’s June and I’ve only bought 9 books so far this year and I’ve read 7 of them already! I’m pretty proud of that.

If you’d like to check out what books I have left on my TBR, go here as I’ve decided to make a page entirely dedicated to that so I can check it off!

Is anyone else participating in #0by16! I’d love to know! X

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