The Untouched Bookshelf Challenge

Probably every reader has the eternal problem: too many books, too little time. We try to manage it, but at the end of the day we all must make sacrifices: we have to choose which one to read next, thus all the other hundreds (thousands?) of books fall back on our TBR list.

We all have books that unintentionally became the victims of this phenomenon. Books we got from someone as gifts but never got to read them, because we chose something to read that we were more excited about, books that we wanted to read and bought but then we got distracted and forgot about them, books that would be great to read but a kindle is so much more comfortable to take with us on that certain trip… and that pile we’ve binge-bought and never really had the time to read.

You recognize yourself? Good. Here’s the solution to your problem:


What is it?

  • the purpose of the challenge is to encourage its participants to read all the physical books they own
  • we make a list of all said books and try not to buy any new ones until we finish them
  • anybody can participate – no matter if the list only consists of a couple of books or a hundred
  • there’s no time frame, since it heavily depends on the length of the list and the pace one reads, which both are individual things
  • since it seems to be a never-ending problem, you can join in the next time you wake up to a pile of unread books you own

How to join?

  • To be a part of this, all you have to do is making a list of all the physical books you own but have not yet had a chance to read them and post it on your blog
  • Link the list back to this page! ( or write a comment stating you made a list!
  • Instead of an actual list, you can choose to set a goal: a number of books you want to read from your unread physical book pile


  • as stated above, your first post in the challenge must be your list of the books, and this is also the post where you claim your intention to participate in the challenge (or instead of a list you can set a goal in this post)
  • the list can only contain physical books
  • you have to post regularly about how you’re keeping up with the challenge, however there’s no rule for an actual frequency: it can be weekly, every two weeks, monthly, or completely random… just make the posts and link them up!
  • you can make the posts your own way: they can be about the books you’ve read as part of the challenge, rants about how you can (or can’t) manage it, some sentences on why you slipped and bought some books, or you can simply link the review of a book back to the challenge…anything you can think of and enjoy writing
  • you can’t buy any physical books until you finish your list
  • books you get for free, win on a giveaway, get as a gift, get from NetGalley/Edelweiss or directly from the author don’t count (you can get and read them while doing the challenge)
  • e-books don’t count, either (I’d prefer not buying any of these, either, and that’s how I’m doing this challenge, but making this one a rule seems very naive – I totally get it if you can’t NOT buy an e-book for like one dollar on a sale)
  • if you slip and buy a book, it’s okay, but you have to add it to your list
  • once you’ve finished you should do a post that sums your challenge up
  • Link back every post to this page! ( or alternatively, leave a comment and say you’ve written a new post
  • I’ll link up every post down here!
  • Click on and take a look at at least a couple of other blogger’s posts linked up!
  • If you talk about this challenge, use the tag #TheUntouchedBookshelfChallenge !

Join us! This is the time you finally CAN read all those books on your shelves! We’re here to support you and feel your pain. It’s not easy. But we can do this together!


The Lists/Goals:

Dora’s List

Rekha’s List (@ The Book Decoder)

Amanda’s Goals (@ Write Where I Read)

Vicki’s goals (@ (she updates this page regularly, so you can follow her progress here)

Tari Hann’s list (@ Cuddle Up with a Cozy Mystery – and a Dachshund)

katehthomas’s list (@ Travel/Untravel)

stormcait’s list (you have to follow on Instagram to see more 😉)


‘A Man Called Ove’ by Frederik Backman (@ The Book Decoder)

‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R. Tolkien – An Untouched Bookshelf Challenge Review (@ Swift Coffee)

19 for ’19: Tales from an Untouched Bookshelf (Part 1)


Flame in the Mist // The Untouched Bookshelf Challenge (@ Write Where I Read)

Update for My Challenges & Plans for the Future (@ Swift Coffee)

Reading Challenges Progress Report (@ The Book Decoder)

‘I Screwed Up’…

I Finished!:


6 thoughts on “The Untouched Bookshelf Challenge

  1. Checking in for my first update. Ten days into the challenge I have checked 2 books off my list. The Moon & Sixpence and The Other Side of Haight. The second one is part of my research into the Hippie culture of the early 70’s for the novel I am currently writing. I was in college then, but need to refresh my memory. 2 Down and 33 To Go! Link to my tally:
    I also read Bird Box…but it was an eBook and not on my challenge list.


    1. Wow, you’re progress is fast! It’s good seeing you enjoy your time reading! 😊 I can’t add your links the way I structured this page, because this is basically the same link getting updated and updated, but I’m about to figure way to add the info that your doing this challenge this way, so everybody can see on this page. Maybe I’ll simply add a line about it at the end 😅


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