Why You Need A Book Jar

So, I have a confession.

I love books.

Phew. It feels good to get that off my chest. Growing up, my parents rarely denied me a book. The Book Fair at school was the best! {Especially when my mom worked at the school…I got discounts AND got to go every day.} Over the years, my love of books has resulted in me having a lot of books I haven’t read yet. I generally buy multiple at a time, get excited about a couple of them, and then go buy more books. There are always some that get passed over. THEN, when I finish a book and am ready to move on to my next one, it takes me forever to decide which one I want to read. This perpetual cycle leads me to the creation of my book jar.

I got inspired this week to make a Book Jar. What is a book jar, you ask? Whenever you get a new book, write the title and author on a slip of paper, and put it in the jar. Then, when you’re ready for a new book, shake up the jar, and pick one out! It’s as easy as that. Having a book jar around cuts down on the time you spend looking for a book so you can read more. Does it get any better?

DIY Book Jar

book jar 2020 reading pick books

You need:

  • Jar (or vessel of choice)
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • General proximity to your bookshelves (To know what you have or haven’t read.)


  1. Take an inventory of all of the books you own but haven’t yet read.
  2. Cut your paper into about 1in strips. I didn’t measure, so they’re all pretty variable. (Note: This was my first book jar. I ended up needing a bigger one. Whoops!)
  3. Write the titles and, if you choose, authors on the slips of paper.
  4. Fold paper up, and place in jar.

There are a few different ways you can do it. In a Facebook group I’m in, one of the other members asked if people with a book jar had separated books by genre. If you opt for colored paper, you can color code genres (if you want to). I did not do that. For me, it took about an hour, though I was pretty distracted with Netflix on in the background. Plus, I apparently have way more books that I haven’t read than I thought. 

I can’t even tell you how many books I own that I haven’t read. Some are gifts. Some I’ve purchased because I’ve heard great things. I’m “opening myself” to rereading books, so it may or may not be taking me a bit longer to get through my unreads.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, so I may receive a small commission from sales generated.

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