The endless TBR pile

In yesterday’s book haul post, I mentioned that I haven’t even read other books that I’ve recently acquired and I’m still buying even more books. Over the years, I’ve tried to make some rules for myself such as:

– TRY to buy books just as I’m in the mood to read them (which is entirely possible now that most books are available in ebook format)
– try a sample of the book before buying if it’s by an author I’ve never read before
– buy only the first book instead of the whole series to see if it’s something I would enjoy
– just buy books that I REALLY, REALLY want to read

But these rules get forgotten the moment there’s a bookstore sale or I get caught up in the excitement of getting a copy of a highly anticipated book (even if I don’t have time to read it). I also have these moods which I’ve labeled as book-hungry and book-full. Book-hungry is when I’m itching to buy a new book because I feel like I don’t have the RIGHT kind of books that I’m in the mood for in my TBR pile, or when I feel like I just need to buy a book for no obvious reason. Book-full is when I’m bemoaning the fact that my TBR pile keeps expanding and I really don’t have enough time to read all of the books that I want to. Even though I’ve given up some things like watching TV or trying a new hobby or getting enough sleep or even blogging as much as I would want to, I still don’t have enough time to read. This reminds of a recent blog post by Rachel Neumeier where she says “You will never read all the things, and that’s okay. And that’s true, there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed or anxious just because as book addicts, we have huge TBR piles. We just need to accept that we will never get to read ALL THE BOOKS that we want to.

Archivist Wasp and postcard

My current read Archivist Wasp, and a postcard from the Strand in New York. So appropriate for this post!

Way back in 2012 (wow, that’s a long time ago), I wrote a blog post about why we keep buying books based on a quote that I saw floating around. I’m sharing it again because I think it’s still applicable, and is a positive reminder of why it’s so much fun to collect books:

“Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper.” – David Quammen

Yep, one lifetime isn’t enough time to read everything we want. But having intellectual wallpaper really is comforting. Also, I agree that unread books have all this potential – one of them could change your life and become an absolute favorite. And with that thought, I need to accept the fact that the weekend is over and go to bed.

10 thoughts on “The endless TBR pile

  1. Rules. I should have them. One thing I’ve learned recently is how I should just let go and DNF books if it’s not giving me joy. Because admittedly, the reluctance to do so is just fueled by the need to chase numbers on my Goodreads Reading Challenge, which isn’t a good motivation to finish books.

    • Oh I also have a rule that it’s okay to DNF books. I never used to do that because I didn’t want to give up on the book. It’s still hard for me to do because I’m usually curious, so I usually skim until the end.

      LOL I didn’t join the Goodreads Reading Challenge this year because I found it super annoying with its reminders of how I should be reading faster.

  2. I really need to go to bed, too, but oh well. Ugh. I have the same problem. I really, really wish I could read as fast as other people do. I just want to read all the books! 🙂 Bookstore sales and thift book stores are going to be the death of me. There are a lot of readers in our house so I don’t feel that bad buying so many books but I get broke too, so yeah, book buying bans and rules.

    • I keep staying up late to read or blog! Every night I keep telling myself that I’ll go to bed early and it never happens, unless I’m so tired from work that I just crash. I would love to read as fast as other people do, too. Or better yet, I wish I wrote reviews as fast as other bloggers. 😛 That’s good that you get to share the books that you buy with your whole household! I usually pass along my books to friends.

  3. Books books oh books! I try to get mostly ebooks…I love the physical copies…but when you move around a lot, its hard to move those with you. Yet, I still enjoy flipping physical pages instead of digital ones.

    • Nothing beats paper but yeah, ebooks make sense when you don’t have a permanent base. Also it’s much easier to carry my Kindle along on my commute to work. That’s why it’s also difficult for me to read more of the paperbacks and hardcovers that I own.

  4. I love this post, Chachic! I’ve been pretty ruthless at cutting down my TBR pile this year. It involves a lot of culling, letting go of books that I may n ever read and well, just trying to be more selective. I certainly can’t stop myself from buying books though! There’s just something about acquiring them that’s fun and soothes my craving 😉

  5. Pingback: Ten wishes I’d ask the book genie to grant | Chachic's Book Nook

  6. Pingback: Book Hungry vs. Book Full | Chachic's Book Nook

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