19 Aug 2015

On the Old Days & Reminiscing About My Past TBR

The other day as I was sorting my shelves and going through books to donate to a Save the Children book sale, I began reminiscing about my once small, manageable TBR pile. This isn’t the first time I’ve had this thought and to be honest, I miss what my TBR used to be like. (And before I go any further, I’m talking of my physical shelf, not my long, perpetual Goodreads shelf. Because I love adding books on there, discovering new titles and finding out about hidden gems I’ve missed - that is not the problem. Not that there is a problem, more just a recent realisation of sorts.)

You might be wondering where I’m going with this, so let’s take a trip down memory lane. Before blogging, I was a very different reader and my TBR was a shell of what it now is. Not that I’m complaining! I used to have a small pile of books that either I’d acquire from the bookstore or library that I’d make my may through, one by one, and then I’d finish them, be without my next read, PANIC! (NO BOOKS! THE HORROR!) and then race back to the library or store and start the process all over again. Like supply and demand, I suppose?

So often I look at my shelf and have trouble deciding on what to read next. There are books I obviously want to read (and then some I don’t, those of which have now been donated. I mean, why was I keeping books I didn’t plan on reading for years, if ever? Be gone books! Go find a new, loving home! Anyway, I keep getting off track…) You see, the real trouble is, I’m such a mood reader that it can be a struggle to find my next book. Just a few weeks ago I was in a slump and there was nothing on my shelf that jumped out at me. Contemporary is my favourite genre so that’s what preoccupies most shelf space, but it’s not what I turn to when I slump; that would be mystery and thriller. So I went to the shop and bought three books - I read two and gave up on one. But the great thing about this is, these books aren’t sitting on shelf, collecting dust. They’re being read like they should be; fulfilling their life purpose and all ;)

I mean, I do love having a shelf full of books waiting to be read, never being without a book, but I do miss the simplicity of before.

Like…buying a book and actually reading it, rather than it adding to my already full shelf of books to be read. See, this is probably why I also don’t buy books often. I feel a sense of duty to the books I already own and feeling like I'm cheating when I buy more. And when I do, something like this follows:

"But all the books at home! You can’t disappoint them! They’ve been waiting for your return, patiently waiting to be picked up and shown the love they deserve. It just isn’t fair! Don’t break their hearts again, they won’t be able to take it, poor things!”, my inner conscience bellowed. (And yes, I read this with a British accent, didn’t you?)

Don’t you love that, too? Buying a book and reading it? Getting to it sooner rather than latter? I want more of that. I want to read a book soon after I buy it, not years later. I want to follow my mood, not my shelf. I want to not worry about being swallowed whole by my shelf and never being found again. Mostly, I want more enjoyment because after all, that’s what reading is all about - and I think this is the way to it.

So, what am I proposing? I’m going to try to get back to that small (or small-er, let’s be real) stack of books I can’t wait to devour and actually end up getting devoured, or uh, read. I’m sad of the books that sit unread and the books I somehow acquire that I don’t *need* or really want. I’m about to get a lot pickier with buying (I’m going on a book buying ban. Exceptions to be made if I plan to read that book within a week of buying it) and my shelves are going to get a lot smaller. Well, we’ll see - I’m not that fast a reader… I’ll keep you updated. That is, if you’re interested? I feel like this post may have put you to sleep? If you survived, you deserve a waffle for all my waffling. *throws waffle with maple syrup goodness and strawberries your way* *apologises for the sticky delivery*

So tell me - what do think of your TBR? Are you ever overwhelmed, do you wish you got to books sooner? Do you make a dent in your physical TBR or are you somehow acquiring more books that you can read? Are you afraid of drowning in a sea of books, too? Let’s chat. 


  1. I don't have many physical books because I'm an ebook person, but I do feel overwhelmed sometimes. I feel like I have all the books coming from every direction -- purchased, review copies, etc. -- and before what I did was buy about one or two at a time and read them immediately. Now, I don't even know how I managed it! I think it's because it was difficult for me to find books back then, but then I discovered Goodreads and blogging. I've been trying to cut back for awhile now.

  2. Oh, I TOTALLY get where you're coming from, Rebecca! I used to buy three books a week and READ all of them--but that was before high school and blogging! Now, I have a very shameful 150 unread books on my shelves. :( I know, when you actually count the books I'm sent to by publishers and have already read, it'll get balanced out, but I definitely do miss the feeling of immediately reading newly purchased books. :( I'm not sure if I can change, though, since I've gotten used to my new buying habits. Maybe I can, gradually, though. Awesome post, lovely!

  3. *raises hand* I'm totally scared in drowning in a sea of books. D: THE THREAT IS REAL. Although, this year I've been making a HUGE effort to keep my TBR down! I had it down to 3 books the other week, too, which actually was...relieving AND terrifying. I rectified it was a trip to the library. ;-)

    I like having loads of options BUT I don't like to be overwhelmed and feel like I'm behind. I have about 13 on my TBR right now and I would like to get to some of them sooner...not to mention my wish list. ACK. So many books.

  4. Good luck!!! I have hundreds of unread physical books now! But I can't seem to stop myself buying new ones. I did recently do a sort through and get rid of about 100 that I no longer wanted to read or had read but didn't want to keep any more. I love having all these unread books though, it's like my very own library/book shop. I can go browse all of my shelves and pick out something to read.

  5. I can totally relate to this! I remember finding a list of the books on my TBR pile from before I started my blog, and there was something like 5 books on there! I can't even imagine having 5 books on my TBR pile now! More like 205... Lovely post!!

  6. I have so many books on my TBR that I can't even remember putting them there, ya know!? But now with my blog, books that I am given for a review jump to the top and I feel like I don't have time to read books on my TBR. I have been thinking about not accepting as many requests each month so I can squeeze in some of my TBR books!