If there’s one thing bookworms have in common — it’s the nefarious TBR Pile.
In case you are only recently arrived from immigrating from Jupiter and don’t know what “TBR” stands for, here, take a seat and some popcorn and enjoy our climate while I inform you that it stands for “to be read”. Mostly we just say “TBR” and skip the “pile” because we’re lazy. Even though saying “Hey my TBR is trying to kill me!” literally makes no sense because “Hey my To Be Read is trying to kill me!” is incorrect grammar without the pile in there.
But you know what? Who cares.
I JUST WANT TO SAY TBR ON ITS OWN, BECAUSE I AM SUPER LAZY WHICH IS LIKE REGULAR LAZY BUT WITH A CAPE.
The second thing all bookworms have in common is that TBRs are absolutely the worst AND best things in our puny lives. The best because we ant to read all the books!! So many books!!! We love books!! Can we please have more books!!! BOOOOKS!!! And also: the worst because they’ve taken over our floor and our lives and may be plotting our deaths. Not sure. But probably.
So today I’d like to list for you 10 TBR Problems that I’m pretty sure we can all relate to. And if you can’t relate to them you are either (A) in control of your TBR and that makes you a wizard and I’m in awe and also suspicious of your dark magical powers, or (B) you are a lettuce.
So for those of use who aren’t a wizard or a lettuce — YOU WILL DEFINITELY RELATE TO THESE TBR PROBLEMS.
1. IT NEVER EVER FREAKING ENDS.
Which is actually also a good thing because then what we do if we had no books to read, hmm?? We would panic and perhaps die of hunger and our brains would wilt in neglect. But the other fact of the day is, once you start realising your TBR is not a small pile but rather an enormous mountain, it’s OVER FOR YOU. There is no reversing it. You might read 12 books in a week and put 24 under your pillow at night to absorb them in your sleep — BUT YET THE TBR STILL GROWS.
I once had only 3 books on my TBR. This was back when I was but a mere child, still teething probably. Definitely loafing about and being a weight on society with only my cute looks to save me. Those were the days.
2. WHERE DO WE EVEN PUT IT.
Once when the sun was young and the earth still green, I could fit my TBR on an empty shelf in my bookshelf.
HAHAH HAHAH AHAHAHAHAH.
Now my bookshelves are full. The top of my bookshelf is full. My floor? What floor. DID I HAVE A FLOOR BACK IN 1842???
The fact of the day is, you’re going to need a Scottish castle just for your TBR and what has this life become.
3. IT CAN SMELL FEAR.
Don’t…just…just don’t make eye contact with it, okay? Because I swear if I get overwhelmed by my TBR and decide to run away from home and catch up on a few Supernatural episodes instead — my TBR will literally smell my terror and grow even faster.
It also recently threw itself off the bookshelf. I can only assume this is a direct attempt on my life.
4. IT MAKES CHOOSING YOUR NEXT READ ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE.
It is, obviously, BETTER to have too many books to choose from instead of not enough. But we can still all admit that CHOOSING IS KIND OF HARD, RIGHT???? Who likes making decisions? Because I do not. Plus there are so many things to think about when deciding on your next read. For instance:
- when is that library book due to be returned?
- when does that ARC come out?
- shouldn’t I read that new release that everyone is talking about so I don’t get accidental spoilers?
- but what do I feel like
- there are so many good books here
- I want to read them all right now and immediately
- but look, if I choose one…what will the others think?
- am I picking between my children?
- will they get a complex from this?????
- WHAT. DO. I FEEL. LIKE. READING. NEXT.
And then suddenly you’ve spent 94 hours picking your next book instead of actually reading it and you’ve got 9 grey hairs and 12 existential crises coming right up with a sidedish of salted peanuts.
5. THE NAME FOR IT ISN’T EVEN ACCURATE???
It’s not a pile. IT HASN’T BEEN A PILE FOR A LONG TIME. What about we be a little more accurate and go with:
- sea of books
- second cousin of Mt. Everest
- child of Jupiter
- leaning tower of paperdom
- good intentions
- slightly nefariously dark colossal structure in the north
6. YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW IT GROWS.
Just blink and woah, more books. Obviously it’s not your fault. There’s probably a friendly local ghost adding to it, or perhaps your TBR has a bat-signal and is actually inviting more books to join it to rise in a revolution against your face.
Or perhaps you have a problem.
But that’s not likely.
7. IT MAKES RE-READING AKIN TO AN UNDERCOVER SPY MISSION.
It’s a truthful fact that bookworms should NOT feel bad for rereading books. And yet?? Why is my hand in the air. Why am I confessing that it’s extremely hard to snuggle up with The Raven Boys for the millionth time when I have my TBR sitting there, staring, judging, waiting.
I want to read those unread books!! I DO.
I also want to revisit my old favourites.
I also feel like if I do some re-reading, I ought to covertly smuggle it under my bed in the deep of the night so my TBR won’t see and start crying. Because when the TBR starts crying what kind of monster are you.
8. YOU’RE DANGEROUSLY DEPENDANT ON IT.
Too scared to live with it. Too scared to live without it. There’s actually a word for your TBR problems.
BECAUSE WHAT WOULD YOU ACTUALLY DO IF YOU HAD NOTHING TO READ NEXT???? WHAT WOULD YOUR LIFE BE???? You would be missing out on dozens of glorious new books that have just clawed their way out of the dark lava filled depths of the earth’s core * and you can’t miss out on them!!
So please let no one suggest to you that you should “get rid of” your TBR pile. I mean, do you want to get rid of oxygen?? Or CHOCOLATE CAKE??? No.
* This is how books are published. Sometimes rumours are spread about “publishing houses”??? It’s nonsense. Publishers take shovels and safety goggles and go digging through the darkness of the nights (must be during the blood moon) until they hit the earth’s core and can pull books out of the liquid fire. Ask anyone you know. This is the truth. The rest is conspiracy.
9. YOU TALK ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME.
If I sorted out my TBR then I would literally have nothing to tweet about. What would bookworms complain about if we didn’t have TBR piles to take the blame?!? We would have to blame ourselves and that’s not going to happen.
10. YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN TO PEOPLE THAT ONLY YOU ARE ALLOWED TO COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR OWN TBR.
They can’t complain about it for you. No judgement, peoples, nooooo judgement. Don’t suggest I get rid of my TBR or that I have too many books or that I should perhaps not collect any more or that I should spend less time on twitter and more time actually reading. Because what nonsense is that. Do you want to fight me? I will fight for my TBR’s right to exist.
And you also have to put up with judgement about HOW you got all these books. Like, I’ve had people say I “must be so rich” which makes me laaaaaugh. NO! I have an excellent library. I get a lot of approvals from publishers. I buy library sale and 2nd hand books. I get paid to freelance blog in book vouchers. I AM AS THRIFTY AS SCROOGE BUT SOMEWHAT MORE ATTRACTIVE I HOPE.
But it literally doesn’t matter why or how you have collected your books. Are you supporting artists? THEN GOOD JOB, SIR, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.
You might just die underneath all of those stabby and pointy hardcovers. But that’s a sacrifice you just need to be willing to make.