Being a bookworm is basically synonymous with having a ginormous “to-be-read” pile. Mine got severely worse when I started book blogging. Before book-blogging, I’d trawl the libraries and snabble a few books that caught my eye. Now? WELL HELLO TBR THAT IS TALLER THAN THE EFFIEL TOWER. I have over 1,000 books marked “to-read” on Goodreads (although I don’t own them) and I have sticky note lists on my walls and I have a hefty stack of unreads on my bookshelf.
There are just so many books to read, okay? And I still have the totally logical plan to read them all in my lifetime. Don’t doubt this. No one likes a doubter.
But can this get a bit excessive? When your TBR pile is 30 books? Or 50 books? Or an entire BOOKSHELF?
Can our eyes be bigger than our belly? I’ve come home from the library with a stack of books so tall I’ve had to enlist my small nephew to carry some for me. And sometimes publishers send me stacks of review copies (some requested, but most unsolicited) so they all stack up too. And let’s not forget ebooks and Netgalley and kindle sales. ALL with due-dates. Either “hello-get-me-back-to-the-library-on-time-or-the-resident-library-vampires-will-suck-away-all-my-money-in-fines” or “review-this-book-on-time-or-the-publishers-will-think-you’re-an-ungrateful-little-squid”.
HELP ME. I’VE FALLEN DOWN BEING OVERWHELMED AND I CAN’T GET UP.
I struggled with a gargantuan TBR in 2014. I put a lot of pressure on myself to read all my books at the correct times. It wasn’t awful. But I hated that I never read a certain book because I felt like reading it. What if I want to nine thousand books about dragons?
“NO!” my TBR would scream. “WE MUST BE READ FIRST OR WE WILL CONSUME YOUR SOUL.”
In 2015? Quavering, I decided to change a few things. Exit Netgalley (I prefer physical books anyway and with the rise of my love of photography, pfft, ebooks are less attractive to photograph). Exit ridiculous amounts of library books. Two per week is pretty sensible, actually. Less publisher requests. They send so many surprises anyway.
You know what? My TBR is manageable. Right now, I have 10 books in line to be read. I miss out on a lot of books, I DO, and this saddens me slightly. But I prefer sanity and the realisation that if my TBR fell on me, it would only give me a concussion, not a funeral.
So does this mean that collecting books wildly could be a bad thing?
HA HA. COLLECTING BOOKS IS AWESOME. People collect so much weird stuff, and collecting books? Gosh. It’s not even that odd. It’s not even useless. You could be collecting antique peanut shells or something.
Books are knowledge. Books are art. Buying books stops artists starving. Books are pretty. Books stack nicely in a shelf. If you collected pumpkin replicas just think how hard it’d be to stack them.
I definitely think the size of one’s TBR depends on them. You shouldn’t feel ashamed for having a bookshelf of unread books IF THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT TO HAVE. If not. Well then. You know what to do.
But seriously now, can your TBR be too big?
Can we bookworms be accused of being gluttonous?? Or are just passionately excited about words and stories? IS THERE A RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWER HERE??
OPINION TIME! HUZZAH! this is a very subjective discussion! how big is your TBR? but more importantly: are you comfortable or overwhelmed by it? do you think bookworms can buy/borrow/collect too many books and have it become ridiculous? is it even possible to have too many unread books in your life?! LET US TALK.