So the five can be connections of any kind. Books can have been read last year or any year. Books can be used more than once.They may not have been read yet. They might be ones you just bought or want to buy. It can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Maybe it’s not a list of actual books, but things connected to books – e.g. favourite book shops, recipes etc. It might even be five movies related to books or five poems or five poets or five bookish moments, five thoughts about reading – be creative! - The Book Date
As readers, we all have those piles of books - ones we own and ones in our wishlists - that we can't wait to read. But time is our greatest enemy and so that pile of books just grows and grows until it takes on a life of its own and comes alive as a dragon to eat us. Something like that, you get the idea.
At my TBR peak on Goodreads I had over 4000 books. Many of which I no longer had interest in reading. So I decided to do a cleansing and now there's not a single book on my Goodreads TBR.
Here are the five benefits to not keeping a TBR, (for me at least).
1) Zero Stress
I no longer feel stressed when I see my TBR going up and my books read creeping up every so slightly. There's no more stress of forcing myself to read faster and faster just to get the TBR down to a level that doesn't terrify me.
2) The Guilt is Gone
Since my father passed away in 2020, my reading took a hit and it's never recovered, I honestly doubt it ever will. So the guilt of adding more to my TBR while not reading anything really punched me in the gut. It got to the point I just stopped adding books to the TBR and I'd lose track of the books I wanted to read.
Now, seeing the big 0 at the top of the page has freed me to just read whatever I want, no matter how long it takes me.
3) I Enjoy Reading More
With no stress or pressure to read my TBR, I can pick up any book I want and just kick back and enjoy reading it. Even if that takes me a whole month. No guilt to get it read fast and tick it off the TBR shelf and no stress over the growing number of books on the TBR and wondering when that unread pile is going to come alive and eat me at night.
4) Mood Reader
If you've been around here long enough then you know that I'm a mood reader. It's so bad that even if the TBR I set for myself is all books I'm dying to read... I won't read them. I'll end up picking up something else instead because then it feels like a chore and not something fun.
This one might sound odd to a 'normal' person who has no trouble with TBRs and anxiety over them, (mind sharing your secret), but now I feel free to just read whatever I want, whenever I want. There's no trying to read the most recent release on the TBR and get a review up while everyone is talking about. There's no pushing books I want to read to the back simply because they aren't that popular and no one will care.
Now, with the stress, pressure, anxiety, guilt, and even my own expectations gone, I'm free to read that book that's ten years old that no one cares about. I can read that manga I love that no one will read the review for because I've let all those negative feelings go with the TBR.
It's a wonderful feeling.
Now, I'm not saying everyone needs to get rid of their TBRs at all. I've come to understand that most people actually flourish with them and flounder without. To each their own. We all have to do what's best for us. This is just my personal journey with TBRs and the monsters they can create when left to simmer in the darkness.
Off topic, but does anyone know how to tame a dragon?
Well, that's all for today. However you manage your reading and TBRs, I hope it makes you happy. Happy reading and stay safe out there.