** Holly's Original Post: Love or Hate TBR **
*****************It has been a long time since I've even logged into this website, never mind actually post something. I've talked about it before but the last 12 months of my life have been some of the most difficult things I've ever had to deal with. I don't know if I'm ready to commit to blogging again but I really wanted to respond to The Arts Shelf post about TBRs. I'm using my phone for this so I'm not sure if I can link to it but I'll certainly try.
Holly talked about the mixed emotions she has regarding her TBR and although I've talked about it previously, it's now more pertinent than ever to bring that topic back to life. As I said, I've been gone from the blogger world for a long time now and with that has come a lot of emotions. Like Holly, I get so much happiness and satisfaction from walking into a book shop and taking in the environment, the feel of a book in my hand, the little burst of excitement from picking out a new read, a new world to explore and new characters to befriend and fall in love with. All of those things are a part of who I am and the parts of me that I love the most. However, the anxiety of that is also very real. For the first time in my life, my TBR is larger than my Read books. Something I swore would never happen to me. I've always been concerned about it but nothing has made me feel worse than taking a hiatus from blogging.
I didn't stop buying books but I did stop reading. Ok that's not entirely true but compared the last year? It's a very small portion of books I've read. I've never been a popular blogger but I often got book mail and was that girl who squealed when a package arrived on my doormat in the morning. Until that started filling me with dread. Review books always come first and they were piling up around me. I was so upset all the time over not being able to read anything and enjoy it because my TBR was dictated by what book had been sent that week. I stopped reading altogether at that point and I stopped blogging too. Granted, there are other reasons I dropped off the face of blogger but it's the one reason I have not returned until now.
I've probably read around 40 or so books this year and I haven't reviewed them at all. Why? That guilt and anxiety. I still have books to read & review from over a year ago and I'm so terrified of NOT doing it that I just didn't do, well, anything. I stopped one of the most joyful parts of my weeks because I didn't know how to deal with a ridiculous TBR.
And that needs to end.
I am not employed by any publisher. I make NO money from blogging. It doesn't pay my bills and it doesn't feed me. So why the hell should I let it matter to me? This anxiety over what book to read isn't healthy and it shouldn't dictate how I enjoy my free time away from the responsibilities of life. So my TBR is hundreds of books? Big deal. I'll either read them or I won't. Publishers no longer send me books and I no longer request them. Sure I hope in the future, if this thing kicks off again, that will change. But in the mean time I am concentrating on the most important thing of all: my enjoyment of reading.
I don't know if I'll come back and blog full time again. I still have no access to a computer and it's REALLY hard to do this now the app doesn't work on my phone. But I do hope that maybe someone reads this and keeps the conversation going. By the nature of or hobby, readers are fairly solitary. So we need to give ourselves a break and just let us enjoy our quiet time. I for one am pledging that from this day forward, my TBR is of no concern to me and I'm going to enjoy possessing every single book, whether it gets read now or never.
Who's with me?