01 August 2010
Sunday Salon: Are there any pills for TBR anxiety?
I've always had 200+ books on my shelves waiting to be read. This has never bothered me, but suddenly I am completely and utterly overwhelmed by the number of books I have in my TBR piles (well, shelves to be exact). According to LibraryThing, I currently have 542 books on my shelves which I have not yet read. The jump from 200+ to 500+ seriously messed up something in my brain, and I went from perfectly content with all my unread books to absolutely horrified by them. I've really been thinking about this lately, and I've come up with a few reasons why:
I've never had so many books come in simultaneously. My 200+ TBR was the result of years and years of buying books, but I've had about 200 books come in to my house in the last three months. The primary culprit was Book Expo America and Book Blogger Con which sent me home with 105 new books. The secondary culprit seems contradictory: I decided I needed to cull books from my shelves. Some went to the library, some went to a used book store, some to giveaways, others to SwapTree. It seems people were rather excited about the books I entered onto SwapTree, so suddenly I had like 40 trades equaling 40 more books coming in. Yeah, yeah, yeah; it's all my fault I know. : )
In past years, my TBR pile was increased by more than just me. I received books for every holiday and my birthday, so many of my TBR books were gifts. In the last three months, I have chosen each and every one of the 200 new-to-my-house books, which of course means I really want to read them. I'm blaming this one on all of you who consistently post reviews of the most intriguing books, sparking my intense desire to find them and read them. I actually have a very strong desire to read about 30 of my books RIGHT NOW.
Along with determining the cause of my TBR anxiety, I have also been thinking about solutions. How do I get over the 'Oh my god what should I read next' paralysis and back to reading?
The most obvious way to decrease my TBR piles would be to remove the books I'm feeling "meh" about. I could probably eliminate about 100+ books that way, easing my tension by decreasing the number of books trying to capture my attention. Since I'm an eclectic, mood reader, however, I worry that what doesn't appeal today will suddenly be on my wish list tomorrow. I've had this happen to me before, so it's not entirely outside the realm of possibility.
I have my ARCs in a spreadsheet with their release dates, so that I have an idea of when I should have a review up. Unfortunately, I am a spontaneous reader. Every time I look at that spreadsheet, which is telling me what I should be reading, I get all snotty 10 year old on its behind, stick out my tongue, roll my eyes, and refuse to pick that book up. Why is it that when someone tells you to do something (even if that someone is yourself) you feel a need to rebel? Okay, insert first person pronouns in that question; I'm clearly transferring here.
The "Be A Man" Plan
What is probably the most likely answer to my problem is to just suck it up and keep reading. When I'm feeling all frantic over my next read, I should just pick up a random book and start reading, ignoring the rest of them on my shelf. Part 2 of this plan is to not overly concern myself with release dates - which possibly makes me a very naughty, very bad blogger, but there you have it.
What about you guys? How many books do you have on the TBR piles? How do you handle the pressure of so many unread books?