Whether you’re an avid reader or you haven’t read a book since high school, there are always far too many books in the world and it seems impossible that you will ever get around to reading those that tickle your fancy. For those of us with book-buying addictions, there is constant discussion over which books we bought after having heard amazing things about but we just haven’t got around to reading them yet – this is known as the ‘to be read’ (TBR) pile. Some people have TBR shelves, others have full bookshelves dedicated to the books they have not yet managed to crack open.
Let me just tell you now that THIS IS RIDICULOUS.
Owning books that you haven’t read yet is perfectly normal – we’re all suckers for a bargain, a pretty cover or a new edition that we haven’t seen before. The concept of having a pile/shelf/case of books that haven’t been read is just so demoralising. Reading, for most of us, is supposed to be a leisure activity, why are we making it something that we feel guilty for not doing?
I tried to make a TBR pile and the rest of my shelves looked crazy, with spaces missing, and the pile was just a source of frustration; every time I looked at the pile I felt disheartened. I buy books quicker than I read them so the pile grew and so did my disinclination to read.
I have written about the way I read before; I tend to read whatever I feel like. I might crack open a mystery and then three pages in, decide I’m not in the mood for it. That’s okay. It’s better to abandon a book (and pick it up later) than to read a book the whole way through and be unhappy that you’re not reading that quirky YA romance that’s calling your name over on your shelf. My approach to reading is pretty simple – read what you like, when you like.
Different people read differently, so if a TBR pile works for you, go for it, but if it’s making you feel guilty, if your shelves look bare without the other books on there, and if your pile is almost as tall as yourself, I urge you to reconsider the TBR. It’s more trouble than it’s worth. Reading is supposed to be fun, so if your TBR pile is making reading a chore, ditch it. Pretty simple.