I love blogging. I love the freedom that my own WordPress domain symbolizes. I love the feeling of hitting “publish,” not knowing where my words might end up in the world. I also love reading. I love stories and being so engulfed by another world that just for a second, you forget it’s not real. I don’t love pulling up the calculator app on my phone, having to figure out how many books I need to read each week so I have enough content to review. I don’t love obsessively counting how many pages I have left, thinking to myself to read faster. I don’t love feeling forced.
For those of you who don’t know, I have had the lovely privilege of being a Co-Admin over at In Wonderland Book Blog. When I applied to be a coauthor last November, I never imagined that my online social life would bloom quite as beautifully as it has since then. I have made so many friends and had dozens of bookishly fruitful conversations – it’s been amazing! But, like any time consuming hobby, I feel I’ve lost focus of my original desires. I certainly do not want to stop blogging or reading, I just think that after nearly 6 months it’s time for some Pokémon-esque evolution.
I feel like lately I’ve missed the fun in reading, with blogging and school, my hobby has turned into a bit of a job. I had to have a serious talk with myself about my priorities and hobbies. I have loved reading my entire life, but until a year ago – I was not involved in the reading online community at all. Once I discovered BookTube and Twitter, the way that I picked books to read and bought books completely changed. All of a sudden I only wanted to buy books that I had heard other people talk about. I was petrified to buy a book that I hadn’t seen or heard anyone mention yet. I became obsessed with buying books at the rate that I saw other people buying. I used to never get more than two at a time (unless it was my birthday or Christmas) and suddenly I was buying five or six in one go. Spending so much more of my time and money in consuming books than actually reading them. At first, this kind of shopping was fun, SO fun. I had never let myself freely buy so much of one thing that I wanted before. Fast forward a year and a half later of this behavior, and I have accumulated just about fifty books that I have yet to read.
Fifty is a big number! So large and intimidating, and BIG. Thus became my current/old problem. So many books to read, almost too many. I felt like I had to read them fast, so I could get through my pile. And with that, came my motivation for Pokémon evolution.
STEPS OF EVOLUTION:
- Admit that you need to change. I’m serious here!
- Pull ALL books from your collection that you have yet to read and separate them from the rest of your books. From that pile, pull any and all books that you have zero interest in reading and get rid of them. Allow yourself to not feel guilty about giving them away/selling them. That book filled some sort of purpose at the time you bought it, and it’s okay if it no longer serves a purpose.
- Count what’s left.
- Vow to never to do this to yourself again.
- No more buying books until all of the unread books become read.
You see, it’s quite simple really. Identify the problem, then change it. I have managed to stick to these five steps over the past month and a half wonderfully – and it’s glorious. I just pick out the ones that I want to try and read for the month and read them as I feel like reading. Somehow, with the pressure to read having been removed — I immediately feel like my hobby is fun again. I also feel like a weight of stuff has been lifted. My pile of “to read” books still seems massive, but as time goes on and I finish books at my leisure, it’s getting better. Dear reader, please don’t ever let a buying habit get ahead of you like I did. It burns you out and drags you down. I love reading, and after changing how I read and buy books, I feel like I’m falling in love all over again.
It’s interesting to look at how BookTube and Blogs really do influence what you want to read and buy. I felt seriously compelled to get my hands on anything that I saw mentioned by platforms that I loved. Bloggers really are the new way to advertise books. I know so many girls that are as heavily involved in this online book world that are dealing with the same problem: too many books not yet read. I constantly wonder what my reading life would be like today had I not discovered the entire online book community. I can’t even remember how I used to read. What does it say about a community when it totally and completely changes its participants? Whether you might see my personal struggles over book buying as a positive or negative side effect, it still happened. I cannot change the months I spent obsessing over books I was never even close to getting to. But, if I can make the next year just like the past seven weeks have been, then I think I just might have evolved again.
What do you think? Do you regret your giant TBR pile? Do you relish in it? Let me know down in the comments or find me on Twitter @nerddelizzie