07 October 2010


Sometimes I get overwhelmed...by circumstances over which I have no control (e.g. family [although the jury is still out] and incompetence [I refuse to rant or this post will end up completely OT]) and by circumstances to which I cede control. Among the latter is my TBR list. Yesterday I read the following statement written by the lovely Mariana from Hips Like Mine:
Lesson learned: read what I want, even re-reads, when the mood strikes.
Why do I always forget that lesson? Why do I cede control over what I read to my TBR list and end up stressed and overwhelmed by something (reading) that is meant to be relaxing and enjoyable? Is it just me?

I'm currently reading:

* Rapscallion (James McGee) [historical suspense]

* Warhost of Vastmark (Janny Wurts) [fantasy]

And waiting in the wings:

* Kushiel's Dart (Jacqueline Carey) [fantasy]

* Rosemary and Rue (Seanan McGuire) [urban fantasy]

In other words, I'm surrounded by books and feel like I'm drowning. I don't think it helps that everything I'm reading ATM seems to be fantasy - I think I need to shake things up a little. So, my cunning plan? To read something else entirely! Well, not exactly. I'm going to try and reach the end of the sixth chapter of Warhost of Vastmark by tomorrow, and then read the Whisper of Sin (Nalini Singh) and Here There Be Monsters (Meljean Brook) novellas from the Burning Up anthology. Then I'll go back to Rapscallion and Warhost of Vastmark and (hopefully) finish both. That will leave me with Kushiel's Dart, Rosemary & Rue, the remaining volumes in the Banana Fish (manga) series and The Secret Tunnel (James Lear) *dies* I think I just need to focus on one book at a time and ignore the rest or I will seriously panic.

So, do you ever panic over your TBR books?


  1. I do occasionally panic at the thought of my TBR books. But then I try to remember how jealous everyone will be when the Great Book Shortage hits and I'm set for life. :)

  2. I don't panic about my TBR pile anywhere as much as I used to - currently sitting at 180 books. I reread if the mood strikes me and definitely don't feel guilty about rereading a favourite rather than starting a book from my TBR pile. Sometimes I reread simply to help kick start my interest in my TBR pile again, sometimes it's because the eBook edition may have become available and sometimes it's just because I really want to reread the book.

  3. But then I try to remember how jealous everyone will be when the Great Book Shortage hits and I'm set for life. :)

    Chris - LOL! I haven't heard about the Great Book Shortage...should I be worried?

    ShellBell - 180 books? OK - I'm going to completely stop worrying about my TBR list now :) I just need to clear the current decks...

  4. My dear friend, you're doing it again, just by writing this post.

    The idea is to read what you feel like, when you feel like it. You're trying to plan what you're going to feel like reading.

    I'd say stick with the plan for Warhost so you're up to date with the read-a-long (says the person who's way behind and still in chapter 2), then when that's done, take a deep breath, look at the books you have and pick up the one that calls loudest.

    Really, try it. Be spontaneous about it rather than planning so hard. The world won't end. You won't break. And if you crack a bit, you do have people out there who will help you tape up the cracks (and who aren't family).

  5. I have more like 700+ on my tbr. :)

  6. *soft smile* - you've seen Mt TBR. Every now and then I feel vaguely guilty about it - especially if I've borrowed a book from someone that they decide they want back and I have to give it back unread.

    I don't tend to panic, but I do roll my eyes at it on a semi-regular basis. OTOH, the great thing about is that I know that I always have *something* available that I want to read, regardless of the mood I happen to be in.

  7. Have you ever looked at Super Librarian Wendy's mountain-range-visible-from-outer-space of a TBR pile at Library Thing?

    Go on, take a peek, I'll wait here for you.

    Done? Good. Now, remember what Chris, Kerry and starfirenz tell you: reading is about enjoying yourself.

    Give yourself permission to be 'selfish' about reading: to change your mind, to be moody, to drop a book/genre/author/series mid-track and go to something else, to re-read when you feel like it--nevermind what's waiting in the wings.

    Allow yourself to enjoy reading without guilt.


  8. I can totally understand where you're coming from. As moody as I am (and bitchy), I am pretty anal too. I sometimes feel like I should read what I have before the "pile" gets too big. It's my own constraint, it's not as if I owe anyone. I buy what books look appealing and then I get this feeling as if I have to read them RIGHT AWAY! And then when something I've already catches my eye, I deny myself because of all the unread stuff I have. I try not to get too anally about it anymore, but it is something I have to check.

    Also, before I used to not be bothered by spoilers, but lately I've noticed that I'm somewhat influenced by someone else's perception of the book, so I've stopped reading spoilers as well. Because then the book "sits" there and annoys me. I wanted to read it, but then... not so much.

    We should make a pact... let's read whatever! Let's see what happens.

  9. I too have moments of guilt about my tbr, which is nowhere in the region of such awesomeness as certain peeps. *bows to Chris* Then I think, you know what? Fuck this. It's my life and my money and I can read and/or buy whatever the hell I want. The end usually involves a shopping spree. :P

  10. I always tell people it has to be cheaper than bad habits like heroin addiction... right??

  11. You're trying to plan what you're going to feel like reading.

    Kerry - when I first read your post I laughed (at myself). Then I cried. (That shouldn't sound as bad as it does.) The reason why is your comment struck home (in a good way). I plan...everything. Even something that is meant to be a joy. And yes, I've made a mental note to discuss this with the unnamed expert :) For now I've read the first six chapters of Warhost and have started Whisper of Sin...because I felt like reading something...with a happy ending :) THANK YOU!

    Chris - over 700 books on your TBR list? *faints* My TBR is so a storm in a teacup by comparison *grin*

    starfire - I haven't seen Mt TBR is a while. Is it growing or relatively stable? And yes, having something available to read, regardless of mood, is a good thing :)

  12. Allow yourself to enjoy reading without guilt.

    azteclady - very wise words. I think I'm approaching it like a test...finish the book and finish it quickly equates to a pass. Reducing the TBR list equates to a pass. *shakes head*

    *looks at Super Librarian Wendy's TBR list*


    YIKES! Will try and work on the reading without guilt :) And relaxing without guilt. Hmmm. Maybe living without guilt...

    Mariana - I do like the sound of a pact to read...whatever! I have eBooks that I'd love to read...but sometimes I feel like I'm so spoilt for choice I can't make a choice. Or I'm afraid to make a choice...

    Then I think, you know what? Fuck this. It's my life and my money and I can read and/or buy whatever the hell I want.

    Kris - I love the attitude! Unfortunately, I never think that myself. I feel guilty and feel like I need to read according to a plan... I need to work on getting over the planning thing!

    Chris - I would say yes, but then I wonder...how long does a reading addiction last compared with other addictions?

  13. Well, it's not likely to kill you... :D

  14. Chris said: But then I try to remember how jealous everyone will be when the Great Book Shortage hits and I'm set for life. :)

    It's good knowing you're prepared for such disasters, isn't it? ^_^

    I sometimes panic over my TBR in the sense that I get frustrated that I'm not reading faster. I just know I have so many great adventures waiting to be had and I want them all. It makes me sad to think I may never get to all of them. Despite all of that, I don't stress so much about what I'm reading at the moment or what I'll read next. I seem to be doing well with just rolling with whatever I feel like reading and just doing it. I think part of that contentment is because this year in particular, I am reading from the widest array of genres that I have ... well.. maybe ever. Mixing it up seems to keep my interest and satisfaction going with whatever I'm reading. I hope that makes sense.

    Mariana, What? You are NOT bitchy. *rolls eyes*

  15. Hugs, my dear.

    But no, I don't get overwhelmed by a tall TBR pile. I get anxious if my pile gets too low, and sometimes I stress about getting a review up if I've promised one.

  16. Oh Orannia! I understand angst over having a TBR pile. I'm just beginning to relax with mine. ;P My anxiety level has gone down a bit -- I suffer from a different problem, I tend to want to read them all at the same time, or I skip from one to the other. But, basically I don't stop skipping around until I settle down with the one that satisfies me for the moment. I never read a book that I don't "feel" is right for my momentary mood. If I do that I'll wind up hating it or DNFng it. :(

    Azteclady has some great advice! ((Hugs))

  17. All the time! My tbr is enormous and it's getting bigger and bigger every day. I'm always debating about what to read next since I want to give the 'older' books a chance, but nearly every time end up buying new ones because I can't choose...

  18. Oh my yes..I'm always stressed and have anxiety..but that is just me..LOL. I could have one book in my tbr and find a way to stress about it.

    But I love that my tbr is out of control too..I'm sick I tell ya! ;)

  19. Chris - LOL!

    Christine - that's a fantastic attitude and I should follow your lead. I do read a variety of genres, but I have been reading a lot of fantasy lately... Maybe that has been slowing me down?

    Nicola - thank you. And that's one reason why I don't really review. I've had one sitting around to write up for months! I need to get on to it. I can't imagine my TBR list ever getting low, but that would be stressful!

  20. Hilcia - thank you. I think I should skip around until I find a book I like, but...I feel like I have to try and book, so I guess I end up reading something I'm not exactly in the mood for, which come to think of it is just plain stupid!

    Janna - I have the opposite problem :) I have some eBooks I've bought or won, but I keep reading the older ones! I still haven't read the sequel to Keeping Promise Rock and I adored that book!

    Mandi - I feel like I'm always stressed/anxious too...sometimes I wonder if I know what it's like not to be like that. And I don't know about sick...crazy perhaps? *grin*

  21. I think I only panic when I'm behind on the books that I'm supposed to review and then I go a little crazy. Ok, crazier. I try not to stress about my tbr because it never seems to diminish. I still buy more books so... lol

  22. Tracy - another reason why I don't review :) And you raise a very good point...why stress about a list that is probably never going to decrease :) As long as the books turn over I guess that works. And there are always so many good books to tempt one! *grin*