Last week, Book Riot re-posted an article from January that I must have missed. The article is called "Throw Away Your TBR List: A Radical Reading (un)Plan."
Here's some highlights from the article.
"We remind ourselves that there are no “shoulds” in the reading life, that there are myriad reasons for reading, and that we can read whatever we want, whenever we want, for whatever reason floats our bookish boats. We are not beholden to the list of hundreds or thousands of want-to-read titles we’ve been tracking for years. We are not the same people we were when we began those lists, and it is not only okay but actually good for us to do some culling."
"If your TBR list has become a source of stress, get rid of it. If that pile of unread books in your home gives you guilt rather than anticipatory pleasure, spread those suckers out on the floor and yank out the ones you’re no longer interested in. If you really wanted to read that book you’ve had sitting around for a decade, you’d have done it by now. So what that you spent fifteen bucks on it back in the day? Donate it to a shelter or charity, and give yourself the gift of reading freedom."
"Go into each new book-choosing moment with an idea of what you want, and then pick up the book that feels right in the moment. Selecting books should be pleasurable. It should be exciting. It should promise you the thrill of discovery. It should not be about ticking boxes and satisfying arbitrary, self-imposed requirements. Goals for reading are good, and being mindful of the ways you’d like to expand your reading life is good. Forcing yourself to read books simply because you at some point in the past added them to a list is, well, kind of pointless."
"When you kiss your TBR list goodbye, you make room for serendipity. For that magical feeling of getting the right book at the right time. Miraculously, there’s no such thing anymore as, “I can’t read X until I finish Y.” You learn that giving away a book isn’t a waste, it’s an investment in your reading happiness and a step toward maximizing serendipity."
"Remember that your reading life is yours. Read what you want when you want to. Buck the pressure, fuck the haters, and make room for the magic."
So now I'm tempted to just that. To delete my To-Read list and just let the mood move me. To give up my TBR list altogether and read what I want, when I want, with no shits given.
But there is a part of me that just trembles at that thought! So I do what I always do when I can't make a decision. First, I talk it out. Second, I make a pro/con list.
Why I love having a TBR
- There is no way my brain can possibly keep track of all the books I want to read all the time. I am deathly afraid that great books will slip through my hands because I didn't remember I wanted to read it!
- It makes it easier to ask for advice on what to read next. Particularly with Gaby (my Epic Recs partner) since we use each other's Goodreads to know what's on our TBRs and make solid recommendations.
- I just really, really like being organized. Lists are my happy place.
- It stretches me and challenges me to read different genres and discover hidden gems.
- I feel guilty when I don't read ARCs by their release date because I'm reading already published books.
- I feel guilty pushing already published books down my to-read pile because I have ARCs sitting there and I know that I am so, so lucky to have the chance to read ARCs so I try not to squander that opportunity.
- Sometimes I read books because I "should" not because I want to.
- I'm pulled in too many directions. Do I read something out of obligation or desire? How do I balance ARCs and published works? HOW?!