'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Friday, 28 February 2014

Bookish Chat: The Never-Ending TBR Pile

Tackling the TBR Pile

A small section of my TBR
One thing that is a plus but a minus of being a book blogger is the never ending to-be-read pile. It's something I love but also something that occasionally gives me bouts of anxiety. I love that I'm now aware of so many fantastic books that are out, but also amazing books which have been out for years that I haven't picked up yet. This also causes me to feel a little frantic sometimes. How will I ever read all of the books that I want? I've increased my book buying habits massively; it started off with a book every few weeks, but now it's rare that I go a week without picking up a book that I have to read.

This is something I've been pondering for awhile, and it takes me back to the main reason for my anxiety. It isn't that I don't have the time to read these books. It's that I feel that I have to have reviewed certain books in a certain period. This stems from wanting to give the book the best publicity that I possible can around release date, but to also boost traffic on my blog. Somewhere along the way I started actually wondering what books to read which would interest my blog readers. Would my fellow bloggers want to read about my views on Jane Austen's books, or would they rather that I posted reviews by new and upcoming authors or books that are currently huge in the blogsophere.

I feel like I've been fretting way too much about what would increase traffic on my blog and lost sight of the reason why I started this blog in the first place: to share my love of books and to talk about it with fellow fangirls and fanboys. Writing this post is helping me to put everything back into perspective. I didn't start this blog for the page views and the however many followers. Gaining followers is an amazing plus and I love you all. I can't express how amazing it is that people actually want to read the stuff I talk about on here! I started this blog so that I had a space to spread my bookish love. It's far too easy to lose sight of that. I think I've read a fair few posts from fellow bloggers that have had the same issue.

My goals from now on are to continue with what I'm doing. Keep posting memes, continue with Harry Potter but to chill out a little bit about what books I'm reviewing and when. I keep on top of my ARCs but I'm going to try and stop stressing about my personal books. I'm going to try and go on a book buying ban too to make a dent in the books that I've bought. It doesn't matter if I don't buy the latest books immediately. I have plenty of time to read them! It sounds like such a silly thing to stress about, but I definitely felt self-inflicted pressure to keep on top of new YA releases. This has to stop before I run headlong in a reading and blogging slump.

So they're my goals :) power through and to start scheduling reviews and what books I'm going to read per month. It's something I started at the end of last year, and it worked really well. Time to pick up where I left off! :)

How about you guys? Do you feel pressured to read and review certain books? How are your TBR piles? 


  1. Ugh I suck at this. I keep trolling Amazong for freebies and cheap books, which amounted to over 800 books already. I managed to read 5 of those in Februrary. Yay me. -.-
    Then there are the ones I missed on whil I didn't read though HS and start of college, and I feel bad because everyone's read them and everyone's talking about them, and it's hard avoiding spoilers.
    Then there are the ones that are coming out, and I want them ALL. and it's so frustrating I cannot have them all and read them all.
    Plus then I go to the library - I know why I stayed away for almost six months - I bring home so many books. And read NONE. I always extend my borrowing period to the max to get to them all and I cannot. And then I return them and see 10 more I want, and I take them all just in case someone else takes them when I come next time. It's so mental!
    And I often buy books by pretty covers, so I just do that, and then after I got the book, I just set it on the shelf or leave it on my kindle. -.-
    Plus I have to balance ARCs, review requests, and books I want to read. Plus my rereading wishes are so mental; I want to reread all my fave series every year. Not even possible.
    And like you said: starting a blog isn't about followers, so I don't really stress over what I read when because of my readers. Everything will find its proper audience, not everything is for everyone. Right now I am just happy I am catching up, no matter how slowly. And I even managed to ease up on acquiring books, I must keep at that this year.

    1. I know how you feel. I keep collecting books and not actually getting around to reading them. That's why I've put a ban on myself. This doesn't mean I won't accept ARCs (because I love them and love showcasing authors) but I am cutting back on spending. I need to save the money anyway!
      I think you're doing brilliantly, if that helps at all :) xx

  2. This happened to me and I got so stressed that I stopped blogging all together for the longest time. It was much later that I realised that the primary reason I started blogging was to talk about books, especially ones I love. And in my race to review I had lost track of that. So anyway. I'm starting again but I'm not doing it the same way. I have decided to just simply talk about the books I want to talk of. I'm not taking in review requests now. I have a backlog to clear and I don't care how long back the books were published, I still want to read them and talk about them. I've stopped running behind deadlines. I'm just going to share the book love for now.

    1. Sounds like we're on the same page here :). I'm still happy to take review requests, but only from publishing companies or traditionally published authors. I think it's far too easy to forget what book blogging is all about sometimes.

      Thanks for stopping by and glad to see you came back to us book bloggers :).

  3. "I started this blog so that I had a space to spread my bookish love. It's far too easy to lose sight of that." This is so very true and it's something that I think every book blogger should keep in mind every so often.

    For me, I've bought more books this year than in other years, but I think I'm pretty good when it comes to controlling my buying habits. A lot of the books I want to read are available at the library so I try to keep that in mind before buying a book.

    Wonderful post, really well written. Thankyou for this. :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by :).

      I think it's definitely something many of us suffer with. It's hard to not get caught up in the whirlwind of blogging sometimes. I'm getting better at my book buying - I have to!

  4. I see a lot of bloggers with this issue. It makes me glad that I don't request ARCs. I just review the books that I read and that's that. My blog started out because a friend that moved away wanted to know what I was reading and what I thought about those books. Therefore my blog has also never been about followers or anything. So while I love having followers, I'm not actively trying to get more people to follow or stressing about what i think other people want to see. It keeps me happy enough haha. I hope your new book goals relieve some stress for you :)

    1. Aww that's such a brilliant reason for starting a blog! I don't tend to fret too much about the followers side of things, it's just nice to know that people read what you post :). I love receiving ARCs because I love the promotional side to book blogging. I love spreading the word about upcoming titles. The thing that stresses me is playing catch up with all of the new releases I want to read, I think.

      Thank you :)

  5. I have the same problem as you, I buy my own books because I want to read them but also request books from publishers because they sound really interesting and I want to give them publicity and share them with my readers/viewers and so my own books get put on the back burner and then I start to panic about all the books that I have that I want to read but can't get around to because I've made previous commitments. It's like a never ending circle of stress because at the end of the day I like having a relationship with publishers and I like getting free books before they are released to the general public, it definitely still feels like a perk even if it does mean that I'm put under a bit more stress. I think I'm going to start requesting less eARC's and start cutting my books down that way and just stick to physical books from publishers.

    Luckily I find that my audience seems to not mind what I read, obviously I get a lot of people who love YA but I still have a lot of people who are interested in more than just YA. I think most readers like multiple genre's so I definitely wouldn't worry about your audience in that way, and even if some people aren't interested you may just get slightly less traffic to one post but people aren't going to abandon your blog or anything because I don't know about you but when I like a blog and a blogger I feel loyal to them, even if they post a few things I'm not interested in. I think your readers will support you but at the end of the day you blog because you like it, it's a hobby and your hobby shouldn't be dictated by other people.

    1. Thanks Iona :). I completely agree with pretty much everything you've said there. I love getting ARCs because that's when I feel that I'm most actively helping and promoting authors. I'm working on cutting down on the ebook front too. I don't find reading on a Kindle as enjoyable as a physical copy as well, so that could be part of it.

      Thanks for your thoughts :)

  6. I think sometimes as bloggers we stress about having the latest books and reviews, but I actually really enjoy hearing about older books too. Its likely that if I havent read it it will be easier to get hold of (and cheaper!) so its a win/win situation. Try not to worry too much!

    1. Yeah definitely. I miss reading the older books. I've been meaning to read the second Laini Taylor for ages but just haven't gotten round to it!
      Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughts :)


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