Thursday, January 27, 2022

On Accepting My TBR For What It Is | Book Riot

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I’ve a number of methods to handle the books I wish to learn. I add books to Libib after they come into the home. I’ve an outdated spreadsheet of print ARCs that I’ve acquired in a method or one other. I randomly add books to my For Later shelf once I’m scrolling by way of new books on my public library’s web site. I’ve tried numerous apps and landed on a whiteboard for instant reads for e book golf equipment and different issues. And in fact, I add books I’m fascinated by to my Goodreads Want to Read record.

I’ve been on Goodreads since 2009. I keep in mind days earlier than the feed; the day I posted on Facebook, despairing on the introduction of “Recommendations” as a result of my to-read record had damaged 1,000. Then we might begin seeing each e book each buddy was studying, on prime of lists and different really useful books and books we organically got here throughout out within the wild. 

It was chaos. Overnight, there have been methods to double and triple the scale of a to-read record.

Alas, I yearn for the times I had so few books on my record, after which I snicker and add a couple of extra. 

A couple of years in the past, I made a decision I wanted to by some means preserve no less than that a part of my TBR life. There have been books on my (now) Want To Read record that I had certainly grown out of curiosity in or was simply by no means going to learn. People change; and generally, books simply get left behind as extra proceed to return out. So, to be able to higher preserve my record, I began an everyday culling session. Each time, I removed possibly 50 books out of 1000’s.

And then the subsequent day there I used to be: scrolling by way of my feed (as I do each morning…and afternoon…and night, possibly much more typically than the opposite social media platforms) and including ten extra books that sounded attention-grabbing. I couldn’t escape it. It’s such a logical, ordinary motion: see e book, learn description, add to record. 

I’ve begun to simply accept this huge record for what it’s: a repository for my pursuits, needs, and desires. It won’t ever be a spot to take care of a present record of books I count on to really learn in my lifetime. If the subsequent e book I decide as much as learn is on it, that’s nice! If I’m trying to see if there are any “important” books popping out within the subsequent month, I can shortly kind it by launch date and scroll by way of. But it’s not actively telling me what I wish to learn, and I by no means go into my Want To Read record to determine what I’m going to choose up. (I haven’t even used the e book jar — nicely, mug — I made earlier this 12 months with 100 or so top-of-list books for occasions of indecision.) Sure, it’s nice to return throughout books I’ve had on the record for years, particularly if I lastly managed to learn them, or to see that for a few months I used to be very fascinated by fairy story retellings. I can see whose and what historical past I used to be curious to find out about, what routes I might need taken to discover (and possibly abandon) a brand new style. I can see what the massive themes have been in a 12 months’s value of publishing. Or simply in my very own nook of the world. If nothing else, it stands to remind me of assorted books’ existence. But I’m not going to make use of Goodreads’ Want To Read characteristic as something however one thing to take care of an extended, ongoing backlist of my bookish pursuits.

And boy was it releasing to return to that realization. 

It’s helped me come to the identical realization on the subject of my precise TBR. While my Want To Read shelf is a mishmash of “hmm, I wouldn’t burn it” and “if you put it in my hands, I’d read that”, my bodily and digital TBR — the books I personal, both in print or e book/audiobook format — is a set of books I got here to with each intention of sometime studying them. As my Kindle assortment continues to develop and my bodily assortment expands into stacks sorted by measurement and style on the ground as a result of I don’t have room for anymore bookshelves, I’ve had to determine how you can transfer on from the anxiousness and dread. And the best way to do this, I’ve realized, is simply to admire my assortment. So what if I don’t handle to learn all of them? Or even half of them, actually, as I proceed to accumulate extra and transfer on from a few of the pursuits which have discovered their means onto my shelf, like:

  • All the queer YA I nonetheless haven’t made it by way of from the 12 months I used to be on the Rainbow Book List committee. 
  • So a lot nonfiction — memoirs, historical past, social commentary — that I prefer to suppose I’ll get to, however know I received’t, as a result of it’s a lot extra concerned to learn than romance, however that I all the time purchase as a substitute of borrowing from the library as a result of I might by no means get by way of it in three weeks.  
  • Trade comics paperbacks which are years behind the place the collection have gotten to, as a result of in some unspecified time in the future I fell behind and was by no means in a position to catch up once more
  • So Many Romance Novels, In So Many Formats

And increasingly more. Because my TBR undoubtedly says extra about my historical past as a reader, even in simply the previous 5 – 6 years, than my Books I’ve Read assortment does. While my keeper shelf options bits and items, highlights, one of the best of one of the best, the room throughout the corridor is a full index.

Realistically, I must cease shopping for books, simply because I’ve some underlying anxiousness about what I have already got in my possession. And I do wish to attempt to return to Reading My Own Damn Books as typically as I can. But even when the books on my cabinets (and my flooring) and on my kindle and within the Goodreads cloud proceed to develop in quantity, I can settle for the truth that they’re telling me a narrative about myself. (No, not the one about having no willpower, I’ve heard that one already.) 

They’re telling me about what I’ve been fascinated by earlier than, and what I’ll discover myself fascinated by once more. And they inform me that my curiosity and want for tales is rarely going to cease. 

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