Self, DO NOT SUCCUMB TO IT!

I’ve never really been a blogger who has been stressed about reading. (Seriously, before blogging, it would have baffled me that a reading or a hobby based on reading could be so stressful). I have the normal waves of “AHHH SO MANY BOOKS TO READ!” or “AHHHH SO MANY NEW RELEASES HOW CAN I KEEP UP?!?” (I never knew about new releases really before blogging) or “OMG I AM DROWNING IN BOOKS.” But they are small waves that travel through my body and momentarily freak me out and then are gone quickly.

I don’t keep a schedule for reading ARCs or any books, I read quite a variety of things old and new and I just generally keep it low stress for myself — because that’s just how I personally have wanted to go about this for the past (almost) four years.

But these past couple days? I had a meltdown. A big melty meltdown of toddler sized proportions. My thoughts are conflicting and confusing and…annoying? Because I hate stressing about things.

Can I just talk it out with you guys, please?

1. I feel so overwhelmed. There are so many books I’m never going to get to in my entire life. Likely even on my shelves I’ll never get to some of them. I don’t read by release dates but I try to be conscious of what I’ve got but, months like this where EVERYTHING good seems to be coming out, I am slowly feeling anxious over all the books I WANT to get to in this month (and the next) but know that at the pace I read and the time I have available to read that I’ll never get to all the ones I want to + the ones I want to buy when they come out. I get envious of other’s ability to read more than I can.

I feel like keeping up is a fruitless endeavor. I completely stress over which book to read next because I realize that I need to be smart about which books I read because of my finite reading ability and every dud of a book is time I could have had for a better book for me. I get all frantic about my choices and the ones left on the shelves. I feel like I’m missing out (is there book FOMO..there has to be? MAJOR BOOK FEAR OF MISSING OUT). I’m staring at all my books for review & the ones I’ve bought and I feel overwhelmed. Too many choices. Too much pressure. Not enough time.  When I feel like this I just want to hole up and read ALL THE HOURS OF THE DAY I HAVE FREE — because I’m genuinely excited about all these books but because of the book FOMO or stress or whatever we want to label it.

2. But then I have these other thoughts where I just don’t WANT to read all day every day, despite the rabbit-esque multiplying my TBR does on the daily, as much as sometimes I feel the pressure to do that because of blogging. I’ve talked about how last year I was feeling really unbalanced in life because of book blogging but I really do like to maintain some sort of balance in my life in all areas. Blogging has always been a struggle because it is so easy to let it take up a lot of time without even realizing it. I’ve been intentional about setting low reading goals even though I know I COULD read more + setting boundaries with blogging.

Sometimes I feel like, as much as reading is one of my favorite things in LIFE, I just don’t want to read THAT much and becoming a devouring machine that constantly and only ever is reading. I also want to savor what I’m reading. To not just move on to the next thing and let that be that – like how I was before I started blogging. I don’t want to treat reading like a race.  And on top of that..I really don’t want reading to be this stressful thing. (I know I control that though blogging DOES add to that).

And really..what’s the end game in me reading that much or trying to frantically read that much? It’d be a combination of the desire to read ALL THE BOOKS because as a bookworm I want to know all the stories & worlds & characters  & also it’s the pressure… but to what end? For what purpose? This is what I have to keep asking myself. I can’t do it all. I need perspective.

Sigh I feel much better getting that out. I’m taking deep breathes and just trying to go back to my zen attitude about reading and blogging. I’m okay with my little bookworm freakouts that happen from time to time because such is the bookworm life but I’m not okay with the rattling meltdown I had (for no reason) in the past couple days wherein I just stressed myself out big time about something I love and that keeps me sane normally.

Does anyone else sometimes feel the weight of all the books they will never get to?? Bloggers, do you feel stressed about reading sometimes?? How do you manage? I’m not used to succumbing to the pressure that’s always there! Please can we talk this out because Will just doesn’t get it at all!
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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. I definitely feel that pressure a lot. I have always liked reading throughout my life, but I became a much more avid reader in my freshman year of college (so within the past 7 years) and my love for reading just keeps growing. In college before I really discovered the online book community (booktube, bloggers, goodreads…etc) I was trying to catch up with all the books that everyone else was reading and I felt like I missed out on. But it wasn’t that overwhelming because I’d find myself still going to a bookstore and picking up a book that looked interesting without hearing much about it. I slowly became more immersed with the online book community when I signed up for goodreads and found more and more books that way and then about a year ago I found booktube and then bloggers and started blogging myself and my passion for reading has grown even more but so has my TBR pile. It’s crazy! I know I’ll never be able to keep up with it! Also reading a lot now that I wouldn’t have before and I’m paying more attention to new releases (before I’d only read back lists) and it’s just becomes so overwhelming sometimes!! And now I feel like I primarily read YA after finding booktube which is fine in a sense, I love YA but I also love Adult books and classics and they have become neglected :/ I’m working on not stressing so much though about my reading – like I set my goodreads goal for 50 books which I feel is attainable and I am not aloud to touch it, it’s just there to keep track of what I read this year. I also have been going through my shelves and getting rid of books I know I won’t read and also being more picky about what I buy. Man…. I feel like I could go on forever about this, so I’m just going to leave it here. Know that I feel your pain and that all of us booklovers can get through this one book at a time :)

    • Yes! Oh the TBR anxiety! This is also my problem…I was late to the YA game so I still have lots of backlist + new releases….and like you I also read adult and classics which I have neglected largely since I started blogging. I have this desire to read more of the adult books these days but I feel so guilty with all my YA review books lately. I don’t know what has gotten into me! I did a little cull but I think I need to go through and do some major reevaluating and ask myself why each book is on my shelf and if I truly am interested in it.

      • Thanks for your reply :) The other day I had a sudden urge to read a good adult book– a good historical mystery one. I was having trouble finding what one to read and then I got immersed in a cute romantic YA book lol. I think that more than anything stresses me out, not being able to read other genres besides YA. — I don’t think you should put so much pressure on yourself especially for your review books – you can’t do it all. I get books off of netgalley and I feel bad that I haven’t read them all but I don’t like to feel pressured or assigned to read a book especially since I’m a mood reader! But I may try to read one a month! I have a lot of books on my shelf that I still may not read but I’m trying to view it as my library where I will always have a new book to read! Hope you get out of this rut soon :)

  2. It’s a little eerie how closely I was able to relate to this post and how often I’ve struggled with the same or similar feelings recently. Prior to blogging I would never have worried about reading at a certain pace or feeling any sort of pressure associated with the act of reading. Frankly, when I first began blogging, I didn’t realize just how much work was involved. “That’s easy!”, I thought. It never occurred to me that my reading routine might change or that there might be massive demands on my time, not only when it came to reading, but in terms of reviewing, scheduling posts, etc. When I first began blogging, I was also under fewer constraints as I was simply reviewing books I owned and that had already been published. I didn’t have to worry about advance reader copies, publication deadlines, reading schedules, etc. Oh, how that has changed.

    The worst part of all? I feel like I have no right to complain. I know how blessed I am to work with a number of publishers, to receive an ever-increasing number of advance reader copies and to have been given as many opportunities as I have from authors and publishers alike. But I do worry. It does stress me out. As much as I try to adhere to a reading schedule based on publication dates, I’m also a mood reader. Sometimes I don’t want to read the heavier ‘issue’ book, even if it is next to be published. Worst still – Twice this month publication dates have been changed at the last minute and what I once thought I was ‘on top of’ I am now unexpectedly, woefully behind in. Case in point: Carrie Arcos’ There Will Come A Time. Originally scheduled for publication on May 13th, I learned today that the publication date had moved. To today. Cue the minor panic attack. Have I read it yet? Of course not! Foolishly I thought I still have close to a month to do so. Even when you make a reading schedule, there are so many unknown and unforeseen variables that you simply can’t control.

    I appreciate every single advance reader copy I receive. I want to ‘do right’ by the publishers and authors by reading and reviewing their work in a timely manner. But sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m only one person. I’m human. I will make mistakes. I will fall short. I will fail. And that’s okay. This is a hobby, not a job. I’m not being compensated for the literal hours I spend on Pop! Goes The Reader each week, and as much as I adore doing it, I have to remind myself to step back and gain a little perspective. This is supposed to be fun. We blog because we love books and we want to share that love with others. But how can we do that when we’re not taking care of ourselves? When we’re forcing ourselves to read or blog when it’s at our own expense? Like you, I want to savour what I read. To have the ability to linger over certain passages for minutes, even hours, if I want to. Reading at a fast clip simply to ‘get it done’ is treating a book like a disposable fast food meal, and given all the time, energy, and hard work that goes into a single book’s publication, I think both the book and the author deserve more than that.

    Thank you for reminding me that we all struggle with these sort of feelings of pressure and expectation. I know I’ll be returning to this post the next time my literal bookcases full of unread books are causing me to break out in a cold sweat.

    • Yes I feel the guilt of complaining about it too bc I am so thankful and gracious of all I receive! I hate that it’s so easy for a hobby we love to become stressful at times. I’m really not liking this freakout bc I generally don’t feel a huge pressure bc I just do what I want, when I can and I know that I read way less than most bloggers and I am okay with that! Alsoooo totally didn’t know that book got pushed up! Crap!! Thought I still had time!

  3. I think where a large part of my anxiety stems from is that I’m reading for someone else’s benefit. I’m not just reading for me and my little blog; the majority of the time I spend reading is for my students. My days are filled with teen fiction because their days are filled with it. I’m trying to build up the teen fiction section of my library, and I like to ‘vet’ as many of the books as I can. What’s it like concerning language, sex, context and concepts? Will it be too mature for them? Even though I firmly believe in the freedom to read whatever we choose, most parents don’t think that way. Is this book worth losing my job over? And most of the time I play it safe because no, it’s not! Most Amazon reviews, or even blog reviews, don’t include the factors I look for because it’s not of concern to someone reading for pleasure, so I have to find out for myself.

    But also, it’s more than just buying books recommended by book lists and school library journal. When my kids come in the library and say “I hate reading!” or “All these books are boring; there’s nothing to read!”, I like to be able to in the moment guide them to something more stimulating to their interests. Like I wish someone had done for me, instead of letting required school reading force me into not reading for years. When I say #WhatsNew in the library, when I give a book talk, it helps if you can speak from a personal reading experience. Those are the books that have multiple copies that fly off the shelves, because I gave it my stamp of approval.

    But, there are so many books, especially lately, I’m finding it hard to keep up! Luckily, summer is coming, and I’ll have time to catch up for next school year. Great topic!

    • What a very interesting perspective…thank you for sharing! That must be a lot of pressure —balancing what you need and want to read and knowing what you do benefits others.

      I know that some readers of my blog are teachers and librarians and use my blog as a guide or to help them. Would it be helpful for you if blogs included that info or would you not be inclined to trust someone else’s judgement and would still want to see for yourself?

      And I totally agree that you taking the time to be able to really talk to them about the books to get them to read and be excited is more helpful than slapping a list up of books.

      Thanks for your thoughts and you sound like a fab librarian!!

      • It would be helpful, I probably wouldn’t have to read AS much. How much profanity is there? If there is more than one F-bomb, it would be out of my age range because I go by the same rule as a PG-13 movie: you only get one. Subject matters, themes: This Song Will Save Your Life deals heavily with suicide and a relationship with an older boy; Falling Kingdoms discusses a supposed incestuous relationship. Is there sex involved? If so, how gratuitous? What age range or grade level woud you peg it for?

        Knowing things like that would help me decide if I want look more into a book or not. It’s tough because teen fiction now is so much different than when I was a kid.

  4. I relate a lot to number one. More than I ever let on with anyone. There are just so many books and SO not enough time and I want to read them all, I do! But then I notice I’m reading crap that I don’t care about and I’m actually getting better at DNF (it’s weird, right?!) but I still could never maintain a schedule. I’m such a mood reader that I only read what REALLY sounds good to me no matter how hard I try to obey A LIST. So what I’m saying, is once again, shockingly, you aren’t alone. And like I said before I’m a text/email away. I may be snarky. But I’m here.

  5. I relate to a lot of things you mentioned in your post. But you know. I get eARCs and I read them from time to time and I’m not the fastest reader. I have lots of awesome books and I just read them when I want to. I don’t pre-order books, I buy books when they’re on sale. I still haven’t read Divergent you know. I haven’t read a lot of popular books at the moment. And honestly, I don’t really care. Of course, some books I want to read, but I am just not rich enough to buy a nice, newly published book. I’ll get to it. One day in the future. No hurry for me. I’m not planning to die anytime soon. So if I read that book when I’m 80, great :)

  6. Oh I definitely feel the stress and the pressure sometimes. I was actually staring at my bookshelf last night and started to freak out over it because there are so many books on it that I have yet to read. And then I start thinking about how many books I have on my Kindle and I just want to hole up in my room surrounded by all the books and just read read read until the end of times.

    Unlike you though, I’m a planner. I keep a loose schedule of books to read and that helps alleviate some of the pressure for me personally. Because that way I feel like I have a plan. It’s not just a giant pile of books for me. But within that plan, I also make sure to build in “free” books (at least one per week) where I can pick whatever I want to read. Of course if there’s a book in the “plan” that I don’t feel like reading, I don’t force myself, but I’m not a mood reader so usually that doesn’t happen. That’s just what works for me though. I still know in the back of my head that I will never finish my TBR before I die. It’s impossible when I’m adding AT LEAST one book a day (really it’s probably more than that…) and only reading 3-4 per week, sometimes less. That math definitely doesn’t work out. So I’m just going to try my best to read the books that I really want to read and hope that I don’t miss out.

  7. I get where you’re coming from, definitely. At times I stare at the TBR books I own and have a mini freak-out because I really want to get them off my shelf (I limit myself – no buying new books unless there’s room on that particular shelf). I recently started my own blog meme, Lost or Forgotten Books, where I tackle one book a month (easy, right?). The only rule is that I pick a book that’s been on my shelf for over a year. This way I’m getting through a few of them, but not killing myself about it.

  8. I didn’t think of reading as potentially problematic until I started blogging, either. I just read what I wanted and re-read the books I loved most as much as I wanted. After three years of blogging, I have ~70 unread books on my shelves and on my Kindle. I’m constantly changing my mind about how to prioritize them. I should focus on ARCs by date! No, I should read them in the order I bought them! I should read what I feel like reading in the moment! Library books first!

    Basically, I don’t have a system. Systems just made me feel bad about what I haven’t read yet, and they made me feel guilty about the slumps when I felt like blowing off reading and blogging.

    In the end, it was a Frank Zappa quote that put me at ease with the whole thing: “If you end up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.” Don’t let anyone, even your self-created systems, let you get in the way of doing your thing. If it feels right, you’ll know it.

  9. Being a book blogger can be an exhausting endeavor! When I started, I couldn’t get enough books. It was so exciting to have a never-ending supply. Lately I’ve been so burned out on reading that it’s turned into a chore rather than pleasure. So many books I wanted to read were filling my inbox, but there’s only enough time for a few. I was second guessing my choices, reading five books a week while writing and marketing my own work. Utter madness! I found I wasn’t enjoying the reading process because I was too stressed out. What to do? First I cut back to three books per week. Once I’ve made my choices, it’s over. I try not to gaze longingly at all the sparkly new covers popping up everywhere. I share all those ebook deals with my followers, but refrain from buying any unless I can’t live without it. Once it’s put into the life or death scenario, it’s amazing how many books I can live without :) Oh, and I stay far away from Netgalley now. That place is way too addicting! I’m just starting the recovery phase. Since my blogs are booked out 3 months in advance, the changes I made in January are finally kicking in. Just cutting back to three books a week has made a huge difference. I’m back to reading for pleasure and enjoying my reading time. It went from a race back to a journey. I learned the hard way that too much of a good thing can be very bad. At first it was hard to say no to the publishers and authors, but after doing it a few times, it got easier. I’m only one person. Yeah, I get what you’re going through. My friends and family don’t understand at all. They think I’m crazy at times. It takes my mother a month to read a book. Seriously, a month. In February I read and reviewed eighteen books to her one. She enjoyed her one book far more than I enjoyed the race through those eighteen. *sigh* I don’t know if slowing down is the answer for everyone, but it is sure working for me.

    • Ah, the recovery phase. Sounds like the place I’m working towards. I’ve restricted myself from even logging onto NetGalley or Edelweiss. I have 3 books on NG that took me a few weeks to get approved for, and now I’m just like Yikes!! Between those, and the ones I already have, it’s like treading water. So I won’t be requesting anything new until late in the summer, right before school starts and I’d like to get new books for my library.

      Reading quickly became overwhelming, which made me stop reading for years before. I don’t want to go back there.

  10. I felt that way about 6 months after I started blogging. I couldn’t keep up. I have 2 kids and other stuff that has to get done every day. Kids don’t give me a break, even though a lot of kidless people tend to think stay at home moms sit on their butts all day and put the kids in front of the tv. Not this stay at home mom! I’m don’t stop from 7am-8pm. Then in the evenings, as much as I want to just sit and read every night, exercise is important to me, as is spending with mr. betty– so reading sometimes gets put on the back burner. I started Daughter of Smoke and Bone last Friday and I’m only 50 pages in!!! WHAAAAAT??? I know, right?? WTF? I usually kill 2 books in a week, yet sometimes life just happens and it might take a week or 2 to read 1 book. I don’t let it get to me. If I were to die tomorrow, I’d rather know that I spent my day doing a variety of things that matter than finishing one more book on my tbr list! Go with the flow, man. Don’t stress over it. You’ll get to the books. There will always be new books and lots of old books and no matter what you or anyone else does, no one can get to them all! And for blogging…. your blog isn’t going anywhere. If you have THINGS to do one week and can only post 2-3 times, instead of 5, so what. This isn’t your job. I’ve been happy posting about 3 times a week. 5 times a week was starting to feel like work, which was never my intention with the blog!

    • The thing is I’ve always been pretty good about this after I got stressed in year one. I don’t know what’s getting into me. I’m sure you probs remember all the chats we had before you started. I’m fine not posting…like that’s not even the issue. I could not post for a week and I’m fine. I think the year of my wedding helped that bc I posted maybe 2x a week if I was lucky. And would be quiet for weeks. It’s more the pressure of reading…all the piles and new releases and the recommended books. There’s the pressure of people going OMG you have to read this or feeling like you are so out of the loop with raved about books. I know I could squeeze in more reading time if I stopped hanging out with ppl or doing stuff with Will but I would never want that. I’ve been very intentional about NOT doing that this whole time so I don’t know why I’m letting this reading guilt and pressure get to me when in fact I would actually not like reading 200 books a year personally. I’ve always been fine taking a week or couple days and not reading if I don’t feel like it. Maybe it’s the mounting piles I really have no room for? Idk. I think I also need to really cut down on my tbr and really ask myself why I have some of these books on it and reevaluate. Sighhh I hope this passes soon and I get back to my normal non caring ways ! Maybe if I start culling that will help! I’m just glad that even in the midst of my freakout I still maintain my need to have a diverse life . That keeps me grounded. Maybe this is just 4 years of this finally getting to me!!

    • It’s funny you mention the Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Betty, because that is exactly what stresses me out. SERIES. I read the first book of that series over a year ago and there are two more books out already for me to read. Now it has been so long that I know I have to re-read Book#1 before I start #2 giving me even more to read and less time. Before I clicked on this post, I saw reviews for Split Second and I loved Pivot Point and I so desperately wish I had time to read Split Second also, but I have the rest of The Grisha series to read too. And don’t even get me started on all the other books that I have on my list that were one book when I added them and now have 2 or 3. I can’t keep up. I find it harder and harder to read book blogs because I know every time I see a great review I will want to add that book to my TBR and my list cannot possibly get any longer.
      Now I am not only writing my own books, but I also beta read for a number of authors and between the blog and my own work efforts, it is harder and harder to find the time to just read for the enjoyment of it. Something has to give and I am curious to see where I break and what I let go first.
      Great post and reading over all these comments, it seems a lot of us really needed to vent : ) thanks for letting us!

  11. I get this TBR anxiety. You’re right; there are SO MANY BOOKS and we probably won’t even get to all of them. And I totally understand about not wanting to read all the time and wanting to savor books. I hear about people that read ungodly amounts of novels in a year, and I’m always like, “How is this even possible? How can you even enjoy what you’re reading when you fly through them so fast?” Even though we’re all bloggers and we can be expected to read this and review that, we can do whatever we want with our blogs. I don’t review ARCs and I never review books right when they come out – I simply read whatever I feel like reading. Is that I crime? Does it make my blog a “lesser” one? Maybe some will think so, but it’s just not something I care about. I just want to read and be able to talk about what I liked/disliked about each book.

  12. Oh, god this is SUCH an issue! I too want to read ALL of the books and even though I know it’s both completely illogical and impossible I still try. My biggest issue of late is that while I am perfectly fine to spend my weekend relaxing and reading, the hubs is not too keen on it. I can maybe get away with a few hours each day but then he starts to get antsy. Urgh.

  13. YES! I completely understand where you are coming from here! I’m a senior in high school, so I should have time to read as much as I want to, but I just don’t. Following as many book blogs and listening to as many book podcasts as I do, I am CONSTANTLY hearing about all these amazing new books that I need in my life. I want to be able to read, enjoy and love the books I am reading, instead of devouring them so I can get to the next one. I think that has slowed my reading down immensely. When I am reading just so I can get to the next book I want to read, I think it becomes toxic, and can potentially ruin a book for me. A book that could’ve been one of my new favorites. I don’t want this to happen, so I’ve started keeping my TBR list out of sight when I’m currently reading a good book. Or only deal with it in chunks.

    My TBR list is on my phone, and I have it separated into genres and if it is YA, NA or adult. That way, when I finish a book, and I know I’m in the mood for a YA mystery, I can only look at the books on that TBR sub-list. It prevents book FOMO, and I think it has helped organize my reading schedule.

    As for the finite number of books left to read (EEK that scares me so much), I listen to the Book Riot podcasts, and they have one called Dear Book Nerd. It’s basically book lovers sending in questions, and they answer them. The first episode deals with that question, and here’s the link: http://bookriot.com/2014/01/23/dear-book-nerd-podcast-episode-1/

    (Sorry I couldn’t figure out the HTML to embed it)

    Hope my TBR sub-list suggestion is of use! ~Lydia

  14. I am literally just getting into blogging so I don’t have a giant pile of books TBR, well other than what I get from the library or purchase for myself which is a big enough pile. But I definitely identify with the not having enough time to read all the books. I have 3 kids and I just don’t have enough time to read during the day. It definitely feels like a competition sometimes. Everyone is reading such awesome books! And I’m lucky to get through 1-2 a week. But I wanted to start blogging to LEARN about all these awesome books everyone is reading. So I’m trying to find good books without stressing about what I can’t read. Indecision is horrible for me. I can’t decide what I want to read, because I don’t want to waste time on books that aren’t that great. So basically, I don’t know what i’m doing. LOL. I’m just trying not to add more stress to my life. Good luck finding your balance again!

  15. Ohhh yes, I have meltdowns every so often and my husband kindly and bemusedly talks me down haha. There are just SO many books! And it’s hard for me to resist. I’m constantly going over my lists on goodreads and amazon and plotting what to get next. Nevermind the fact that there are books on my shelf I got YEARS ago and still haven’t read even though I swear I really want to! I’m always stressing over what to read next because I want to read them allll at once… and don’t even get me started on the library. I have 9 books checked out right now. 9 books I really want to read, but I guarantee I’ll renew half of them twice and still send a few back unread. It’s like I have book gluttony or something. And I feel soooo guilty all the time, and greedy when I want new books when I still have so many to read. It’s nice when my mom and husband and friends remind me though that books are not a bad vice to have… I also try to remember that I’m reading because I love it and it’s not a race like you said! I can’t compare myself to other people and I should read for the joy of reading (and still go outside and go to the movies and bake and do the million other things I also love to do). Thanks for this post, I have a feeling a lot of people will relate to it like I did <3

  16. YES. I have 33 physical books on my TBR shelf right now, my real TBR, not my GR one. From those, there are at least 4 sequels coming. I’m behind a few digital ARCs (4, maybe?) and there’s a bunch of free and inexpensive books on my kindle that I can’t even quantify. Plus 15 books coming out this year that I MUST BUY, not even the ones I really want to read. I think my GR TBR is a hair under 800 books, but in general, I’ve just stopped adding to it, because it sort of brings me down.

    SIGH.

    Oh and I’m in the middle of 2 digital ARCs right now.

  17. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Plus for me add in that I read a lot of the books I work on too, and while a lot of them are things I would read anyway, I have to prioritize them more than I otherwise might. One thing that’s helped me lately is being really proactive about my TBR pile–I go through it once a month or so and have made a second “semi-reject” pile for books that I’m not necessarily dying to read, but maybe I’ll read them someday so I don’t want to get rid of them yet. Then if something hasn’t moved off this other pile after a few months, I feel better about getting rid of it.

    I’ve also been trying to be better about not looking at my phone as much on weekends–during the week I look at twitter/instagram for decompression a lot, but on the weekends I’ve been trying to devote those little pockets of time to reading (or at least to reading my magazines, which leaves more time for books.)

    I keep daydreaming about finishing my entire TBR and going to the bookstore for a MASSIVE shopping spree–but I also know full well this will probably never happen. I’m down to about 25 books on my actual TBR shelf though which I consider a huge victory for me.

  18. I feel that way all the time! I usually call my friends in a state of panic/shock and tell them I am so stressed out about reviews and reading things in a timely fashion, getting more books, etc. But then I try to remind myself, sometimes it does not work, that this is supposed to be fun.
    This month has been especially slow because a few of the books have been HUGE and I’ve been super busy with work and travel. But I think in general, it’s good to maybe plan? I feel like I pick books to read based on my mood, and so some never get read because I’m just not in the mood to read them. Also, I have to remember that there is a LIBRARY out there that I can use. So even if I don’t read the book now, and give it away, it will still exist and I can read it later.
    I totally get what you’re saying, and I really do suffer from that like every day I need to pick a new book to read! (this one is coming out, this one needs to be reviewed, this one i want to read, but this one…)
    I think most important thing I’ve learned, which sometimes does work, is I need to stay off NetGalley and Amazon. I don’t need to acquire any more books. I need to enjoy the ones I have… and then move them along.
    I hope you feel better! I totally get it!

  19. Right now I have reviewer’s anxiety. I devour books like a starving guinea pig (my guinea pig enjoys munching on paper, so I try to keep my books and homework away from her), but I can never seem to find time to sit down and write the reviews.
    On really busy weeks, I try to calm down and pick two books that I really want to read and ignore the rest of the TBR list. The reviews get done eventually; I try to alternate between the reviews of books that I really want to review and the ones that I’ve put off for way too long.

  20. OH MY GOD THIS IS LITERALLY ME RIGHT NOW. I have been stressing out SO much this past week about this. I’ve been really into non-fiction academic type books lately , but those take me longer to read, and then I worry that I’ll start missing out on all the amazing YA coming out, and I can’t balance it at all. And like, every week more and more books come out and I’m like I CANNOT KEEP UP. But I’m like you where I don’t went to spend all of my life reading. Most of my reading is done before bed and I like it that way. Not gonna lie, I never felt like this before blogging. I think this is partly related to the fact that I had a lot less knowledge about all of the releases every week, but I also think that my stress about keeping up causes me to read less because I just avoid reading altogether when I get like that.

    I honestly don’t know the solution to this and don’t have any advice, but basically you are definitely not alone in this :)

  21. I always try to tell myself that reading is for my enjoyment, and it should stay that way. I use reading as a stress reliever. My life outside of reading and blogging is so stressful, that sometimes I just need an escape into another world. I try to keep my books organized and keep in mind when ARCs are about to be published and what not. I used to keep a list of books where once I read one book, I would automatically go to the next one on the list. I found this made me miserable. After reading a certain book, I sometimes get cravings for a certain type of book. Like for example, if I’m reading a dark and heavy dystopian, sometimes I need a light romance to pick up my mood.

    I also know that there are books in my collection that I will never touch just because its so low on my want-to-read list, so I just cleaned them out and sold them to a book store. They were books that I know are available at the library if I ever feel the need to read them. It was one of the most liberating things I have ever done.

    I also think its okay to take a break once in a while from reading. Sometimes I feel like I need to recharge to keep reading because if I don’t, it starts to become a chore.

  22. This month and next month. SO MANY ARCs. I HAVE to keep a schedule, or I’ll lose track of all the things, miss release dates and not fulfill my duty as a reviewer/blogger. I have mini-stresses, but I also feel like this time of year is the time when I get to prove to myself how strong I am, how much I love reading…and it really makes me a better reviewer, too, because I get stronger, faster, better at writing. So yeah…stressful, but kind of in a good way?

    I do feel disappointed when I look at my shelves and see the books that I HAD to have on release day…and then never got to. Gah. But I’ve kind of stopped stressing about it, and I now use my grad school coping mechanism of saying to myself, “I will get it done, I will get to those.” It’s weird, but saying that to myself makes me calm down…

    Man, I’m really weirder than I thought. =p

  23. OMG YES! I have all these books I want to read so bad and I don’t have the time to read them all and omg it is so frustrating and I wish I had a magic gift where I could read a book in two seconds just by picking it up and touching it to my forehead and that would be so awesome!! (takes breath)

  24. lulufrances says:

    oh gosh, i completely get you jamie!!!

    i sometimes get soo excited about books and all the ones i want to purchase and suddenly it all comes down on me like “what is even the purpose of trying to read and have so many books?” there is no proper justified reason, i reckon. but it’s fun. and i always say that having a library looks cool in my room ;) so my books are also a decoration.
    but don’t worry, these stressful book-questioning moments surely happen to most of us.
    hashtag i feel you

  25. Ha! So I’m not the only one, that’s always nice to know. Ugh! Yes! I’m definitely feeling pressure that I’m sure is just me putting on myself. I work writing for a book fansite plus my own blog about books and writing and I’m trying to write a book AND I’m trying to read ALL THE BOOKS ON MY TBR! My brain…For the fansite, I’m trying to catch up on books I’m extremely behind on then there’s the new books I REALLY want to read, and then just the regular TBR I also want to get to…then there’s “Oh hey, gotta write something on the blog, remember?” Sadly, when the pressure builds, I go into a hole where I don’t do any of it. I’m shut the world away, procrastinate reading, writing and then days pass and the guilt and pressure of “time wasted” then rears it’s ugly head. haha It’s a vicious freaking circle. I’m in that ‘breathing in a paper bag’ week so I don’t have any advice on how to crawl out of the hole. Need. More. Hours. In. The. Day.

  26. I definitely get MBFOMO too, so many amazing books and I will never have time to read them all. I do tend to feel a little antsy if I don’t pick up a book and read once a day, even if its just for 5 minutes, that’s starting to sound like a real addition there.

    It’s easier said than done but don’t put so much pressure on yourself to read because you might get burnt out on it and end up hating it which would suck because reading and blogging are so much fun.

    Rosie x

Trackbacks

  1. […] read in my lifetime. I think Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner talked about this in a recent post, Self, DO NOT SUCCUMB TO IT! This is an excellent post that I suggest you go read because I think for all of us readers, that is […]

  2. […] Self, DO NOT SUCCUMB TO IT! from The Perpetual Page Turner – Jamie discusses being stressed out about reading. I hope I never get to this point. If anything, it’ll probably be me stressing about finishing ARCs because of other life things getting in the way, like a dysfunctional course that continuously postpones assignments. Yeah. That’ll be me. […]

  3. […] Jamie is trying not to succumb to the pressure of reading all the books. […]

  4. […] Jamie from Perpetual Page Turner tells herself (and us) not to succumb to the stress of realising we are never going to be able to read every book out […]

  5. […] Self, Do Not Succumb To It! (On Expectations, Pressure and Anxiety) by Jamie @ The Perpetual […]

  6. […] Self, Do Not Succumb to It! at The Perpetual Page-Turner […]

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