April 26, 2013

So Many Books... So Little Time... I May Have a Problem

I have an addiction. Admitting it is the first step toward recovery right? At least I hope so. 

Luckily this is the first and hopefully last time I have this problem... having too many books to read therefore blogging is starting to slightly feel like a chore. 

I feel like I have requested too many ARCs (I wasn't trying to be greedy, I just didn't think I would get approved), am hoarding books from the library, and keep adding books on to my TBR pile (seriously, its growing at an alarming rate, which isn't really a problem it is just a little overwhelming), all of which is starting to make me a little anxious that I will never be able to read just for fun in the near future. 

I think I'm just now realizing that I will never be able to read ALL THE BOOKS.

Warning: I've been working on this post for two weeks and I can never seem to get it just right. So hang in there if I don't make sense or just start rambling. 

So now I will tell you my story. I will share with you my bookish hardships and how I am tempting to overcome them. 

So keep reading if you want to hear me ramble on about something that really isn't that bad but is freaking me out because this is the first time it has ever happened to me. I have never really had so many books I had to read before, and so many other books that I want to read that I keep adding to my TBR pile.

The reasons behind my "epiphany" aka my bookish problems:
  • I get so many books from the library that I return half of them before reading them. The best part, I renew them the one time I am allotted first, which means I get each book for six weeks total, unless they are the new release one week rentals. So why then am I not reading most of them?
  • I am way behind on my 2013 reading challenges. I have only read one book for the TBR Pile Challenge and one book for the Series Challenge. I would really like to change this. I mean April almost over already!
  • I still have four books from netgalley that I need to read and review. I made the mistake of requesting a lot of books about two months ago, thinking I wouldn't get approved, but I did and they just so happen to have release days all around the same time.
  • I have two books from ARCycling I need to read and review.
  • I have four books that I have acquired from Christmas and my birthday that I would really like to read and have yet to find the time. 
  • I also have a book that I won from goodreads first reads that I need to read.
  • I won't even mention (okay sorry I guess I am mentioning) a few even older books sitting on my shelf that I have yet to read, but at least these ones I would be reading for fun and were not for review, so that isn't so bad.
I know not all of these issues aren't really an issue. My main concern is being overwhelmed by the amount of books I need to read for review and not getting any time to read the books I want to read just for fun. Therefore reading is starting to become frustrating, and I NEVER want that to happen. So I needed a wake up call once I realized I was in a little over my head. 

My not so great solutions during my denial phase:
  • Just buy another bookcase. I mean you can never have too many of those right?
  • You can never have too many books, so I don't really have a problem at all.
  • The library books are free therefore it doesn't matter if I get an insane number of library books stacked up in the corner of my bedroom.
My solutions that made more sense:
  • I stopped requesting ARCs on netgalley. A simple fix. I'm not a huge fan of reading on my reader anyway and I never want to get to that point where I always feel like I HAVE to read instead of doing it because I love reading. I will not allow myself to request any more books until I have finished all the current ones I have yet to read, and I give myself a week long break after.
  • The earliest I will be returning to the library is in the middle of May, or at least until my must read pile of books has diminished. I know it never hurts to have a lot of library books, but then I really thought about it. What about all those poor people that want to read the books I'm hoarding? Or what about the fact that I will read library books and completely ignore my other books until I read myself in a corner, like the one time I forgot about a blog tour I was a part of and was reading the book three days before my post date.  I will never let that happen again. So bye-bye library books, for now.
  • I have a list on my computer of all the books I have received for review and when they are being published. This has helped a great deal.
In the end... I'm laying down the law, with the help of my husband. (Seriously, I told him he may have to hold me back from going to the library.) You books can suck it. (Sorry books...I still love you it really isn't your fault.) 

I may be slightly overreacting about this whole thing, but in truth I don't want reading to ever feel like a chore, so if I have to set up some guidelines for a short amount of time I'm okay with that. So far it has been working wonderfully.

I still love getting ARCs and going to the library, but I just need to be slightly more picky and try not to bite off more than I can chew.

I have come to accept (supposedly) that I will never be able to read ALL THE BOOKS, but I'm still going to try in a non-stressful way. :)

Do you ever have any of these problems? Have you come up with any solutions? I would LOVE to hear all about it below!


  1. I totally have the same problem. I work at a library, so I'm there FIVE DAYS A WEEK. It's amazing how fast the pile grows when you check out a book here or there. I think my reading pile would diminish if I wasn't there so often, but it's a fun job, so I'm not going anywhere. :) Great post!

    1. I would LOVE to work at a library, but boy would I have an even more bigger pile of library books! lol I'm glad you love your job and you get to be surrounded by books all day. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

  2. I think most of us feel this way and it sucks because then it makes blogging/reading feel like a job where when we first started, it felt like fun. I made a commitment to myself when I first started blogging that I would never let the pressure get me down and if I started to feel like it was too much, I'd take a step back to get my priorities straight. I blog/read because it's what I love to do. I never want it to feel like a chore and I'm sure you feel the same way.

    I think the steps you've already taken are more than enough and I applaud the fact that you've set boundaries for yourself. Unfortuantely, none of us will ever really be able to enjoy ALL THE BOOKS (though we all still try) but at least we get to as many as we're physically able to. Never let reading/blogging bring you down and if you have to, take a step away and catch your breath. In the end, you'll feel so much better. Also, know that you're not alone! We're always here if you need to vent/decompress!

    1. Thanks Nikki! Your comment made my day. I'm just glad I set up a few boundaries so I never get in a corner where I feel so overwhelmed again. I still love blogging and reading but there were a couple of moments in the past few weeks where I was like WHY?! lol

      I'm glad I'm not alone on this. I think it is almost a good thing that I ran into this now because I learned my lesson. I never what blogging to feel like a chore or job, so I will have to keep in mind that stepping away for a bit would never hurt anyone.

      Thanks for your comment! :)

    2. Anytime, Kay! It's just a shame because in recent months I've seen so many AH-MAZING book bloggers end their blogging lives because the pressure became too much. I'd hate to see another friend (i.e. - YOU) down for the count. :)

  3. I used to feel bad about not reading library books before they were due back. I try to limit the new books I get and read more older books. I can extend the time I have on older books more than the newer ones.
    I also stopped buying books. I usually don't read them. I tend to read library books first so my own books languish on the shelf. I'll read them eventually.
    I think your problems are the same as all book bloggers. No one can read all the books. We just read as much as we can.

    1. Thanks Linda for sharing your experience! There are times when I just get way too many books at the library and then I get sad and a little stressed when I can't read them all.

      I try not to buy any books anymore unless they are in a series that I already own or I'm like really wanting it. That way I don't have a big pile that I spent money on and haven't read yet. Sadly money doesn't grow on trees.

  4. I can relate to this SO much. I did the same exact thing -- I never in a million years thought I'd get approved for so many NetGalley books or win so many GoodReads or Shelf Awareness giveaways/requests. I entered way too many thinking my odds were way less than they actually were. Here is what has worked for me:

    1. I let go of the feeling of obligation to review the GoodReads books I won that I'm not really that interested in. That program in particular specifically says that reviewing is encouraged but not required (you don't even have to be a blogger or reviewer to enter) and the only harm done by not reviewing is to reduce my odds of winning anything in the future, but I'm totally OK with that (and I have reviewed a lot of these books, just not all of them)! Donating ARCs from GoodReads I've decided not to read to ARCycling also makes me feel better that at least it will get reviewed by someone else, even if it's not me.

    2. As for NetGalley, I'm still trying to read most of the books I got approved for, but I have reminded myself that the review doesn't HAVE to be up before publication day -- in fact a lot of blog readers like to know the book is already available when they read a review. So I'm trying to catch up on most of those, but I'm not forcing myself to get up pre-publication or release day reviews for everything. Buzz about the book shortly after publication is a good thing too. I also don't request new books from NetGalley because I really don't prefer e-reading. Also, I've decided it's OK to abandon a few I wasn't really into because I got a little click-happy.

    3. Books I won in random contests go to the back burner even if they are ARCs -- again, there was no expectation or obligation to review in these cases, so I'm not making myself crazy.

    4. I don't do blog tours because having a firm deadline like that would not work for me.

    5. I make sure any new Shelf Awareness contests/requests are for books I positively want to read if I were to receive them and I give these ARCs priority.

    6. No matter what books I feel I *should* read I always make sure that whatever I choose to pick up next is something I also want to read and am in the mood for that type of book. I am not a fast reader, so if I were forcing myself to read something, it would just take that much longer. I try to mix things up which keeps reading from feeling like a chore.

    So really overall, I give myself a break, pay attention to what kind of books I'm in the mood for, accept the fact that I went a little overboard in the beginning not realizing how much stuff I would actually get, and am much more careful going forward. Even if I get reviews up on the later side, I'm still doing my part to help spread the word :)

    1. You have a great attitude about this subject and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your comment!

      I will definitely be only requesting books that I really want to read. I may have gotten a little click happy with netgalley as well at the beginning. So at least for the most part my big pile of books that I need to read are interesting to me, but there are a few that I can't remember why I wanted them to begin with. lol

      I also need to be more like you and realize that sometimes I won't be able to review every single book I get as soon as possible. You are right in that it totally doesn't hurt if my review for a book comes out a little bit after it is released.

      I feel a lot better about this after reading everyone's comments. *sigh of relief*

      I always want blogging to be fun and reading to be enjoyable. So my goal is to no longer bite off more than I can chew. At least I know my limit now because I had this experience.

    2. Glad you're feeling better about it! I think as relative newcomers to blogging we're still learning the ropes and figuring out how to balance it all. As book lovers, it's so hard to not want to read ALL the books and I think we just get so excited about all the great new stuff coming out (and the great old stuff we haven't gotten to yet!), that it's very easy to bite off more than we can chew.

      But now that we know about all these different programs and opportunities, we can be a little more careful about what we request/enter! I NEVER want reading to feel like a job, that would make me sad :(

  5. I can totally empathise, I have 8 NetGalleys, 1 Edelweiss, 5 books I won and 4 from a Publisher to read and review. And then last week, I bought 4 more. I can't stop! The important thing is I love it so it doesn't stress me. Just relax and enjoy the books. This is just a hobby so shove the guilts out the door and have fun reading :-)

    1. Wow, you have so many books to read! Don't worry I can't seem to stop either, books are so shiny and pretty. :) You are right though, I need to not let it get to my head and just enjoy reading like I always do. It is just a hobby so it should stay fun. Thanks so much for your great advice!

    2. And the other thing don't worry too much about the challenges, they are called that for a reason! Life gets in the way at times and we don't meet goals but so what. We just try again :-)

  6. I found myself in a similar situation- I got too ahead of myself requesting books from the library and signing up for blog tours and such that I had this massive list of "books to read next". I felt like I could never read fast enough and I read A LOT. I definitely understand the overwhelming feeling and have pulled back a bit in lining up reads. I figured If I ever run out of "new" books to read I can always pick off my shelf while I wait for something to come in. There is no shortage of books to read there. And I also have a problem fitting in adult books into my schedule that I won't be reviewing on my blog. I want to read A Memory of Light (Book 14 in A Wheel of Time - massive Adult fantasy book) and i'm trying to power through like 2 weeks of reading in the next couple of days so I can spend that two weeks reading the adult book. It's crazy. I'm crazy. Good thing I love reading and I want to read all of these books but at the same time part of me wishes I didn't have to worry about timing and such. :/

    1. Good thing we are all crazy book addicts and understand each other! I'm going to try an no longer get too ahead of myself when getting books, but we shall see. I read fast too, but not fast enough for the huge pile staring me down from across the room. I totally understand where you are coming from! Good luck to you and I hope you have time to read that adult fantasy book.

  7. This happens to all of us.. especially during the early approval process..until we learn that hey the pub likes us and we are going to be approved..LOL I run into the same problem at the library where all the books on my waiting list suddenly come in and the same time..I-Yi-Yi!! Sounds like you have a good plan of action..will be rooting for you!

    1. Thanks! I'm glad I'm not alone. The library is always so tempting with all those free books that are just begging to be read.

  8. "having too many books to read therefore blogging is starting to slightly feel like a chore" Major agree on this one!

    Now, I love this post, and I feel like that a lot. Blogging, reviewing, all of it. Can feel so overwhelming, and like you, I fear I will lose the joy of simply reading. I've seen it happen, and I don't want to experience, I don't want other bloggers, and book readers to experience it either.

    Once in awhile, I try to find a book to just read and not review. It's hard to find time for that, but it's my way of not allowing books and reviewing to become a chore. In a way. But, I like (and might use) some of the points you made and the list. It is a very good plan!!

    "slightly more picky and try not to bite off more than I can chew" Also, I love that! I have a problem with buying books!! BUYING BUYING BUYING!!! I need to be more picking, too, when it comes to that.

    And, like you, I struggle with the 'I'm not going to be able to read all the books that I want to'.
    But I do wish you the best of luck, and that you have time to just lay back, read a book, and enjoy it! Not worry about reviews or the such! :)

    Magen Corrie
    ~Corrie the Book Crazed Girl


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