Clearing the TBR and Starting Afresh

One Hundred Nights of Hero

My to-be-read pile is gone.  The slate is wiped clean, and if I’m honest, it is about time.

Working full time is a shock to the system.  Very quickly, you have to learn to prioritise the things in your life that you always took for granted.  Suddenly, a phone call to a family member, or catching up with a TV series, becomes something to fit into your daily schedule.  Even reading becomes a luxury that is slotted into lunch hours, or a way to pass the commute home.

My TBR is years old.  There are some books on my Goodreads that have been sat there for four years or more – How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran, Brick Lane by Monica Ali.  While it was nice to jot down a book recommendation, and to know I would never run out of ideas for my next read, I had started to wonder if my TBR was really helping me anymore.

When the pile of books on my bedside table, that long, ever-growing list on Goodreads, had stopped becoming my friend, and had become my enemy, I realised that my life had changed, and that I needed to say goodbye to my TBR.  It had started mocking me, telling me that I wasn’t reading enough, that I couldn’t be considered a “bookworm” anymore if I wasn’t pining for pages to read every day.  I knew it wasn’t true – I still live and breathe literature – but my reading habits had changed, and having books from so long ago still wanting to be read made me feel like I had a bucket list that would be forever unfulfilled.  My TBR had almost become emotional baggage.

Scrolling through that Goodreads TBR, I realised something quite important: I didn’t even want to read most of those books anymore.  Many were fleeting fancies, and one of them I even remembered I had picked up at work the day before, cast my eye over it and said “meh”, returning it to the shelf.  I’ve changed, and the books I wanted to read four or five years ago are ones that might not interest me anymore.

So, the TBR is gone, and I feel free, almost liberated somehow.  I am currently reading A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton, and I have absolutely no idea what I will read next, and when I will want to read next, and I’m pretty sure I can live with that.

How do you feel about your TBR?  A blessing or a burden?


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