This is a post I started one night when I couldn't sleep, after seeing the tenth video about #0by16 and just being baffled at the idea. Saying that - I don't mean any harm. You can do whatever you want to do. And if you can do that - I am amazed by you and bow down to your better self control (way better then mine, you freaking go). But these are my thoughts on the manner, how I feel like I can't do that. However - it's also a discussion post, so I want to hear from you guys about what you think, if your opinion is different or similar. And I hope no one takes offense from this, because that's now how I mean it. It's more a meandering musing, that I actually had no idea what the outcome of it would be.
There's this strange thing that seems to be very prevalent in the Booktube community specifically (at least that's where I've seen it most), which I can understand to an extent, but don't understand fully. And it's trying to get your TBR shelf to 0. Maybe because it's literally impossible for me, but it just seems so... ridiculous? I don't mean it in any negative way towards anyone, if you can do that then I bow down to your restraint/abilities. I also might be asking you questions with suspicious eyes, but don't worry about it, I totally believe you're human.
I just don't think it's possible for me, maybe a better word is realistic. One: there are always new books coming out I'm going to want to read. Two: there will be always be books that've come out year ago I'm going to want to read. Three: sometimes I feel like I have nothing I want to read, with hundreds of unread books, I don't know what I'd do with less then 50 or 100.
Now this is definitely one of those personal preference things. At least I think so. And I bow down to anyone who can actually get their TBR to zero. But, personally, I'd feel like I was lying to myself.
I did recently, while reorganizing and logging books, pull a bunch off my shelves and put them into the: getting rid of pile. And there are always a few more I'm considering doing the same thing. However - there are a bunch I'm not doing that with and probably won't. I don't loose interest in books that easily, even if it isn't at the forefront. I keep a book if I think about reading it / the plot and get excited all over again. And I get excited about a lot of books.
This also might be a problem for me because I read everything - all the genres possible. New genre? Give me. I love books and I love trying new ones, dipping my toe into new subgenres or genres (though, I think I've tried all the main genres by now?). It's fun and I want to keep reading everything, not sticking to one genre (though I am known to go on genre binges, those still vary wildly in that, too).
Right now, there are 1,723 books on my "to read" shelf on Goodreads. I don't own all of those, mostly because some are literally impossible to own and I do have some restraint (ha. This is me lying to myself). But I think I feel comfortable saying I own a majority of them, more then 75% maybe. And that's not to mention the books I own that I've already read. Or the books I haven't read that aren't physical - ebook or audiobook, those are still TBR books. But here - I'm mostly talking about physical TBR.
It's a lot of books, almost a never-ending pile - but if I got rid of books I still really wanted to read then what would be point? I'd just have more trouble reading it, not owning it, or I'd have to just buy it again when I wanted to read it. Which sounds ridiculous to me.
However - seeing all this stuff about people going "I have so many books on my to read shelf - it's at like eighty five." My immediately reaction is - that's good, that's really good. I have hundreds of unread books, high hundreds. And, yes, even 85 take up a lot of space, and I totally understand that (it's all in relation to you. And I've kind of officially run out of space so I get it), but the thing is... it makes me feel guilty. Not owning the unread books, seeing people able to have such small TBR piles (physical ones). Which is ridiculous, because I've accepted it's always going to be out of control, but it still makes me feel bad, even when worded kindly.
I'm not going to apologize, though, for owning so many books I haven't read yet. They're just full of stories I'll get to experience. And, yes, I might be planning on picking through them again soon and stacking a bunch to the side to get ride of (somehow. There's a lot ARCs from 2012/2013 I'd like to get rid of as well), but I'm sick of feeling guilty for not being able to cull/purge my physical TBR pile.
It would feel like a lie, though, the biggest lie ever - if I have, like, a hundred books. Because I don't think I'd have the same sense of urgency I do now, to try and read these books, or the same sense of love of reading as I do being surrounded by books day to day. And, yes, sometimes the urgency is a problem, when I want to not stress about finishing a book, but most of the time it's just good. At least I think so.
Saying all this, I want to say it again - do whatever you want, I'm sorry if I've offended you or something else. I don't mean any harm, do whatever you want, it's not hurting anyone. But I'm curious on your perspective, especially if it's different.
So that brings me to the end. How do you deal with all the books you want to read? Physical, digital, whichever. And how many physical unread books do you have? Don't feel embarrassed whether the number is ten or over a thousand, no judgement here.