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October 20, 2023

Are you drowning in a sea of books? Is your TBR pile reaching towering heights, mocking you with its never-ending length? Don't worry, my fellow bookworms, because, in this article, we will explore how to deal with that overwhelming TBR. 

Whether you're a voracious reader or someone who loves collecting books more than actually reading them (we understand the struggle), we've got your back. So grab a cup of tea, find a cozy nook, and dive into the world of conquering our TBR lists!

7 Proven Methods to Combat an Overwhelming TBR List {and Stay Sane}

What is TBR?

TBR, or "To Be Read," is a common term for book lovers to refer to the stack of books they plan on reading shortly. It's essentially a list or collection of books that one intends to read, whether physical copies are on their shelves or virtual titles are saved on their e-readers.

For avid readers, TBRs can quickly become overwhelming. The excitement and anticipation of discovering new stories often lead to an ever-growing pile of unread books. Whether it's impulsively buying more books than you can keep up with or constantly adding new titles to your wish list, the TBR can quickly spiral out of control.

The feeling of being overwhelmed may stem from various reasons. One might feel pressured by the sheer number of unread books staring at them every time they walk into their reading space. There could be a sense of guilt for not getting through enough books as quickly as desired. Additionally, external factors such as limited free time and competing priorities can contribute to the feeling that one's TBR is insurmountable.

It's important to remember that feeling swamped by your TBR is entirely normal! Many bookworms experience this pressure and frustration when faced with a seemingly endless list of unread novels.

However, there are strategies you can employ to tackle your towering TBR and regain control over your reading life:

1. Prioritize: Take some time to assess which books truly excite you at this moment in time and prioritize those over others.

2. Set Realistic Goals: 
Instead of pressuring yourself with unrealistic expectations about how many books you should read each month/year, set achievable goals based on your own pace.

3. Embrace Variety: Don't limit yourself solely to one genre or author; mix things up! Exploring different genres might rekindle your passion for reading.

4. Learn to Say No: It's okay if you don't want (or have time) to read every popular book. Choose the ones you genuinely want to read. 

5. Take Breaks from Adding New Titles: While discovering new books is exciting, try not to constantly add more books without making progress on your existing TBR stack first. Give yourself permission to pause and enjoy those waiting patiently for attention.

6. DNF: Embrace the power of DNF-ing (Did Not Finish). Don't force yourself through books that don't resonate with you after giving them a fair chance. Life is too short to spend valuable reading time on stories that don't capture your imagination.

7. Enjoy the Journey: Reading should be pleasurable rather than stressful. Allow yourself moments of escape into different worlds without pressuring yourself to finish every book in record time.

Reasons for Feeling Crushed by TBR:

1. Overwhelming Choices: One of the main reasons your To-Be-Read (TBR) list can feel overwhelming is the sheer number of books available. With countless genres, authors, and recommendations, it's easy to get lost in decision paralysis.

2. Time Constraints: Another factor contributing to feeling overwhelmed by your TBR pile is insufficient time to read all the books you want. Finding dedicated reading time can be challenging due to work, family commitments, or other responsibilities.

3. Fear of Missing Out: The fear of missing out on great stories or insightful knowledge is real when confronted with an extensive TBR list. Knowing that so many incredible books are waiting for you can create a sense of urgency and pressure to read them all.

4. Self-imposed Expectations: Setting high expectations for yourself regarding reading can lead to feeling overwhelmed by your TBR pile. If you constantly push yourself to finish books quickly or strive for a specific reading goal, it can detract from the pleasure and enjoyment of reading.

5. Comparison Syndrome: Seeing others effortlessly plow through their towering TBR stacks on social media platforms like Bookstagram may make you feel inadequate or behind in your reading journey.

Overall, dealing with an overwhelming TBR (To Be Read) pile can challenge any avid reader. However, it's important to remember that this is a common experience many book lovers share. But with these strategies, you can manage your TBR pile and find balance in your reading life. 

Happy Reading!

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