With the rise of BookTube between 2012 and 2014, one of the most common kinds of videos was the infamous “book haul,” a type of video in which BookTubers would accumulate mass amount of books and show off their shopping trip (an example is linked here). These gave rise to other videos, like ones in which creators showed off their entire, endless TBR (to-be-read) piles, as well as ones featuring discussions about whether it was okay to DNF and “un-haul” a book. It was an interesting time to be on the platform, as it moved from mass hoarding of books to normalizing getting rid of books you thought you’d never read.
While it’s definitely important to consider whether you really want to keep a book, some people started to get TBR shame because of these videos. I was definitely one of them; when I had a BookTube channel, I amassed so many books in a short period of time that my TBR pile hasn’t been under ten books in at least five years. For a while, I felt horrible about this. It felt like a waste to buy a new book, but forcing myself through something I wasn’t in the mood for only made me not read at all.
Dear reader, it is time for us to take a collective sigh of relief and let go of this TBR guilt. After years of feeling bad about the titles on my shelf, I’ve learned instead to feel excited about all the stories that are waiting for me. Sure, I’ll un-haul a book every once in a while, but not for the sole point of lessening the amount of books on my shelf.
If you’re still not convinced, here are four more reasons why having a huge to-be-read pile is okay.
Like my parents used to say, “you could be buying drugs.”
Books are collectible! If they’re signed, first editions, etc., they could even be worth money someday. (If you’re willing to part with them, of course.)
Having a TBR pile gives you a goal with regard to your reading. each book you finish gives you a sense of achievement!
4. If reading is your hobby, having TBR shame is pointless. Some people buy paints or cars – we buy paper!
5. WITH A BIG TBR, YOU HAVE A MIX OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF BOOKS, MEANING YOU’VE ALWAYS GOT OPTIONS!
And once we let go of our TBR guilt, we’re able to let go of reading books that others want us to read instead of the books we’re truly in the mood for. Forcing yourself to read will get you nowhere and will probably only push you down into a reading slump! If a book that you’re dying to read has just been released, why deny yourself the pleasure of a new story just because of books that will be waiting for you when you’re done?
How do you feel about big TBR piles? Let us know!
FEATURE IMAGE VIA BOOKRIOT.COM