So… I’ve recently taken on the very scary, very daunting challenge of reorganising my Goodreads shelves. The whole thing took me maybe an hour or so from start to finish, half of which were spent just reading through book blurbs, looking at pretty book covers, and deciding whether or not I actually want to read this book.
But Reg, you say, that sounds more fun than scary or daunting. 🤔
I agree. The scary and daunting part comes with the numbers: I had 100+ books on my to-read shelf, many of which I don’t even remember seeing, let alone wanting to read. I culled the majority of them, leaving a mere (but still overly ambitious) 20 on the shelf, but there’s no doubt in my mind that this number will rise again. ‘So many books, so little time’ seems to be the slogan for most readers nowadays, and with the amount of great books being published every week, we’re definitely not short on great reading material! 🎉
For now, though, let’s talk about the often unspoken. We all know why we add a book to our TBR — the cover’s pretty, the blurb’s interesting, we love the author… let’s talk about why we remove the book from the TBR. Here are my reasons.
1) Negative reviews.
Once upon a time, I really, really, really wanted to read Richelle Mead’s Soundless. I loved the cover (at least it’s not just a girl’s face) and found the premise pretty interesting… at least until the reviews start rolling in, and most of them were unfortunately negative. 😭
I’m still planning to give the book a chance mostly because I actually have a copy, but I’m just not as excited anymore. Same goes with many books on my TBR that have gotten more negative reviews than positive — picking the book then feels more like a bit of a chore, more “I guess I better do this” than “I would so love to do this”.
One benefit of this, though, is that if/when I do finally read the book, my expectations will be so low that the chances of me enjoying it are higher! Who knows? Maybe I’ll actually even love it then. 😉
2) Lack of time.
Life is busy, you guys. I’ve got work, I’ve got my friends and family, I’ve got my own goals that I’m trying to achieve, and I’m always ultra-conscious that the time I spend reading is time taken away from all these other parts of my life. 😣
Don’t get me wrong — I love reading and everything else that comes with it, especially this blog, but I get so busy sometimes that I can’t help but to put off reading a particular book until I just decide to completely skip it eventually.
This is especially true for books I got from the library, because my time is literally limited then. I’ll borrow a book, put off reading it for three weeks, extend my loan for a couple more weeks, and before I know it, oops — my library loan has expired and I have to cart it back to the library. When this happens, I often eventually forget about wanting to read that book in the first place. 💁
3) Diminishing interest.
I’ll be honest: sometimes I get click-happy on Goodreads, add 147,495 books to my to-read shelf without even thinking about it, and promptly forget about it for months afterwards. A TBR pile large enough it might crush me with its weight? A total plausibility for yours truly. 🙉
Being a huge mood reader, though, the books I was interested in a year ago often aren’t the books I’m interested in right now — they’re just still in my TBR because I wanted to read them back then and didn’t get the chance to.
4) Author reputation.
I’d love to say that I’m the kind of person who separates the art from the artist, but I’m honestly not. If an author is transphobic, homophobic, racist, sexist, ignorant, etc., I can’t justify it to myself to keep paying for their books. 🚫
This is different, though, than when a book is all those things above. When that happens, I usually give the book the benefit of doubt. Maybe it’s not edited or polished as well as it should have. Maybe the author’s intention didn’t come across as well as it could. Maybe I misinterpreted the story.
But when an author repeatedly announces ignorant views to the world, expects to be commended for it and sees no reason to change or improve, I find myself steering clear from their writing. It doesn’t matter that I’ve read their other books and loved those books to bits and pieces, it doesn’t matter that their new release is hyped and rumoured to be the next Harry Potter… I just lose all interest by then. 🙅
Sometimes, just sometimes, hype turns me off.
This sounds kind of weird, I know, and to be honest, also contradictory to my FOMO personality… but when a book gets so much hype that literally everyone I know loves it, it actually deters me from reading the book. Case in point: I still haven’t read Illuminae, The Lunar Chronicles, or anything by Leigh Bardugo, even though they’re arguably some of the biggest titles in YA in the past few years. 😂
I’m still marinating my thoughts on why, but I think it’s a combination of these two things:
- I see and hear about the book so often, I feel a bit ‘done’ with it. Is it possible to be over-exposed to a book? I think it is! Too much of a good thing often kills my affection for that good thing, and oftentimes I’m just not excited anymore.
- My expectations are now so high, they likely won’t be met. I’ve been on both sides of this equation: I’ve sung praises about some books so much that I worry I’ve raised other people’s expectations to an unrealistic level, and vice versa.
I’m not saying that hype isn’t great — it’s actually really, really wonderful when you’re in on it, but when you’re not, it can be preeeeetty intimidating. 😅
Now that that’s over, let’s talk! 💗
- Do you ever reorganise your TBR pile?
- Have you ever changed your mind about reading a book you were previously SO EXCITED about? What happened?