First off I want to laugh and say there is no such thing as too many books. After all I love books, I love buying books, acquiring books and everything that comes with it. I get just as much pleasure out of getting a new book and the anticipation of the read ahead as I do from the actual read.
However I also get panicky when I have too many stacked up. When they start to mount up and up, higher than I can possible read no matter how fast or how much I read; then the pleasure diminishes a little. I don’t want to be a book hoarder, I want to read the books I have and enjoy them without cringing about how many more I never get to.
I suppose this is enviable when you are a book lover and there is no way around this. I only have two eyes and so much free time so I am limited in what I can read and want to read in a week. I don’t want to spend all my time reading either; that’s one sure fire way of turning a passion into a chore.
There are a couple of reasons that this topic is on my mind right now. The first is a blog post written by Terri @Starlight Book Reviews about Keeping a Tidy TBR. I admire her control and discipline. And also I’m reading a much-anticipated book at the moment (The Secret Place by Tana French) and I love it so much that I’m reading it as slowly as I can, as I want it to last. But I’m having to ignore the voice in my head saying ‘hurry up, book are awaiting’. I am ignoring it but if I had fewer books on hand, I wouldn’t have to work quite so hard to shut it up!
Plus the other disturbing thought in my head is – if this wasn’t an arc would I still have dropped everything to read it? I think yes, I’m pretty sure I would. After all this is my favourite author. But what about other books I really, really want to read? I have to admit they often get pushed back the line to make room for review copies. And this disturbs me, I don’t want to do that.
So I’m curious, do you have a number of books in your head that you won’t exceed? That when you hit that limit, you rein it all back in a little until you catch up.
In my head; these are my limits:
- 20 review books (but I currently have 30). I’m fine with 20 as that is about 6/7 weeks reading and it feels manageable. 30 on the other hand feels like pressure, pressure, pressure! And it’s my own fault; I can’t resist a book that sounds great. But I’m trying to be more disciplined as being over my self-imposed limit is giving me hives.
- 70 other books – the ones I buy, win, borrow, freebies, etc (I currently have 77). I don’t feel under pressure by these books as I’m under no obligation with them. However these are the books that I wanted, drooled over and acquired with a smile on my face. I WANT to get to these too.
Total : 107 – that’s a fail by my own limits and now I’m thinking I’d like to reduce these figures even further
I’m 7 books over my limit and that difference is more heavily weighted in favour of books I need to review. In some ways, this has happened as my blog has gotten bigger. I often get the books I want now and I’m delighted about that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not moaning, I’m just trying to puzzle it all and come with a picture that makes sense for me. I’m grateful for every single review copy I have gotten and I want to give my honest feedback on them all. And make time for other books too.
I’m also seriously competitive in every area of my life. Don’t play board games with me, I am ruthless no matter how low the stakes! And that makes me want to ensure my feedback ratio on all the publisher sites is good. And of course I’m the excel queen so I’m always analysing my own figures too which is how I know exactly how many books I have on hand. Which is good as I’m aware but then again bad as I’M AWARE!
I just need to stop now before it all runs away from me. I need to feel I’m in control and even writing this post has given me a sense of restraint. I’m only a tiny bit over my limits and with some careful monitoring all will be fine. My immediate solution is to avoid NetGalley, Edelweiss and Bookbridgr for a few weeks. Or try. Or wait, not I’ll try, I WILL avoid! Until I get my review books back to 20, I’m not letting my eyes go looking or my fingers go clicking.
Bookish Chat : So what I want to know is…Do you have limits? Do you count the books? Or do you float along in blissful ignorance? I like the idea of that but I’m too much of a control freak to leave that happen! How many books on your tbr and what is the split between review books and other books?