Do You Ever Get Overwhelmed By It All?

2015-Discussion-ChallengeWhen I first started blogging in 2014, I was just dipping my toe back into the waters of being a “reader”. It had been a while since I’d followed the latest trends, heard about new releases, and had favourite authors to follow. I became a teenager (which for me meant less reading), I went to University (which meant more reading, but of the dreaded “required” variety), and I guess life just happened. I got side-tracked from something I loved.

Then I discovered Book Blogs and decided to create my own. Not only did I rediscover reading, but I stumbled upon an amazing bookish community who “got” my fixation with the smell of new books, my reluctance to ever lend a book out, and my inability to say “no” when it comes to buying new books (admit it, you’re all enablers, and I love you all for it). But along with this enjoyable, insanity inducing hobby, comes Goodreads, Top Ten Tuesdays, Waiting on Wednesdays, ARCS, reviews… The recommendations for new books to read is pretty much constant.

When I first started blogging, I was oblivious to the current best sellers, let alone what books I was looking forward to being released. But now, one year on, I felt a sense of pride yesterday when putting together my Top Ten Tuesday post, because I could name at least 5 books off the top of my head that I was really looking forward to in the next half of 2015. To figure out the rest of the list, I did a little Goodreads research.

My search term, “Goodreads 2015 releases” brought back 5,541 results. Granted, a small number of these are actually 2016 releases, and I’m sure as you go further down the list plenty are self-published or much lesser known reads. But seriously, over 5,000 new releases in one year?! Are you kidding me?!

As I went through the list to try and pick out some titles I’m genuinely excited for and know I have to read, I started marking some as wish-list, or thinking-about-it, the two shelves I keep on my Goodreads account to track books that have caught my eye. By page 6, I’d given up. I’d already added enough books to my thinking-about-it-list to keep me going for a couple of years. And that doesn’t include my tumbling physical TBR pile in my dining room, or the list of series I need to get the sequels for. *LE SIGH*.

For some reason, I was hit with a wave of anxiety over the sheer number of books that are published every year, a large amount of which I really want to read! Book Blogging and reading are definitely two of my favourite things, but apparently they aren’t always good for my health. On a positive note, this has made me more determined than ever to DNF books I’m not enjoying. Literally…

Aint-Nobody-Got-Time-for-That Gif

Do you ever get over whelmed by the number of books you own/want to read/are being published every year? Am I alone with my anxiety?!

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43 comments

  1. YES. YES. A thousand times YES. I’m starting to realize that I will never read all the books I own (let alone all the books in my TBR lists), because I get more than I read – though I still like to delude myself that I’ll have time for *most* of them. It’s really hard, because you want to catch up on all the amazing, brilliant, raved-about books you haven’t read yet, but you also want to keep up with the latest trends so that you can join in on conversations NOW rather than trying, a year from now, to find just one person who even remembers what happened in that one book. So far I haven’t found a balance. It does stress me out, and yet I can’t seem to just stop buying or requesting new books. I want it all. If you figure out a way to manage this untenable situation, I’d love to hear it, cos right now I’m swimming in a sea of unread books! (Basically literally.)

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    1. Oh no, I can’t let myself think I’ll never read all the books I already own. I will. I have to. Some day! Lol I have a post going up soon about someone I’ve managed to turn into a reader, who was never a reader before (world domination will follow shortly), and they’re retired and are gobbling books quicker than I can recommend them. So never worry, when we’re retired, we will read all the books! That’s exactly it! I want to read the well-loved, AND the new and hyped! And it’s so hard to keep up! I have to say, there’s A LOT of 3 star books out there, which is fine. But I’m always on the hunt for my next 5 star read. I wonder if publishing was more “exclusive” years ago, in the sense that less books were published. Variety is one thing, but there’s literally too many books being published for a reader to ever dream of remotely keeping up with. What is your physical TBR number??? R x

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  2. Oh, YES, I do get overwhelmed, but I don’t expect myself to read all the books. More releases just gives me more choices. And I HAVE noticed that I find it easier to DNF books, too.

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    1. That’s such a positive attitude to have! I didn’t really think of it that way. I used to have problems DNFing, and though I got a little better with it (I still don’t like not knowing how something ends. If it’s mediocre I struggle on. If it’s AWFUL I can stop), this has really put it into perspective for me. I just can’t waste precious book reading potential on a “bad” book! R x

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  3. Every day, love. I get overwhelmed every single day. I had been trying not to add any new books to my TBR list unless I read and removed one. That didn’t happen. I try to keep my list under 100, right now it’s at 130 and keeps creeping up. I just can’t stay on top of it. There’s not enough time to read everything I’m dying to read. I have older books and series that I have yet to get to, and I get distracted by all of the new releases constantly. It’s a never ending battle I can’t win. Anymore, I pick a book based on my mood, and most of the time it’s something recently released. And don’t even get me started on re-reading – I STILL haven’t re-read a book this year and I promised myself I would do that. Year is halfway over and I haven’t done it. *le sigh* x B

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    1. I was tempted to do one of those, “I have to read three books before I can buy one” thing. But nope. Nope. I buy collections when they’re on deals, I hunt out bargains (charity shops being my new favourite haunt. New books for £1, B!), and I buy books I’m lusting after as cheap as I can get them. I just CAN’T restrict myself, it hurts too much. I can talk some sense into myself and buy cheap though. So that’s my compromise. When it comes to getting my hands on all the pretties, reading the backlist books everyone loves AND keeping up with new releases everyone is raving about, it just seems like an impossible task. I need to win the lottery and just become a reader. Occupation? I read. Done. Urgh. I’ve reread 1 measly book this year. I even joined the reread challenge to try and encourage me to commit. But it isn’t working so far. And I used to be a BIG rereader. I think it’ll happen naturally for me at some point. That’s the idea anyways… R x

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  4. You are not alone! I feel the exact same way! I’m a passionate reader but I’m so slow with new releases and the fact that THAT MANY and potentially MORE are being released every year kind of makes me want to cry sometimes! xoxo

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    1. Yay for all of us feeling the same! I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets overwhelmed! I kind of had to stop caring just as much about new releases and just focus on what I want to read, whether it’s a new release or not. I’ve found this generally reduces reading slumps for me, and I like posting reviews for books that others have already read, because it can get more of a conversation going. I sometimes prefer reading reviews for books I’ve already read, so if other bloggers think like me, it makes sense to review backlist books sometimes too. Publishers just keep spitting new books out, so it’s not going to slow down any time soon!! 🙂 R x

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  5. Yes, I know how you feel. I already have so many books to read and review, and that is not counting all the ones that I will choose to read independently!!
    But I love it, and love that there are so many bookbloggers who feel the same.
    Amanda.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Amanda! I love it too, but there’s just SO many and they keep coming!! Lol I wonder if publishers have always published TONS of books and I just wasn’t aware of them because I was too young, or didn’t blog then, or because we didn’t have internet access, Goodreads and social media… I have to say, knowing so many others feel the same makes me feel better! Have you tried Statistical Probability or Love Virtually yet? R x

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      1. Yes, social media has made me far more aware of it. Haven’t read them yet, planning on some reading in the garden when the school holidays begin next month. 😉

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  6. You’re certainly not alone. I’ve gone through that anxiety. The must schedule posts every day, the blog tours and timelines, the ARCs, the reviews, yada yada yada. Almost three years down the road, I changed things. I do a couple of memes, review what I want to review, accept only those ARCS that really scream to me to read it, and no longer participate in timeline tours/requests. It’s done wonders for my health to not “fit the mold” any longer. I’m happier, no longer feel the pressure of ratings, and actually enjoy blogging and reading again. I hope you find what helps you rid the anxiety. ♥

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    1. I’m so relieved it isn’t just me, Kathy. But then feel bad for everyone else too because I know how much it can suck! I get actual anxiety over it sometimes! This post doesn’t even go into the stresses of blogging, which we add on top of the 5000 books released per year! Lol It is insanity, but at least we’re all in it together! I’ve started to do that too – back away from the book tours etc. I think it’s great for those bloggers who enjoy it, but it’s only very occasionally I spot one for a known author that I’m interested in. I have a HUGE backlist I want to read, and I try to stay on top of new releases by fave authors. It isn’t always practical to fit in self-pubs and indies, as much as I’d like to. R x

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  7. Yes! There are times when I’m making a mental list of books I want to get to in the next month or so and then suddenly I come up with an absurd number and then I start seeing other people’s reviews of other books that never occurred to me and then all the books I’ve put on hold at the library are coming in and then I know I’m supposed to review certain books because as a blogger it’s important to stay “current” and yes, I feel your pain, Rachel!

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    1. I’m so glad I’m not alone! This is just about actual numbers of books too, this doesn’t include blogging madness! Why do we do this to ourselves?! I know, I know, because we love it really. I still acquire books quicker than I can read, and I LOVE a good bargain or find (with charity shop hunting becoming a favourite past-time in its own right!). Sorry I haven’t replied to your email yet, been swamped! But I plan to do it tonight/tomorrow! R x

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      1. I start to panic when I realize my own TBR pile on my shelves is getting smaller (by smaller I mean under 25 books) so then it somehow becomes necessary to buy more and then you get those emails enticing you with 15% off or free shipping. How are we supposed to resist? No problem, I’ve had a few crazy weeks myself.

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      2. Oh, Alicia. Your physical TBR gets down to 25 books sometimes?! I NEED your will power! I had mine down to 100… but I started blogging, and discovered charity shops, and discount stores, and now I’m too afraid to count, but I know I’ve hit the 200 mark… 😦 R x

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      3. Lol! It is crazy. I fully plan on getting that under control though. It’s my new fixation with charity shops. Books that I’ve been on the lookout for forever I’m picking up for 75p. How could I walk away from that?! R x

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  8. I think that pretty much everyone’s answer here is going to be yes – haha! There are so many books – ones already released and some releasing soon – that it’s almost hard to keep track of them; let alone read and review them all. Add that to a full day of school or work – and reviewing and blogging! – and it’s even harder. Thanks for sharing and fabulous post Rachel! ❤

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    1. The backlist kills me. I never KNEW about most of these books until I started blogging, and my must-read backlist grew. Then I’m a sucker for a cheap book or a bargain, so I’ll pick up books bloggers aren’t even raving about if I see them for a great price. I’m my own worst enemy. THEN there’s the hyped new releases on top of that. Honestly, it’s a wonder I still have a life. Most of the time. Yep, blogging takes up reading time, and reading takes up blogging time. They’re obviously inter-related, but each is a hobby in its own right. SO MUCH TIME NEEDED! Thanks for commenting, Zoe! R x

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  9. The amount of books that I already have to read and will want to read in the future can be really overwhelming at times. There’s no possible way for me to read every book that will catch my attention. I’ll probably never even finish the nearly 400 physical books I already have waiting to be read in my house! I try not to think about it, honestly. I have enough anxiety as it is so I don’t want to be anxious about reading books too!

    Cayt @ Vicarious Caytastrophe

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    1. 400!? I feel slightly better about my tumbling wall of books now… though I don’t have an exact count because I’m far too afraid to know what it is! It’s anxiety inducing at times, but then I read to calm myself down 😉 R x

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  10. I only get anxious about the number of unread books I already own. It is crazy and I don’t like having too many unread books as it makes me feel guilty. I can’t even think about all the upcoming ones that I still have to get my hands on!

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    1. I get anxious about the owned ones, and the upcoming ones, because they will inevitably be added to the owned ones, which are currently reproducing at an alarming rate to be honest. But I have no shame. R x

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  11. If I ever properly contemplated the number of books that I have to read I would probably cry, there are just too many good books continually being published for me to ever hope to read them all. I just have to accept that I can’t read everything. There aren’t enough hours in the day and certainly not enough days in the week. I just sort of accept it, there are books I’m intrigued by which I may never pick up, but there are still plenty of books that I will read. As a blogger it’s probably the worst thing to think about, all those books you will never get a chance to read due to time and the fact we do need to sleep. I still sometimes feel intimidated by the sheer number of books on my TBR list.

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    1. Haha – we can cry together! I have a new lottery fantasy now, where I can take early retirement at 25 and just read all day every day lol I’m with you on that one. I’ll send you a pic of my current TBR, you’ll die. R x

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  12. You are definitely not alone. I get overwhelmed, too, and usually when I do I either go into overdrive and I am glued to working on my blog and speed reading like a frenzied fanatic or I kind of shut down and avoid and neglect my blog…kinda like I’ve been doing for the last month-ish.

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    1. Haha – I do both of those extremes too, I either get super dedicated for a while, or slack a little and think “frig it, I’m gonna read what I wanna read, when I wanna read it” – then 10 more books come out that I NEED to read so I have to get back to being dedicated again. Reading is not a safe hobby! R x

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  13. Oh yes I do….the struggle is real. I did a post about it back in December I think. i can’t catch up on the books I already own because I want to buy so many more….*sigh indeed*

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  14. OMG YES! This is definitely one of the harder things about blogging! I used to devote a lot of time focusing on all of the things that I wanted to read, which left very little time to actually read the things that I had to read. Of course, the less I read, the more books were left to read, which was overwhelming all over again. This year, I have focused a lot more on just reading what I feel like, rather than what everyone else is reading. This has resulted in a lot less review books (which I’m more than okay with) and definitely reading more physical books off my shelves, some of which I’ve been meaning to read for YEARS. And it’s been AWESOME. So, in short, I totally do understand the stress, but I think it’s a stress that can be overcome!

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    1. When I first started blogging, the allure of the review books was definitely tempting, and I requested and read more eARCs than I do now. I simply prefer paper books, and through following blogs and BookTuber’s I was finding out about all these highly recommended and backlist titles. I will rarely jump into a genre/author I don’t know or haven’t heard of before, I prefer others getting me excited to read something first. When you add all of this up, it means that although I started this blog thinking I was going to be reading all the new releases, really I read a mix of new and old. And that suits me just fine! The tumbling TBR though, now that is a worry! It just keeps being added to, quicker than I can read, but there are many worse things I could be doing I guess! R x

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  15. I REALLY DO!!!!!!! Oh my, I own hundreds of books that I haven’t read. Then there is the fact that I have thousands more that I want to read. I will NEVER get to them all and that thought makes me sad. I shouldn’t have to work, I should just be allowed to sit at home and read all day every day.

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    1. Your collection is envy-inducing! Lol I just caught up on your haul from this week too, so many great reads – how do you know where to start?! That’s the dream – win the lottery and become a hermit reader. Sigh. Perfection R x

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