5 Reasons to Love Your TBR Pile

Reasons to Love Your TBR Pile

This post was originally about ways to reduce your TBR (to-be-read) pile but as I wrote the first draft, I asked myself a question –

Why do we have so much anxiety about our unread books?

And before I start, I fully admit that I fret about this quite often. We buy titles in good faith. We want to experience stories and learn new things. Books aren’t just decoration to us; they’re living, breathing entities. So when we don’t engage with them, we feel guilty and undisciplined.

But should we feel like that?

No we shouldn’t! A large TBR pile is the sign of a dedicated reader and we need to accept that we’re probably always going to have one in some form or other. Let’s embrace the book stack. To help you come to terms with the paper mountain, here are 5 reasons why you should love your TBR pile:

Having a TBR pile means there’s always adventure ahead

Just the thought of finishing all my books brings me out in a cold sweat. I love the fact that I have new stories to delve into. Each one is waiting for the perfect mood. The reason that I haven’t started them yet is because we haven’t found our synchronicity. Trust in your instincts and your subconscious will connect you with the right book at the right time.

I would add that it’s also absolutely fine to include DNFs (did not finish) in your TBR pile. To be honest, I actively encourage it! It has sometimes taken me three or four attempts to complete novels which I now consider to be favourites.

Supporting the book trade

The book industry needs our support more than ever and your TBR pile shows that you’re keeping the trade alive. Whether this be through buying, reviewing, sharing or simply displaying, owning titles means you are an active part of the bookish economy. If your collection has a healthy mix of old and new then even better. Just as natural ecosystems thrive on diversity, so too does the book network.

The fun of collating your TBR pile

I can’t be alone in enjoying the process of collating all my unread books. We have bookshelves in every room so titles have a habit of disappearing into the mist. They also frequently end up under my bed. It’s fun to locate all the ones I’ve lost and organise them properly. Recently I’ve used my bookcart for this.

I know I should be more organised about storing these and I’m sure some of you are, but daily life often gets in the way. Discovering books that I’d forgotten about is like receiving a little surprise gift. I’m grateful every single time I find one.

It’s also fascinating to watch the to-be-read collection evolve. What’s been on there forever? What gets snapped up? Why? Use it to understand more about your reading habits.

Setting yourself a TBR pile challenge

Most of the time I mood read, but occasionally I like to set myself a TBR challenge. Cue the TBR pile. I’m doing one of these now which is one of the reasons I’ve been thinking about how I manage my reading. You can see my full list here (actually it’s bigger than this because I found a few ‘hidden’ novels afterwards). There’s a huge sense of satisfaction from setting goals from time to time. I also often find that I end up including books from Al & Little M which widen my experiences.

If you need extra motivation to chip into a TBR mountain, look out for hashtags like #tenonmytbr on Bookstagram.

Owning a back-up library

There are times in our lives when it’s harder to access new books. Illness, library closure and lack of money can all stall our ability to find new titles. Having a to-be-read pile ensures that you always have fresh stock on hand. In fact, it might just be your sanctuary when things get rough.

I hope this helps you to love your TBR pile rather than feel it’s something that has to be hidden away. Celebrate those tottering towers of titles. Display them proudly. Let’s be honest, the great unread will always be part of your life.

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  1. May 27, 2020 / 10:17 pm

    I’ve enjoyed making a dent in my TBR during this time. But equally I’m glad I have a vast selection of books to choose from while libraries are closed and I’ve been buying less books. Great post.

    • thebookfamilyrogerson
      May 28, 2020 / 11:19 am

      Really glad you enjoyed it! I think our TBR piles offer satisfaction in lots of different ways. Almost like an extra member of the household!

      • May 28, 2020 / 11:27 am

        I think so too, but I am someone who likes to have things stocked up… I don’t tend to run out of things!!!

        • thebookfamilyrogerson
          May 28, 2020 / 11:30 am

          Same here. Not quite a hoarder, but close!

          • May 28, 2020 / 1:28 pm

            Haha! Yes I definitely have the hoarding gene.

  2. May 29, 2020 / 5:56 pm

    I have made no dent at all during this time! But I have stayed about the same which is a plus as far as I am concerned

    • thebookfamilyrogerson
      May 29, 2020 / 9:13 pm

      Always a win, especially now! I’m starting to think that a TBR pile always finds its level.

  3. June 22, 2020 / 11:56 pm

    I came across this post at the perfect time! Recently I’ve purchased way more books than I normally do in a month, and it’s caused my TBR shelf to grow quite a bit! I’ve been feeling super anxious about all those unread books and how I’m ignoring them, but this book helped give me the more positive perspective. These are all books I can see myself reading at some point! I love looking at them and having the freedom to choose between a number of books, so why not look at the good parts of having a large TBR, rather than focus on the negative!

    Thank you so much for helping me look at all my unread books with such a positive, new perspective!

    • thebookfamilyrogerson
      June 23, 2020 / 8:11 pm

      I’m so happy that the post helped! We booklovers tend to a bit a hard on ourselves when it comes to reading targets. Enjoying books and keeping the artform going is something to be proud of. Hope you enjoy your TBR adventure!

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