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Whenever someone asks me about my hobbies, I tend to reflect on just how few I actually have. Growing up, I tried a little bit of everything, but nothing stuck. Reading and loving books has been my only constant. So when reading begins to stress me out, I know a step back MUST be taken.  My one and only hobby cannot cause me stress!

HOW I end up becoming stressed over reading is my own fault. I am shamelessly addicted to adding books to my personal library. I will NEVER turn down the chance to own a good book for free, and I will also spend a good chunk of money on books every so often.  I normally buy books because I’ve heard something wonderful about them, from word-of-mouth recommendations, to blogs, to BooKTube videos. Recommendations are followed by a trip to my nearest bookstore, a browse through the shelves, the purchase of a coffee plus the book I came for, and usually one more, just because.  That book immediately becomes “my next read”. It sits waiting on my shelf for me to finish my current book. And DURING that time that it sits waiting, this whole process may happen again .. sometimes twice.  So when my current read is finished, I now have 3 books waiting!

Then, I wake up on a Sunday morning, like today, planning to spend my morning reading.  Instead, I check BookTube, and end up watching videos instead. This results in a little scribbled list by my bed of new books to check out. So this means I did not make any progress in my current book, but I have 2 more books I really want to run to the bookstore and grab.  When I realize what has just happened, I get stressed.  Self-induced, avoidable yet not-avoided stress!

On top of all of this, I work in books, and when I least expect it, books that I have been so excited for will land on my desk with the expectation that I will read them and offer some insight as to who this book may appeal to. If I have just bought myself two new books, haven’t finished my current read, and now have a few amazing books from work, I immediately have an inward system error.

The only way to get around pressuring myself to read this much, is to stop pressuring myself. You’d assume this was easy!  Alas, it is not.  The only way I have thus far worked my way out of this kind of situation, is to stack all my books on my shelf and only allow one to sit beside my bed. No temptations. It’s just.. how to choose which one?

I realize these are ramblings of a serious book-obsessed person, but perhaps you have all felt this way before? And so, here is my cry for help.  How do you deal with the simple, ageless statement..

So many books.. so little time.

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5 thoughts on “When Reading Starts to Stress Me Out

  1. Does pushing the feelings aside and stuffing them into a tiny corner of my mind count as “dealing with it”? ;) Yeah, I can relate – and when I worked in a bookstore, it was 100000000 times worse!

  2. Hi chelsey,

    I smiled as I read this post because it easily could’ve been written by me! This especially happens to me after I’m done a book I’ve loved…yes, also known as the book hangover;). It takes me several tries to get back into the groove. When I give up on books, most of the time it’s not the book’s fault, but I chalk it up to it not being the right time for that particular book. This happened to me when I read ‘the history of love’ by Nicole Krauss years ago. I gave up on it and came back to it months later & it ended up being a favourite! Like you mentioned, it helps to only keep one book on my nightstand at a time. The world is full of too many great books to read….what a wonderful problem we have:))).

  3. I think ALL of us have this mini-freak-out probably once a week! I literally own HUNDREDS of books that I haven’t read yet. But the thing that keeps me from stressing out it too much is the knowledge that since I own it, I’ll eventually get to it. It’s not going anywhere. I totally get how frustrating it can be that internet time takes up reading time. I mean, we’re book bloggers so of course we want to catch up online, read blogs, watch videos, etc… but then it’s less time for reading! I’m really, really lucky that I can go online and read as much as I do when I’m at work, or I’d never get anything done.

    Also, I think that Monthly TBR post that I do every month helps keep me a little bit on track. I try to read books directly from that pile, and new book recs get jotted down and added to the pile in the next month or two. Of course sometimes I add books in and stuff, but I think it has a nice balance between being casual and being focused. I add in a library book or two, a new release, a classic, etc. If you did this every month or so with work books, new releases, etc, maybe it would help?

    Anyways, don’t stress! Reading is a happy thing :) and you should only read the books you feel like reading, when you feel like reading them!

  4. I’m bad about the self-stress, too. It’s actually helped me to pair down my choices to a smaller selection of books rather than looking at my whole gigantic TBR to pick my next read. And I’ve put myself on a book buying diet. That has helped (so far).

  5. I try to limit my reading stress by getting the majority of my books from the library now (unless of course I love it…. then I HAVE to own it lol). This has kept my to-read pile at home a little bit more manageable. Plus I save money! Unfortunately…. the only problem with my new strategy is that sometimes all of my library holds decide to come in at once…like yesterday…. and now the reading pressure is back! Oh well! C’est la vie!

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