“Are you ever going to read all your unread books?” – “I honestly don’t know.”
In my post about my reading goals for 2015 I mentioned that I own about 300 books I haven’t read yet and that I wanted to get rid of a lot of of them. This was motivated by the #0by16 goal that some of my favourite BookTubers (namely Dylan from dylanbooks, Liz from lizlovesliterature and Max from WellDoneBooks) created. I thought “yeah, it would be really cool to have zero unread books by the end of the year.” So I went through my bookshelves and compiled quite a long list of books I wanted to give away.
But when it came to actually taking them off my shelves, packing them up and actively taking them to a second hand bookstore I couldn’t really do it. On the one hand that has to do with the fact that I have a hard time getting rid of any of my stuff since I get very attached to it (which I realise is extremely silly) and especially my books and on the other hand I thought “but what if at one point in my life I want to read all of those?” It might not be in the near or even far future, but what if at one point I feel like picking up exactly the book I gave away?
Yes, I know, I could just repurchase them, but I spent a lot of money on them in the first place and I can’t really afford to repurchase hundreds of books. I also have quite a long list of books I don’t own yet, but really want to own. See the dilemma? (Jeez if there ever was a moment for me to use the hash tag #FirstWorldProblems, this would be it… 😑 )
Another reason is that I like to have the freedom of going to my bookshelf when I’m in the mood to or need to escape to a fictional world and pick out something to read. And since I never know what I will be in the mood for I like to have a selection of books from many different genres.
Granted I could just reread my favourite stories, but I don’t usually reread books. The only books I read multiple times are the “Harry Potter” series and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, but other than that all the books I own and have read, I only read once, no matter how much I loved them.
Maybe that has to with the fact that I own such a gigantic number of unread books and feel the pressure to first read all of them before rereading other stories. So maybe if I did get my TBR down to zero I would have the time to enjoy some of the books again, that I already enjoyed once.
Even though the number of unread books I own is excessively high I never really felt guilty about owning that many since I never think of my library as a “trophy” library, but rather a work in progress. However recently I’ve been told a couple of times “you own so many books, you know you will never read all of them so just get rid of some“ and when I said yes that would probably be a good idea, the answer was almost always a sarcastic “ya think”. It makes me feel a bit pressured and guilty, and maybe even a bit pretentious. Like I’m boasting with the amount of books I own, which I’m not doing. At least not consciously, but maybe it sometimes comes across that way.
I like talking about my books and I like talking about it when I rearrange them or buy some new ones or buy a new bookshelf to display them better. It makes me really happy and there are not a lot of things that do and that I’m as passionate about.
So in the end, I decided that I’m going to keep all of the books and try not to let anyone make me feel bad about it. Once you start feeling bad about the stuff you love, things are only going to go downhill from there…
I hope you have a wonderful week, lovely humans! ❤️