The Eternal Problem of my To-Read List

I have great trouble with my to-read list. If my to-read list was a friend, we would definitely have a love-hate relationship. I thought that working in a Library would be a good thing for my reading, which it is. But also, it is a source of major frustration to learn, more and more each day, how few books I have actually read and, indeed, will be able to read in my lifetime.

I am very lucky to have access to books. But also, I can’t help it, I feel a minor sense of dread rise every time I think about the never-diminishing, ever-growing pile I call my “to-read” list. Pictured is about a fifth of the tangible section; there are so many more that I have stored away on wishlists online and scrawled in notebooks.


Do you have a system for dealing with the books you want to read? Are you organised? I am most definitely not! (I know I ought to be. I’m a Librarian. But I’m not. At all).

NB – Tea and scone, pictured, are fine Rainy Monday Evening Reading companions.


5 thoughts on “The Eternal Problem of my To-Read List

  1. I know the feeling, but on the other hand, think of the endless possibilities! We won’t run out of awesome reading ideas for as long as we live, and the opposite would be far worse πŸ˜› Sometimes I feel overwhelmed too, but I try to focus on that sense of infinite discovery instead.

    As for organisation, I’m not much good at it either. I have a couple of loose reading goals (I’ve been slowly making my way through the Carnegie and Printz winners for a few years now, for example), but if I structure things too much I start to feel too constrained. So mostly I just decide what I want my next couple of books to be, but I give myself permission to change my mind and just follow my whims.

    PS: The Book Thief is amazing; definitely move it up your pile!

  2. I hear you! I have my bookcases downstairs which are all either my already read books or my Folio Society collection… then I have my bookcase in my bedroom which is all to-be-read. I’ve had to put a ban on buying books 😦

  3. Ana, that is a much better perspective! You are of course correct. I guess it’s the same with stuff like music too – it is a bit overwhelming and weird when you overthink it. I think I need to stop looking at my to-read list all as one momentous, impossible thing and take one book at a time!

    Do you find having goals helpful?

    I really want to read The Book Thief and have had it for a while now. I feel like I’m almost saving it for when I will have time to give it my full attention so I can savour it! I know, however, that I will always be too busy….so I should just get on with it. I will let you know what I think πŸ™‚

    Nadya – do you find it easy to stick to the no-buying ban? I have tried that but then end up getting loads out from the Library anyway. And because it’s a small library and there’s only two of us, I don’t really have to bring them back by a particular date unless anyone else reserves them. Dangerous!

  4. No I’m pants at it. I usually buy at least one a month, which is whatever book is chosen for my book club (unless it is in the library!). And then I buy second hand ones whenever I see a title that is on my mental to-read list. But I’m better than I used to be!

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