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Books and Self-reflection

The photograph above it my TBR shelf at home. That doesn't even count the YA books that I want to read on the shelves at my school library or the ones on my list that I get from other book blogs. While thinking about the reading challenges (scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the challenge list) that I want to participate in during 2011 I started looking at the TBR list that I have on this blog and I realized that I hadn't even listed the books in the above photograph. So, I just brought every book to my computer and added them. There are some darn good books on there! Here's the updated list.

I realize when I am searching for my next book to read I tend to just grab what I am in the mood for and it might not even be on my TBR list. Catastrophe! My TBR shelve overwhelms me, yet I don't work to reduce it. So I've decided to do a couple things about this...
  • I am going to make a concerted effort to work my way through my TBR shelf/list this year
  • I am going to try to do my reading challenges using books that are already on my TBR shelf/list
Now, a question for you: Would it be more useful to list my TBR books by genre as well? That way when I am looking for a specific type of book I can more easily find one that I already own?

Here's the self-reflection part. I started to wonder how my TBR list got so long and when the heck I am going to find time to read all these books plus the two a month from my book groups. Here's how my thoughts flowed...
  1. My first thought was that as soon as my daughter gets older I'll have more time to read (she's 10 now)
  2. Then I realized that waiting until she is a teenager and wants to spend less time with me is WAY too long to wait (and such a sad thought, I couldn't go there)
  3. Given that, I need to find more reading time now. So, why don't I have time now?
  4. Here are my commitments: Family life (the best thing going); work (also really good); the school's website (fun); my blog (like that's going to go away...not!); starting up my non-profit Turn the Page Uganda (scary, but exciting) and my two book groups (also so much fun)
  5. My life is so rich and full. I wouldn't give any of it up.
  6. The big realization? Though I complain sometimes that I am super busy, I really thrive on being busy and having my life pulled in all directions. Each activity/commitment feeds on something inside of me that needs to be taken care of so I should just deal with it.
  7. How did it take me to 45 to come to this realization?!


Alyce said...

I understand what you mean because I really thrive on the different things in my life that keep me busy too.

I haven't made my mind up about which challenges I'll be participating in next year, other than the two that I'm hosting. I'm sure I'll find a few that I can't resist though.

Anonymous said...

Yes...I know what you mean! I complain that I have so much on my plate but then when I have free time (like the summer) I go nuts and get kind of sad without my routine. So I guess I should just be thankful for all the stuff in my life. Great post!

I am participating in a classics challenge for 2011 because that is one of my goals anyway and it will help my TBR pile.

Allie said...

I have learned that I am a much happier person when I am busy and have lots to do. I get more done too! Amazing, huh?

I think its a great idea to work off your TBR list. I've noticed a trend this year of bloggers pulling away from challenges and working on their own things!

Amused said...

I am constantly trying to tame my TBR shelves too - good luck!

Unknown said...

I completely agree with #6! My husband keeps telling me to slow down or I'll crash. I can't help it!

I have a *ton* of books in my TBR and sometimes I wonder how I'll get through them all. I guess it doesn't help that I'm moving next month and they will be left at my parents house... *sigh*. Don't know how I'm going to work this one out!

Helen's Book Blog said...

Alyce--Hosting 2 challenges is quite busy, but fun

Danielle--That's funny; I feel at a loss during the summer as well. Glad to know I'm not the only one. Classics are the genre that I feel guilty about: I feel like I should like them, but I don't

Allie--I think the TBR list got to me when I made a Christmas wish list and it had more books on it :-)

Amused--The TBR shelf seems like a black hole of books sometimes, doens't it?!

Marie--I can't imagine moving again with all my books. I guess it's a good time to do some weeding, as painful as that can be