This was a discussion topic that’s been floating around for a while, and I originally saw it on Raeleen’s channel of padfootandprongs07.
If you’re an avid reader and you love reading, then you’re most likely buying a lot of books. A lot more than you can read through in a given set period of time. Most often your TBR (to be read) pile will keep growing and growing and it’ll never get down. But when you see these books in videos or in the stores or online you just can’t help but want to read it because you’re interested in it, it sounds like a good read, and you have to have it now.
And then the guilt starts swirling in your stomach like a whirlpool. You start feeling as though everyone is watching you and judging you, even though they’re not (well, they might be, you never know). You know you have X amount of books waiting for you to read them on your shelf at home, but you just need to have the seven or twelve books you hold in your hands.
See now, the thing is, some people will stare at you in disbelief and question why you’re buying more books – again – when you have so many you haven’t read yet. Some will mock you, even be angry with you for buying more.
There’s just one little detail that they’re forgetting, and quite possibly you’re forgetting, too: you’re a reader. What you do is love to read, and even though you may have over 100 books on your TBR, or even 20 or less, you still love books. And it’s your money, so really, as long as you’re not doing anything illegal with it or going out of control, then who cares, right?
As a reader, you might feel compelled to buy a book here or there even though you know you won’t get to it for another month or two, or another year or two.
If you know you’ll get to it eventually, then get them. You bought them for a reason, so don’t feel guilty about it.
I know that I’ve felt guilty over the past few months since joining BookTube and buying a crap ton of books. Seriously, my pile has grown massive in just a few short months. Did I feel the guilt wash over me? Oh yes, multiple times. Did I listen to the guilt? On occasion. Did I ever later regret buying a book? No, I don’t think so.
I know I’m going to get to all of the books on my shelves eventually. As a slow reader, who was quite busy this past year, I didn’t have a lot of time or energy to focus on reading and getting my TBR pile down. I have read almost 20 books this year, though, which was my goal for the year, so I am proud of myself for that.
But in all honesty, if you really want that book, then go for it. Yes, your tastes will change and you may not want to read it for a while, but you’ll get to it eventually.
One tip I loved from Raeleen’s video was removing books that you don’t want to read right then and there, pack them away, and then pull them out a few months later. It’ll be like receiving a present on your birthday – the excitement of it will wash away any guilty feelings you had before then because you probably won’t remember what you put in there. This is so you can free up space on your shelves and not stare at books all the time.
But if you like staring at your impressive collection, then leave them out. No one’s going to stop you; they’re your shelves, do with them as you please.
Remember: never feel guilty for buying a book. Books are meant to be read. So many people nowadays aren’t reading as much that for you to be picking up those books and producing revenue for book publishing companies and authors is a great way to keep the business going. Obviously, it’s not going to go out any time soon (we hope), but still you’re helping out, even in the smallest possible way.
Keep buying books without feeling guilty; you’ll feel much better in the long run. You’re not alone in this by a long shot.
Accompanying video: Discussion | Buying Books and Feeling Guilty
Do you ever buy books and feel the guilt after? How do you cope? Let me know in the comments below!