Book Moratorium: Yes or No?

My husband and I enjoyed a very rare date night last weekend.  (Thank you, in-laws – my son loves spending the night with Nonna and Pop Pop!)  After dinner out and spending too much money on “healthy junk” at Whole Foods, we sat on the back deck, enjoying the nice evening and talking.  Somehow the conversation went to books and reading, as it often does with me.  Hubby proposed an interesting idea: Wouldn’t it be great if authors and publishers took a year off from publishing any new books?

“That way you can catch up on all the books you’ve been wanting to read,” he said. Little does he know my Goodreads TBR is at about 425 (!) titles.  But I appreciated the sentiment.  Let’s set aside considerations of how these authors, editors, publishers, agents, etc. would make a living for that year.  Let’s assume that they’ve been given stipends from generous benefactors.  Booksellers and professional reviewers could go to their backlist for items to sell and promote.

Would you want such a thing to happen?  At first I was all for it.  I could make a good dent in the TBR and not have to face the “pressure” of the new books coming out every month that look AMAZING.  (And the fear of missing out if I don’t read them in a timely fashion.)

But then I thought, I actually really enjoy looking at all the new books coming out every month – the discussions on Book Riot, the monthly columns in O Magazine and Redbook and Entertainment Weekly.  My co-worker said she wouldn’t like the moratorium because she has new books from her favorite authors coming out and she simply “must read them!”  So there’s that consideration.

I guess it falls on me to stop putting so much pressure on myself to get the next book read so that I can read the next book and so on.  Lately I’ve been feeling like I need to read ALL THE BOOKS NOW, which I logically know is impossible, especially given that I have a job and a kid and a house that won’t clean itself. Maybe it comes along with having a fairly new blog about books?  I feel like I should be posting more, therefore, I should be reading more?  I don’t know.  I haven’t put any more books on my library holds lists in a couple of weeks.  That helps.  Those library books always seem to out-prioritize the unread books I already own.

Have you ever felt self-imposed reading pressure?  Have you guys got any tricks for letting go of it? Would you want a book moratorium, or would it hamper your excitement for reading?

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4 thoughts on “Book Moratorium: Yes or No?

  1. No book moratorium! I think all avid readers long to have expanses of time to spend reading and want to reading everything now please. I used to deal with it by making detailed reading plans. It worked for a while and then I rebelled. Now I make monthly reading plans and read whatever I feel like. I do try to keep my library holds request list down since they do always end up taking priority. And after all this time as a reader I have decided I am not really going to change so I don’t worry about it. I know lots of people do the TBR challenge and other challenges but I generally fail at them so I don’t as a rule take part. Bottom line, do whatever makes you happy 🙂

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    1. Stefanie, I’m feeling kind of rebellious myself. I need some whimsy and not to be a slave to my TBR! I’m not so good at challenges either. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  2. Yes, of course I feel the pressure, usually when I have a bad case of start-itis and have 7+ ongoing books… I have learnt to read it as a sign that none of them are totally satisfying. I have still difficulty to drop them, but sometimes I do. Also, sometimes I cull my TBR list as my priorities change.

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    1. I know what you mean. I’ve got three going right now and none of them is totally satisfying me. I find myself wanting to re-read old favorites. Gotta push on through or abandon!

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