Writings

I Took Back Control of My TBR… It Was GREAT!

As a reader, particularly one that blogs, I often find myself caught up on new releases. I focus on the latest novels to be published by my favorite publishing companies, regardless of topic. In the beginning of blogging, I thought that in order to become good at book blogging, I had to only read new releases. Then I realized, I lost my purpose along the way and it wasn’t fun.

I started blogging on a whim. I had an assignment for my technical writing course that required me to create a website or a blog. In the process, I found that I wanted to continue my blog once class was done. I was new to Goodreads, Bookstagram, and Twitter and thought a book blog would help connect them all together. I wanted a placewhere all my reviews could be found without having to search for them. I wanted a place to practice and hone my writing, and in the beginning, I didn’t care if it was only my family reading. My blog was for me first and foremost.

But, I was sucked in. Let’s be honest, Bookstagram, Twitter, Litsy, and everything else is overwhelming for a newbie. I’ve been reading books ever since I was a child, but social media takes being a reader to a whole new level, and for some of us, that’s not a good thing.

I became obsessed with trying to take pcitures of my books, but I suck at photography and editing makes me want to pull my hair out one strand at a time.

I tried to tweet the best book quotes every single day, but sometimes there aren’t any favorites in what I’ve read that day.

Then it happened…

Instead of reading what caught my eye, I started reading the “must have” books. The ones with all they hype. The “Book of the Month/Day/Year” that everyone was talking about. Reading and writing became an item on my “to-do” list. My TBR list filled with books that didn’t even interest me, but I read them anyway.

I fell into a rut. If you look back on my blog, you’ll clearly see where it happened. I wasn’t writing anymore. If you look at all my social media accounts, there’s a clear gap in involvment. I didn’t care to share.

My FAVORITE thing in the world to do became my least favorite and I hated it. I was no longer enjoying what started out as being something for fun and just for me.

Something finally snapped and I realized, I was going about things the wrong way. I never read romance novels and I decided I wasn’t about to start because one was being talked about on YouTube. I love a good dystopian, but that doesn’t mean that I need to read every single one mentioned on Twitter.

I still love getting my hands on new releases, but only if the book interests me. If not, Sorry Charlie, move on. I no longer care what everyone else is reading because we all have different tastes.

And my blog, is my blog. As much as I want thousands of followers, for me, quality over quantity. The few follwers I have actually read what I post and the interactions I have on Instagram are personal. Those interactions are what matter to me.

I took back control of my TBR list and my reading life and it has brought me back to why I love to read. Reading is a personal journey for me first, a social experience second.

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

-Haruki Murakami

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