Overbooked

I’ve felt a little overwhelmed by books and book news lately.  This is not to say that I haven’t wanted to read, but that I feel like I can’t take in any more information about books.  And I’m even reaching a point where I’m not all that interested in buying new books.  I have plenty of excellent books at home after all.  I’m happy to look through bookstores as usual, but that’s not because I want to buy more books or learn about new authors; it’s because it’s fun to be reminded of the authors I already know about.

Have you had this problem before?  The issue is that I have access to SO MUCH information that it’s become too much to handle.  I’m sorry to say it, but I don’t want to know about wonderful new authors or amazing new novels. I haven’t added anything to my wishlist in a long time.  In fact, I’m more likely to look over my wishlist and take books off that no longer sound interesting.

It’s a problem of information overload and also one of time; I’m not sure I would feel this way if I weren’t also feeling overwhelmed by things going on at work and by all the triathlon training I’m doing.  With everything else that is happening, I don’t have time to process information about new books and I don’t have energy for it either.

I do think this is a passing feeling though.  I’ll get my energy back for the book reviews and news again.  But right now I’d rather just tune out all the book buzz and focus on reading instead.

15 Comments

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15 responses to “Overbooked

  1. Oh, I too know the feeling. It usually passes for me and then I eventually get all excited about new stuff again. I think information-overload is probably a product of the times we live in…

  2. Horrors! Please tell me it isn’t contagious!

  3. I know exactly what you are describing. I’ve slowed way down on my wishlist and just last night I removed a bunch from said list because they no longer intrigued me.

    I did, however, pick up a few books at a used bookstore that looked really good — they were published 5+ years ago and I’m not sure how I missed them.

    It’s time to read the books I have and then purge the shelves. I’m thinking I should make the purging thing an annual event.

  4. Sounds like a good plan – get through what you have at the moment and then you can open up some space for more books when you feel the urge. Maybe you could call it a happy surfeit of books.

  5. Oh, I know how you feel. I’ve been staying clear of book review sites and deleting every “you’ve got to read this book” publisher email. The only new books I want to know about are ones by favorite authors. I am feeling like I want to retrench and take better control of my reading choices and read the books I’ve been wanting to read for ages instead of flitting off after everything shiny and new.

  6. I go through phases like this sometimes, too. At the moment I don’t have a single book waiting for me at the library and nothing new even appeals to me right now (though maybe it’s the now slow publishing season). I’ve reshuffled my reading stack and am looking forward to just settling down with them. And I know what you mean by just wanting to read from your TBR pile rather than looking for even more new books. Maybe it’s the time of year? It’s nice having a good selection of books at home where you don’t even need to think about buying anything new!

  7. I rather wish I could stop wanting books – it would be much better for my bank balance! I know how it feels to want to commit to a period of reading because there are such lovely books on my shelves, or something particular I want to research. But the bookshop never ceases to sing a siren song, alas…..

  8. verbivore

    I’ve pared back my reading list for next year so I won’t feel overwhelmed. I’d like to concentrate on slow reading for a while and I’m keeping myself at a healthy distance from bookmooch and online bookshops.

  9. Jenny

    I’ve spent the last year trying to read from my TBR list instead of endlessly adding to it and reading only the most recent things. This has meant mostly reading from my own shelves and the library. It’s been a wonderful year, just as full of discoveries as if I’d read every new novel published.

  10. I’m afraid I have never experienced a lack of desire to buy books but I do know that my bank manager would really appreciate it if you could infect me with whatever it is that brings such abstinence about.

  11. I think this is going around…hold fast perhaps there is a cure or vaccination in sight.

  12. Darby — it seems I’m not the only one, which is good … confessing something like this to an audience of book bloggers feels a little dangerous.

    Jess — yes, I’m sure you’re right. If I were living in a quieter time, I wouldn’t be feeling this way. And I know it will pass — probably a lot sooner than I think.

    Debbie — oh, I’m pretty sure it’s not! I think you’re okay :)

    Michele — an annual purge sounds like a good idea. I have so many books I’ve accumulated that I either won’t read again, or won’t read ever, so why not get rid of them?

    Pete — well, if you mean read all the books I’ve got unread on my shelves, that would take me a few years (at least), but I can read what I’ve got until I simply can’t resist new books anymore. That’s exactly what I’m in the mood to do.

    Stefanie — yes, that’s exactly it; I’d like to read only those things I’ve been meaning to for a while as well. I’m tempted to make up a list for next year of books that fit that description, although making a reading list might just make me feel even more stressed …

    Danielle — yes, it is very nice to have a collection. The truth is, I’m likely to get quite a few new books for Christmas, which is fine — probably I’ll be in the mood for them by that point. In the mean time, I’ll see how many books I currently own I can get through.

    Litlove — I think part of my problem is that I’ve found very cheap ways to accumulate new books (Book Mooch, library sales) that my bank balance doesn’t suffer too much. Which means my TBR collection has exploded in size! I’m sure I’ll be lured back into a book shop very soon though …

    Verbivore — I’ve enjoyed using Book Mooch, but I’m backing off it for a while too; I’ve got 17 points or so to use, but I’m not all that interested. I like the idea of slow reading too, and will continue to try not to worry about how many books I’m getting through each month and each year.

    Jenny — I’m glad your year of trying to read from your shelves has gone well! That’s very good to here. That should definitely be my goal next year.

    Ann — if I could figure out a way to infect you with my “illness” or whatever it is, I would do it! But do you really want me to? Somehow I doubt it :)

    Sherid — I think the best cure is probably time; soon enough I’ll be back to desperately wanting to shop for books again!

  13. I’ve taken a bit of a break from blogging from similar reasons. I need time to just sit down to read and enjoy without being tantalized by so much other information.

  14. I go back and forth. Sometimes I don’t bother to read my favorite book blogs for a period of time, because I’m afraid of what I’ll find there. Then, I have periods in which I can’t wait to add to my TBR tome (I think I’m in one of those at the moment. Sigh!).

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