How to Keep Your TBR Stress at Bay

I’ve been really stressed out lately, and if I’m being completely honest with myself, it’s (probably) because of how many unread books are piling up around my home. TBR stress, baby. My to-be-read list, physical and digital, is out of control.

We have written about this a bit. Isn’t it wild that the thing we love can be such a heavy stressor?

I’ve come up with some steps (or maybe just mantras, reminders, nudges) to take to keep my TBR stress at bay. And maybe they can help you, too.

Get a routine

Book (heh) your reading time as a non-negotiable part of your daily schedule. But also! Don’t get too hard on yourself if it doesn’t pan out! Life happens.

Return all the library books

They’ll always be there to check out again and again and again. Right now, they’re just a bag o’ books with varying due dates (aka deadlines) adding unnecessary TBR stress.

Follow your heart

When picking your next read, just go for it. Don’t worry about what you “should” be reading right now.

Stop going to bookstores

Really. No “just browsing” trips. Just avoid ’em.

Be honest when people lend books

Recommending books? Cool. Lending books willy-nilly? Fine. Good intentions. But also sometimes they add a mountain of unnecessary TBR stress, and it’s okay to say no thanks when someone lends you a book!

Find reading pockets

Whether it’s audiobooks on the drive to work or ebooks while waiting in line at the pharmacy, these little pockets of reading time are everywhere.

Purge the shelves

Remember when you wanted to read all the classics, so you bought stacks of them at library book sales? Be real with yourself and get rid of some of these books. And guess what? If you do decide you want to read them later, you’ll certainly be able to find them again.

What are your tips for keeping your TBR from stressing you out?

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