One of the most frequent wails amongst booklovers is that of 'my TBR is huuuuuuuge! I don't know how I'm ever going to get through it! I really need to reduce it!'. Well, friends, I am here to tell you that all of this self-flagellation over owning too many books is not necessary. Having a huge TBR is actually good for you, and here's why.
Before we start, we know that you don't have to own lots of books to be a lover of books or an avid and voracious reader. We aren't trying to shame, cast aspersions on the validity of the reading experience of or otherwise malign readers who don't own loads of books. What we are doing is speaking from our own place of experience to the experience of many, many other readers out there.
1. Having a huge TBR means you'll never run out of books, and you'll be prepared for every mood.
Honestly, I'm a huge mood reader and I've spoken to so many other people who are the same way throughout my time blogging. Sometimes I plan to read something and then when it comes to actually picking it up I just don't feel like it and instead I'll reach for some epic fantasy/a YA romance/a foodie memoir/my 50th re-read of Little Women. Having a ridiculous TBR means that I can accommodate these mood changes and that I rarely get stuck in a reading rut (I didn't say never, just rarely). Which brings me to my next point...
2. Huge TBR = Huge ability to make book forts.
I mean, sometimes adulting is hard. If you have a huge number of unread books in your house you could just hide inside your book fort from time to time...
3. Books make you want to learn more.
While I was looking for actual evidence to back up my compelling need to write this post in support of ridiculous TBRs I came across this article which talks about Umberto Eco and his 30,000 strong library of unread books. Evidently surrounding yourselves with books reminds you how much about the world you still have to learn and encourages you to learn more. I know there's been a lot of times when I'll be reading a book and it addresses an event or subject that I don't know anything about and it will prompt me to look for, and often to buy, more books about the subject and other related subjects.
4. Having books in the house can be a huge gift to kids.
Not just your own, but any kids that visit your house. My parents are readers but I didn't grow up wealthy and we didn't own a huge number of books. When I was about ten we went on our annual holiday to a family friend's house in Devon. They were retired teachers and set up a reading room just for me with an entire bookcase of books I'd never read and I spent the majority of our two week holiday in there discovering all sorts of things. It was amazing. This isn't directly related to owning many books you haven't yet read - it's just about having books around you, and if you have nieces and nephews, or friends with kids that come around a lot then it's a great idea to have a house full of books.
5. Bookshops are important, and it's important to support them.
Look, I'm not just saying this as a soon to be (online) bookshop owner myself, but bookshops are an absolutely essential part of every community. Without bookshops and libraries there are no places left for those of us who aren't into sports to just hang out and explore the world. With libraries and bookshops you have the chance to discover all sorts of new things, talk to people who also love books, go to book events and all of that wonderful stuff. Your TBR is supporting bookshops and bookshops are amazing.
So there you are, five reasons why having a huge TBR is a great idea. And you know what's a great way to add excellent books to your TBR? Ninja Book Box and Ninja Book Club of course! (and the last subscription spot for August is still available...)
What are your feelings about your TBR? Let us know in the comments, and if you'd like to, tell us how many unread books you own...