Let’s Talk Bookish: Are big TBRs a sign of ‘abibliophobia’?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for more information on February 2021 prompts & a list of past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

ARE BIG TBRS A RESULT OF ABIBLIOPHOBIA?

(SUGGESTED BY JILLIAN @ JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY)
Prompts: Do you have abibliophobia? Do you add books to your TBR to keep it big, or is it a place where you keep books that seem interesting? Do you have multiple TBRs? If you don’t have a TBR, how do you find your next read?

WHAT IS ABIBLIOPHOBIA AND DO I HAVE IT?

If you’re sitting there scratching your head and wondering what ‘abibliophobia‘ is and thinking that it sounds kinda scary, you’re definitely not alone!

‘Abibliophobia’ is the fear of running out of reading material.

This isn’t something I’ve ever thought about it but right off the bat, I’d say no, I don’t have a fear of running out of reading material. Aside from having a large bookshelf that’s comprised mostly of unread books, I’m also very lucky to be able to buy new (physical and digital) books when the mood strikes, thanks to having a well-paying job and also thanks not having any financial responsibilities outside of paying monthly rent and bills. I know I’m definitely lucky in this respect, especially since I come from a country that doesn’t have libraries or other public resources, and where imported books generally cost 2-3 times more than local books.

DO I ADD BOOKS TO MY TBR TO KEEP IT BIG OR IS IT A PLACE WHERE I KEEP BOOKS THAT SEEM INTERESTING?

Since joining the book community 2 years ago, my Goodreads TBR has grown at a frightening pace and I’m actually a bit embarrassed at times to admit that my list is 1,000+ books long. Yeah, you read that right. That said, my GR TBR is mostly full of books that I find interesting and that I want to keep my eye on, and they’re not necessarily books that I will ever end up reading or buying. I feel like I always have to make that distinction because I certainly don’t own even close to 1,000 books even after adding up my digital and physical bookshelves!

I also have a terrible memory so adding to books to my list really helps me when I’m looking to buy books and I can check back to see if I’ve already marked something or not. Short answer: I definitely don’t add to my TBR to keep it big, and in fact I really struggle to keep it small and need to get better at periodically culling the list! As I’ve said in previous posts, I have a semi-problematic relationship with that ‘want-to-read’ button–it’s just too easy to click! 😂

Do I HAVE MULTIPLE TBRs?

I have two TBRs: my Goodreads TBR, with all the books under the sun whether they’re owned or not, and my Owned TBR books that consist of the physical and digital books that I have in my personal library. That said, unlike my Goodreads TBR, I don’t actually *have* a catalogued list of all the books I own and one of my goals this year is to actually start the list (I haven’t yet)! Meep… 🙈 Surprisingly (or maybe not) I don’t always look to my TBR to see what I want to read next. I have a irritatingly bad habit of buying new books instead of reading the ones that I already own, and I know being able to do that is definitely a privilege, and this year I’m working hard to slow down the spending roll and tackling the many (many 😫) books on my shelves!

Do you have abibliophobia? Do you have multiple TBRs and how do you use them? If you don’t have a TBR, how do you find your next read?

20 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Are big TBRs a sign of ‘abibliophobia’?

  1. I never thought about it that way! I think for me it’s just books I really want to read and have no time to get to. I have a huge list on Goodreads that I never check or update haha. I also have a few books on my bookshelf and ebook shelf that I have to get to but it’s not categorized or written down somewhere. I think a few years ago it was a fear of me running out of things to read, this is pre Twilight days when it really did feel like there wasn’t much out there in the young adult world. Historical romance, which was my fave, felt like it was dying out too (at least for me because my fave authors started doing contemporary), but yeah, I can see how it could be a fear of running out of books to read!

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    1. Same here, I never thought about it that way but I can see how it can be driven out of fear! I never used to really check my Goodreads list (I think I signed up in 2012 and only really started to use it in 2018?) but I definitely want to get better at that from now and focus on books that I still have an interest in reading! LOL

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  2. Interesting post! I think my issue is more a buying problem. When I’m stressed its so relieving to buy a book. It’s not to quell a fear of not having enough books, though. I never knew this was a thing!

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    1. Oh, I totally get that! So much! Retail therapy is a big bad thing for me and while before I used to buy clothes, jewellery, etc., I now buy books. A lot of books 🙈 I never knew or considered that there was a fear of not having enough books to read, either! Very interesting though 😊

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  3. I do have a bit of abibliophobia I guess, because whenever I make a TBR for any challenge, it is always over ambitious, because I always feel that what if I finish reading all the books and I don’t have another book in my reach. I also have multiple TBRs but mostly I never use them 🙈🙈🙈, the only TBR I use now a days is my Amazon wishlist 😅, which I use to buy books and I also use that to see what books I have bought. But, for me too buying rate is much faster that my reading rate😅😅😅

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    1. Oh, that’s a really interesting take on the question! Do you find that it’s the same feeling when you add books to your other TBRs (like your Amazon wishlist)? I guess since I don’t really participate in challenges and when I do I make more possibility piles than fixed TBRs cos my mood is a fickle thing. My Amazon wishlist is something that I’ve been telling myself I need to use more frequently so that the people in my life can look at an updated list if they want to get me things 😂 But I have also started using it to reference when I bought a book as well! LOL

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  4. This is a really interesting question but I find it mildly hard to comprehend. Honestly, I don’t think I could ever not have something to read just because even if I didn’t have a list there is ALWAYS something out there that I would find interesting to pick up. Such a great discussion. Happy reading!

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  5. I think even before I had a huge TBR I was never afraid of running out of reading material because I have the library. I think I just love books? So I get a lot of them? I also like collecting things so….yeah. 🙂

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  6. I never had enough to read as a child or young adult (the first because of living overseas, and the second because there was no internet, and it was a lot harder to find books I wanted to read!), and so I overstock my tbr in a hording sort of way to make sure I’ll never go hungry again (about 500 unread books, all of which I actively Want to read). So yes, I have abibliophobia, even though it’s irrational at this point. I’m glad to have a word for it!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience! I never knew that this word or fear existed before this post but I’m really glad that I learned about it. I hope that your TBR will never go hungry again 😊

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  7. Out of curiosity, I just checked out my GR TBR to see how many are on it…1910. W.O.W! Well, I definitely didn’t add them just for the sake of having a big TBR. LOL! I’m not even sure what the purpose of that would be???

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    1. Hahaha, SAME, ALI! Same… 🙈 I know there’s no way I’ll be getting through all these books in my lifetime, especially as it continues to grow every year, but there are really just so many books I want to read if I can, so why not have a list on hand? Right? LOL

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  8. I’m pretty sure my realistically large TBR is a result of me having completely unrealistic expectations about how many books I can read in a given time span. xD I definitely don’t have abibliophobia. I do have multiple TBRs, because I’m afraid that if I ever combine them into one, they’ll merge like Voltron and take over the planet.

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  9. I didn’t even know abibliophobia was a thing! 🙈 Just like you said, I also struggle to keep my TBR small. There are a lot of books that interest me and unfortunately I don’t have the time to read it all. It’s impossible to remember every book that interests me so I just add it to my Goodreads TBR, that way I can remember to prioritize those books when I’m buying books or placing books on hold on Libby. 🙂

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