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The guilt of too many books

The guilt of too many books

I read a lot. Like 76 books so far this year, a lot. So this morning when I looked around at the stack of books I have checked out from the library, on top of all the library e-books on my iPad, I knew the guilt of having too many books and too little time was real. While I should feel pretty proud of myself for having read so many books already this year, I start to feel guilty that I still have so much left to read.

I work full time, go to school part time, and have several commitments outside of that; so to say I have a full load might be a bit of an understatement at times. Reading is the hobby that makes me happy and should help me unwind from all my other activities, not add extra stress to my already overflowing plate. So how do I deal when reading stops being fun?

1. Return all the books! Return everything that isn't vital for you to read. If you're only half way through a book that's due in 48 hours, you're probably not going to finish it. That's okay. Just return the book and put it back on your TBR. I even clear out of my holds list at the library because sometimes even that feels overwhelming.

2. Take a break. Watch some TV, go for a run, do something else you enjoy. I'm sure there's a few episodes of How to Get Away With Murder that you still need to watch. This break will allow your brain to relax in a different way.

3. When you're ready, start small. Concentrate on one book, and only when you have the time. If you force yourself to jump back in to reading several books at once you'll probably resist. I highly suggest even re-reading an old favorite.

The guilt won't last forever, and soon you'll be back to enjoying books like before. Just know that you don't have to read everything, especially all at once. It's okay to take a few steps back and prioritize what you have going on in your life at that moment. And don't worry, the books will always be there, waiting to be read when you're ready.

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