On Bookish Guilt

This has been on my mind for a while -- and it's time to share.  We all have this, and I'm wondering where it comes from ... bookish guilt.

Here's my definition of bookish guilt:
  • We feel badly about buying so many books that sit on our shelves unread.  We put ourselves on book buying bans because we need to read the books we own.  Although I've never put myself on a book buying ban, I have frequently lamented the fact that I need to stop borrowing from the library and focus on the books that I own.
  • We feel badly about the size of our TBR piles (whether physical or the list on Goodreads) and lament our inability to read all of the books.  I'm especially guilty of this when it comes to series -- the guilt is overwhelming at times because I just want to read ALL OF THE SERIES.
  • We feel badly for not posting enough on our blogs, responding to comments, being active enough on Twitter.  This is one that I struggle with A LOT.  I feel like my blog stays small and less-known because I'm not as active in the blogging community as others.
  • We feel guilty about not reading all our ARCs in a timely fashion, or by publication date.  This is also a tough one for me, especially when it comes to DNFing an ARC or taking on more books that I can review.
I know that I have felt many of these symptoms and I know that other bloggers share this experience, since I've read many posts on some of these topics.  What I'm wondering about, is where does all this guilt come from?  Why is it that I feel these things -- especially when I really stop to think about the fact that reading (and blogging) are hobbies that are supposed to make me happy.

So, here's my resolution to end bookish guilt.  I hereby resolve to:
  • Read and enjoy each and every book to the fullest.
  • Not feel guilty for buying books, even if they sit on my shelves for a while.  As my husband so eloquently explained a little while ago, at least I'm not spending my hard-earned money on drugs, alcohol or gambling -- it could be a LOT worse!  Plus, it is nice to look at my shelves and dream about all the hours of enjoyment and fantastic stories that await me.
  • Stop stressing about finishing ARCs and just enjoy the fact that I have been given the opportunity to read and review a book before prior to the general public having access to this book.
  • Stop worrying about whether people will care or read my blog if I'm not super active on Twitter or in the blogging community.  At the end of the day, I blog for myself and if one person reads my blog (yes YOU!  I'm so happy you're here!), then that's just an added bonus!
What about you?  Do you suffer from bookish guilt?  How do you cope with these feelings?  Leave me a comment below -- I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!


  1. I think we all suffer from bookish guilt, but I'm glad you are trying to change this. I think us bookish people are always trying to read all the books and we just can't.

  2. Oh I definitely suffer from bookish guilt :) Mine is mostly directed towards ARCs though, I'm really, really behind after my move and it's all consuming. Eek. I don't much have guilt over books I own though, I love collecting and building a huge library of books so if they sit there unread for awhile *shrugs*... at least they look pretty :P I do have it over my blog as well, commenting and the like... especially over the last month because I seem to have NO TIME! I agree with your husband... you could be spending it on A LOT worse things :P

  3. I suffer from my fair share of bookish guilt, too. I don't know if I will ever not feeling guilty at times. I own lots of books, and I keep getting more. But I do admit to not feeling terrible with that.

    I guess what I stress about the most is not being active on social media enough. There is only so much time in the day. But I am going to try to relax a bit more. Great post!

  4. I get stressed out when my Goodreads TBR list gets too big, so occasionally I'll do a purge and remove some of the titles. Then I proceed to add new ones, lol. It's a vicious cycle :)

    I'm a blogger who doesn't have Twitter, or any of the other social media things that other bloggers use (I did set up a FB page, but then I decided to not go through with it). I am a blogger, who has a blog. That's enough for me :)

    Just found your blog through a link on another blog, and I'm now following you through bloglovin :)


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