Starting ‘Beat The Backlog’ (And Why I Haven’t Yet)

We are twelve days into January, and all over Twitter I am seeing people who are on books 4-5 of their Beat The Backlog piles. I am in awe of them, because my guilty little secret is that despite best intentions I haven’t actually started yet.

It shouldn’t have been like this. On New Years Eve I started coughing, feeling ‘Snotty and Grotty’, so I went home, took a test and settled in for what I assumed would be a few days of glorious free time to read a few of the 150+ books on my TBR pile while I got better. Below is a pile of books from that list that I picked up at some point during the last twelve days, fully intending to start reading them.

This did not even vaguely happen. I felt like death warmed up for most of the week that I was off sick, with what turned out to be the cold from hell.

I felt a bit pathetic to be honest – It was a mere cold. But somehow that little cold laid me out flat for most of the new year so far, so I’ve only actually spent three days at work so far in the last twelve. Why haven’t I started my resolution to get the TBR down into double digits? The truth is that I fully intended to. Each of the above books were picked up with exactly that intent; I took them with me to bed, to the bath, to the sofa where I curled up under piles of blankets with a constant stream of hot drinks designed to make me feel better. I did not even open the first pages.

Above are the books which fared slightly better – I have read several chapters of Good Vibes, Good Life, but not yet finished it. Loungbourn has been declared by Twitter people to be fantastic, and I am so so excited to get properly into it, but I just haven’t yet.

‘That’s not how you wash a squirrel’ has probably had the most luck so far, mainly because my Other Half has been reading it to me. Really it’s his book not mine, but it’s so ridiculous that now he is simply reading the entire book out loud to me because he can’t not share it. Do yourself a favour and read it.

So what HAVE I read so far this month? Which books made the rather elusive list of ‘stuff I will actually read while I am sick’?. The three above have all been read cover to cover for the millionth times over the past couple of weeks, and they did exactly what they were supposed to do. They made me feel so much better.

So what am I to make of my complete inability to read new and exciting books when I am feeling rough? I have thought long and hard about this over the couple of weeks when I have been not reading, not writing blog posts, and not doing any of the things that I have declared to the world make me happy. And I think I may have come to a conclusion of sorts.

It doesn’t matter if I read new and exciting books, the important bit is that the book does what it needs to for me. I have been thinking hard about self-care over the miserable month that is January and found real comfort in my beloved re-reads. Books are self-care for me, I love them, they restore me. So if I don’t feel like an adventure, I don’t need to have one. I can read whatever I like to help me feel better, stronger, more soothed and just generally more peaceful. Putting pressure on myself to read a certain amount of New Books does not help me when I am feeling rubbish, so I am not going to do that right now. I am okay with not ‘achieving’.

For now.

We’ll see how I feel next week.

But today, I am giving myself the space to feel better, and if that means re-reading my favourite books then that really isn’t such a bad fate. I think I may go and look at Harry Potter….

Published by BeckyBookBlog

My name is Becky and I run a blog about Books

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