Hello, my lovely lemons! 🍋 You know how it is. Sometimes I add a book to my TBR, and by the end of the week I’ve read it. Other times I add one and it’s still sitting there staring at me hopefully 4 years later, while I promise I do still want to read it, and I will get to it one day.
(For this post when I refer to my TBR I’m talking about my online Want to Read list, not my physical TBR.)
And the truth is, I do want to read them! But being in a community where there are so many shiny new releases all the time, they lose their sense of urgency. You feel like those backlist books will always be there waiting for you, so there’s no need to pick them up right now. And while that may be true, that feeling of excitement around starting a book has a rate of decay. The longer it sits there hopefully gazing at you from your reading tracker, the more your excitement dwindles.
The reason these books have stood the test of time on my TBR is because I’m so confident I’ll like them, which is what makes it so tragic that I haven’t read them yet. So today I’ve decided NO MORE. I’m going to pick 5 of the oldest books on my TBR, make a list of them here, and pledge to read them over the next few months. Then, I get to come and do a follow-up post (which I love doing) about how my expectations stood up to the reality of the book. I always focus on getting through the books on my physical TBR, but the time has come to examine my Want to Read list in the same way!
The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids by Michael McClung
Of all the books on this list that I have persistently not read, this one bugs me the most. It’s barely over 200 pages! The Kindle book costs 99p!! I downloaded a sample of this in 2018 and I absolutely adored it. It went straight on my list of books to read. Every time I’ve seen it in my reading list I’ve thought “yes, wow, must get to that, I’m certain I’ll love it.” IT’S 2022! Well, I got a Kindle voucher for my birthday recently so I’ve bought the damn thing and I. WILL. READ. IT.
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
I downloaded a sample of this at the same time as the last book,* and once again loved it and vowed to read it. I HAVED OWNED A PHYSICAL COPY OF THIS BOOK FOR OVER A YEAR. I am the worst!!!! The sample seemed really well written and like such fun. Every time I’ve mentioned it on the blog I’ve had comments from people whose book-related opinions I highly trust telling me it’s a great series. And still, it sits here. Unread. Gunslinging girl goes on adventure in desert. I MEAN-
* If you’re wondering why I was so invested in reading samples, I’d just joined the book community in 2018 and I was still in college without a job. Money was tight and I wanted to be absolutely certain I was going to love a book before I handed over any cash for it. I didn’t even own a Kindle, I borrowed my mum’s and filled it with 50+ samples of YA fantasy books I’d seen on bookstagram.
Fire Falling by Elise Kova
Aaaand we’re back to 2018. My favourite bookstagrammer is in love with all of Elise Kova’s books. I’ve just read Air Awakens, I’m really excited for it, and it left me on a cliffhanger just waiting for the sequel. WHICH I HAVEN’T READ YET. I own the whole damn series on my Kindle!! Which is probably a good thing since I’m almost certainly going to need to reread Air Awakens after all this time. I’m a series binger, I love to charge through 5 books in the same world all in one go. I get fully immersed and it’s great. So why for the love of God did I not do that in this case 😭
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Oh, I can go back further than 2018 with this one. The only reason it comes after the books I’ve already mentioned is because I’m going by the dates these were added to my online reading list. Waaaay back when an iPod Touch was a revolutionary and cool device to have, this book was once the Free Book of the Month on iBooks. I’m going to take a guess and say 2013? And… I haven’t read it yet. I’ve read a sample of it, twice. I own the whole series in paperback with the new cover designs. The main character is an art student with blue hair. I was once an art student with blue hair. What am I waiting for??
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
Oh, this one was inescapable. When I originally found bookstagram it was my first time hearing about this series and I thought I’d somehow missed the next Twilight or Hunger Games. It was EVERYWHERE, it was EVERYONE’S favourite, and I saw it and went “oooh pretty cover” and also “this sounds good and everyone loves it, I should read it”. Have I read it? No, of course not. I bought a copy of it once, then decided I didn’t actually want to read it, it was just hype, so I gifted it to a friend. Now I have another copy AND books two, three, and four, because my partner read them, went off the series, and asked me if I wanted them. Book-hoarding dragon I am, I said yes. Now, even though I decided before that I didn’t actually want to read this series, I’m pretty sure I do. It seems like exactly the kind of cheesy YA fantasy I loved as a teenager, and still love to escape into now. And at least where the first book is concerned, an assassin fighting tournament sounds cool. So, yeah. Let’s finally tick this one off the reading bucket list, eh? (I just accidentally typed that as Booket List and I’m not sure whether I’m an idiot or a genius.)
I hope you enjoyed this post that was 90% me ranting at myself. But for as much as I complain, I’m kind of glad I haven’t read these books just yet. For one, I wouldn’t have gotten to make this fun post, and I’m already looking forward to doing a follow up. And also I think the right time for a book is whenever you decide to read it, not 6 months ago or 4 years back. I can’t change the past, and I wouldn’t want to swap out previous books and have read these instead. I’m a different reader after each book I finish, and I think the time and place you read something affects your experience of it just as much as the actual writing. So I’m happy to read these books now, as I am. Who knows, maybe they’ll form nostalgia for the future. Until then…