Help Me! I'm Overloaded!

Help me!

I'm overloaded. Remember the time when you didn't have a Goodreads or a Booklikes in which to record all those books you wanted to read? Maybe you kept a notebook, maybe it was mental list in your head. Remember going to the library and picking a book and being pleasantly surprised or horribly disappointed in equal measure? Sure even in this digital age we can still experience these things, but I find that a lot of what I now read is recommended by others and that eureka moment of uncovering a gem myself has kind of faded. Not that I'm dissing recommendations. How else would I have discovered the October Daye series  by Seanan McGuire or  Others series by Anne Bishop.

Suddenly I'm overloaded. I have books of the month, buddy reads both with online and real life friends. I find myself in a place where I question am I reading books that I want to. Would I pick these books for myself? Yes, I'm being shown new and wondrous books. I'm having a wonderful time making all these new discoveries friends have previously advised me of. But the problem is to keep on top of the game I'm neglecting those books that I actually might like to really read. It's crazy isn't it? Yip, I know what you are thinking. That woman is a sheep. Baa, baa, baa. Yes I am. I really am. So let's take a look at some of the things that have caused my TBR to explode. I try to grab a feather duster every now and then and clean the cobwebs from my TBR, but it's a never ending task.

So here is the lowdown on the expressions my friends use to sucker me in to picking up a book or series. Almost, without fail they work. I don't want to miss out on all the excitement and be reading the book five months down the track. That would be unthinkable. However it is closer to the truth, as I battle to stay in some control of my reading life.

Please note all the below is very tongue in cheek. 

You have to read this book!!! You simply must!!!

Why must I read this book? Will the world end? Will I get zapped by lightening? You've gushed and gushed. I've read your review. I followed your comments on various forums.  I may have wondered a time or two if you are going a little crazy. This book can't be that good can it?

Eventually you will wear me down. I think you might have already gathered that little nugget about my personality. My fingers will start to itch. I'll get cold sweats. Resistance is futile. I know, it is known. Slowly, I weaken. I turn the first page. The outside world is forgotten.  Hooked again. You knew I would succumb to your wily ways.

Suddenly I'm the one, in a peaceful, harmonious manner <s> in honesty, slightly manic and fanatically manner</s> , encouraging friends they must read this book. Their life depends on it.

Ouch! Okay I will.

It's the best book I've ever read!! 

Is it the best book you have ever read? The best book in 2014 perhaps? I bet when you reflect on it, it isn't the best book you have ever read. This seems to be an evolving list. As you read more, a new book eventually topples this one from your list. I couldn't just have one book as the best book I've ever read. There are numerous ones. Perhaps if I cut it down by genre I might be able to agree. 

What? This is the best book I've ever read in my life! I may never tell you that your recommendation was correct. I might just slyly leave just my five stars somewhere and not leave an actual review.

I'm now obsessed with the series. Thanks very much.

Everyone's reading it. You have to read it too.

Why? I'm not a sheep. Oh, right, we've already established that I probably am. The book is hyped up. It's in the best sellers lists for weeks, every man and his dog has read it. What are you holding out for? You know you want to. Go on pick it up. You too, can be part of the a trend. Though I laugh to myself as when I follow this rule usually I ended up disappointed.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyers anyone?? I did capitulate to reading the first couple of this series, however it quickly became clear to me it wasn't the series for me. Yet still peer pressure did make me give them a go. No, I'm not in the school yard still. It was highly recommended to me. This may have occurred more than once with other series. But, hey, I was willing to give it a go.

Eek just one of the crowd.

You need this book in your life! Your life is not complete unless you read it!

What are you trying to say about my life? Looks around. Stares out the window. Wonders what she is missing out on. I start to daydream for a moment, musing on how to make my life complete. My mind may have drifted to tropical beaches and being served cocktails by a very hot, very muscular waiter. Oops, my mind drifted. Back to the task at hand.

Just read it already!

Why didn't you tell me earlier I need to read this book? Sheesh, if I had known earlier how fantastic this was I would I have read this years ago.  Oh, that's right, you did recommend it to me two years ago. Sorry. You were right, I don't know how I coped before this book entered my reading horizon. I don't know how I'll manage now that I've finished it. No other book will ever compare.  All I can think about is how to travel back to the 1700's. The Outlander Series by Diana Galbaldon fits well under this header. Yes, Wench Kathi, your ploy worked in the end. I've fallen head over heels for the series. I really did need this series in my life.

If you liked this book/series then you will love this other book/series as well

Ah no this isn't always true though is it? I don't know if I want to trust your judgment. 

Crap, now I haven't slept for a week. I have to read the whole series one after the other. It's interfering with my work, my sleep and my social life. Don't laugh. I do have a social life. Throws the book across the room. WTF another cliffhanger. I have to open book 6 to find out what happens next. It's 2 am. Drat, not again. I prise the book from my hands and shakily switch off my bedside light to try to get some sleep. Coffee is my friend. I start to seriously consider the benefits of energy drinks.

Must have coffee. Must have coffee.

This book absolutely wrecked my life, so you have to read it.

Wrecked your life? Did it? Really? Perhaps you need to take a step back and move here with the rest of us in reality. Have some chocolate (I prefer carrot cake). You do know fictional characters aren't real?

Now I might be crying, because you were right. I'm kind of cursing you in between my gulping tears. This book wrecked me. I didn't believe you whilst I was consoling you when you read it. I thought a book couldn't affect someone so dramatically. 

I believe you now. It did wreck your life.

Fast-forward. I read your book and now the following has happened.

I haven't been able to set foot out of my house for a week. My hair needs a wash, I can't stop crying and my pyjamas have become a fashion statement. I just frightened the delivery guy who came to my door. Darn it. He was hot too. Work keeps calling. Don't they understand I'm in an emotional meltdown. I need sick leave (not that I condone taking time off due to the the heart-rending consequences of reading this book). This may have been how Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx left me.

I'm not crazy. I'm devastated.

Oh, god. No. You HAVE to read this book. It...This...No. You have to read it, I'm not going to spoil it for you.

Clear winner. You tell me this phrase and I won't be able to help myself. I'll have to pick up that sucker and read it. Don't steer me wrong. I don't know if my fragile reader's heart could take it. I resist. I've had my heart broken before. Yet your words reel me in. I can't resist.

I know. I'm too weak.

Please, please give me a spoiler. Just one little one. You didn't tell me this book I had to read was ten books long. I need to know that Miranda makes it out alive when the last page is closed. Come on, just throw me a bone. Anything, I'll take any little spoiler. You won't destroy the ending for me. I promise!!! Wait.....what happened?? How could you have spoilt it for me?? Spoilers are such a double edged sword. You say you want them, but sometimes you really don't.

I just can't with this book. I just can't even....

What can't you even? You have to tell me. Can't survive? Can't go on? The series was awesome or did it bore you to tears? You've teased me in with this little line and now you need to spoil the goods. Pronto. I kind of love / hate this line. It tells me nothing, yet it makes me curious. Curious to uncover what series rendered you speechless. Why can't you say it made you cry, it made you mad or it made your eyes boggle? It's almost like you are a robot on autopilot and you can only communicate to me with hand signals.

Thank goodness for hand signals.

I sit in shocked silence staring at the last page of the book. It can't end like this, it just can't. I have tears streaming down my face. I'm making that awful gasping, hiccuping sound people make when they've been crying a lot. I can't put this ending into words. I can't describe this to another soul. How will they understand that I was just trodden on and somehow I've survived. I've come out the other side a changed person. Not visibly sure, but something in my mind changed. You asked me how I liked the book. I just can't even.......

In Conclusion

All these little tricks wear down my resistance. Book's I've picked myself languish on my TBR. I know, I look at them and think, "one day, one day I will read you, don't despair".  
Are you overloaded? Did you think it was similar when there was all these amazing resources at your disposal. Don't get me wrong. I love all the different forums in which to indulge and discuss the books I love, but sometimes, there is a part of me that misses when things were simpler. 

Let me know any phrases that make you immediately think you have to pick up a book series straight away. Can you think of a book / series for you personally that matches each phrase that I've listed above?

All images are from Tumblr.


  1. LMAO!!
    Yes, Angela.
    I do remember a time when I had only two series to follow up on, and there were many years between each installment, so that was okay (btw, that reminds me, you really should pick up up The Wheel of Time, Angela - great series and only 14 books in series, averaging 700 or 800 pages a piece - love it - can't tell you how many times I've reread the first 6 or 7 books).
    Anyway, in 2009 I discovered 'the series that shall no longer be named' and it filled my world for a while. Rereading wasn't enough and I filled my days reading fanfic. Great fun.
    Then I started looking around for 'other' things, and started adding series to my list, but things never got out of hand until I joined GR and discovered that I wasn't the only person in the world who loves reading. Can't say people didn't warn me about my TBR pile to become humongous, but I laughed at them. Thought they were joking, go figure.

    So yes, Angela. I do feel overloaded.
    Why do you ask?
    Does "1 year challenge" and "seasonal challenge" and "April challenge" and "May challenge" sound familiar?
    No? Then maybe "we choose 4 books of the month, each month, so you have options" will ring a bell?
    Or "I don't usually like YA but let's read VA anyway, just for fun" (paraphrasing here and grinding my teeth in frustration every time I see a comment passing by about how nobody likes Rose, knowing I'm missing out on the discussion because I haven't read them, and let's face it, I don't really want to because I don't like YA) ?
    Or "Upcoming : 6th Grave on the Edge" (yikes, I have the first 5 still on my TBR list, so now I'm panicking, knowing I'll miss out on another great discussion).

    And that's just the SW. My other book club chooses a first in series as BOM, every month (great idea BTW- it's a perfect way to get introduced to new series, and because most of my friends are reading them, I want to as well - only thing is, some of them have this nice, comfy GR challenge going of reading 250+ books in 2014, so no way I can even hope to keep up with them).

    Anyway, I'm almost at a point at which I no longer care who Rachel ends up with, as long as I can strike a series of my TBR list next September.

    Stand alone books is what we need. Or trilogies. Yeah trilogies would be doable, I think.

    Which reminds me. You just have got to read to read The Color Purple.
    I picked it up because Barb mentioned she was reading it, and all I can say is, it's awesome. No spoilers but it's heartbreakingly beautiful.
    And it has a purple cover, so it'll help you make your "1 year challenge".
    So pick it up and let me know what you think, okay. I'm dying to discuss. Buddy read?

    1. Love your comment Pia. I know. Stupid ideas I have, but you have given me food for thought and I think I'll try a have one standalone book each month. It might be easier. I've added The Color Purple to next month's BoM ;).

      I'm a month behind on my BoM myself. What a terrible moderator ;). It all points to Barb. It was her enthusiasm that made me decide to read VA. Normally I don't read YA as you know. Yeah, foot in mouth for sure. I don't know. I don't always read all the BoMs and a few series I've let drag until they finish then will (hopefully) read them all at one. That's the plan. I haven't picked up Mercy Thompson again. I want to at some point.

      250+ in a year. Look if I make it to 70, which was my goal for the year, I'll be happy, but with two Outlander books to go, I'm thinking this might be difficult.

      It actually comforts me I'm not the only one that is like this. Thanks Pia.

    2. Squee!!!
      You picked The Color Purple as next month's BOM! <3

      Did I mention what a great and wonderful Mod you are?
      I don't know how you manage it all, but it's much appreciated.
      Love your ideas.

    3. I'm always open to new ideas. Plus you know my TBR needed another book. I really loved your idea of a standalone. I'm learning all the time too. :)

  2. I have a few that my friend loaned me that I'm not looking forward to. However, I've been wowed by a few of her recommendations, so I keep giving them a try.

    1. That draws me in as well. Sometimes it works and you find a great new series / book. Other times it doesn't.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Zee. A glimpse into my sheep mentality ;).

  4. *snickers* You're welcome! I'm so sorry the Outlander books take so long to read, but I'm glad you love them! They have sort of knocked everything else aside for me since I discovered them, so I do look forward to having time to read from my TBR list again after I the MOBY release. But sometimes you just find that perfect series, and for me, that's it. And Fever. :-) I would never have discovered any of these marvelous UF/PNR/fantasy series on my list if I hadn't discovered the SVB and met the Wenches, so I'm happy that my TBR overfloweth. I am a sucker for most of these lines...maybe not the one about wrecking my life. I don't want that right now. But I'll put it on my list...

    1. You got me through many a slow patch in TFC for sure Kathi. LOL I started a list on GR with my books to read in 2014 so I could prioritize. Of course the two Outlanders to read made the cut.


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