• Kara C White

Books I Haven't Read

Updated: Apr 28

I love books. I love reading books. I love talking about books that I'm going to read. I love talking about the books I'm currently reading. I love talking about books that I've already read. And if you're reading this blog, chances are that you love books and talking about books, too.


However, today I'm dedicating some time to all the books I haven't read. No, I won't be listing them for you. We all know there are simply too many books out there to read even a fraction of what's available in a year, a decade, or even a lifetime. Publishing powerhouse Penguin Random House publishes thousands of print books annually. That's just one company in one year. No one's TBR list can accommodate those kinds of numbers. I already have books perched precariously on my bedside table as it is!


Libraries and bookstores are filled with thousands of titles written hundreds of years ago or just in the past 12 months or at any point in between. Whether you're a typical reader (according to the Pew Research Center, the average person in the U.S. reads about 12 books per year) or a voracious reader consuming dozens of books a year, it can all start to feel a bit mind-boggling... and futile. So many books I haven't read!

The books I haven't read which cause me the most literary angst are either books I know I would like to read and books I feel like everyone has read but me. Thinking about these books can overwhelm my bookish heart. I know I'm forever behind on an endless and always growing TBR list of both classic books and new releases.


While reading is largely a solitary, personal pursuit, the social pressure to read a popular title or well-known books is very real. Just scroll Bookstagram for a few minutes and you may start feeling some serious reading insecurity. I asked some of my friends and followers on social media about the books they felt everyone had read but them, and I got back a number of responses very quickly. Those responses included classics like Charles Dickens' Great Expectations or Jane Austen's beloved novels. Some mentioned more recent, and hugely successful titles, such as Harry Potter, Where the Crawdads Sing, or books by author Nicholas Sparks.


I'm glad they were willing to share these unread titles with me. It can be hard to admit that you haven't read a book which "everyone" knows and loves. You almost feel guilty about it.


I'm not immune from those feelings!

I haven't read any book by Charles Dickens except for A Christmas Carol.

I haven't read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

I haven't read a single Octavia Butler novel.

I haven't read the new and currently popular The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab.

When the weight of my unread book stack becomes too heavy, I've learned to ease the self-imposed burden on my mind with a single, three letter word.


Yet.


Instead of feeling pessimistic or even embarrassed about all the books I haven't read, I can look forward to all the books I haven't read yet.


I haven't read books by Charles Dickens yet.

I haven't read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr yet.

I haven't read a single Octavia Butler novel yet.

I haven't read the new and currently popular The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue yet.

That little word --yet-- gives me just a little breathing room. And in that space I find a bit of grace and the promise of possibility. There are no books I haven't read. Only books I haven't read yet.


Now realistically, I will still only read a fraction of the books available to me and may never reach the end of my TBR list. It's not a magic word, but it is a potent word. This change in mindset helps me stay upbeat and excited about what's to come in my reading life instead of irritated by what I haven't accomplished.


That's the power of yet. So, what books haven't you read yet? Tell me about the titles you have to look forward to in the comments.


Best wishes for further reading!

I'm so grateful to all of my new readers! If you'd like updates whenever I post something new, use the Log In/Sign Up button at the top of the page to receive email alerts. You can also follow me on Instagram @kara.c.white. I share frequently about new blog posts and all things bookish! Thank you!


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