Thinking Out Loud [16]

Posted February 3, 2016 by Kim in Thinking Out Loud / 10 Comments

Thinking Out Loud is my version of a discussion post and/or a place to just get things out of my head and off my chest. I have no plans for it to be a weekly feature, but more of a space that’s here when I have something to say.

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CONFESSION: I HAVE BOOK FOMO

We’re all familiar with the concept of FOMO, right? The fear of missing out? That idea of agreeing to do things you’re not really sure you want to do, but you also hate the idea that you might miss out on THE BEST/FUNNIEST/MOST AMAZING THING EVER by not going?

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I used to have FOMO when it came to social events. I’d go to every single happy hour, go out every single Friday and Saturday night because the idea of fun things happening without me was too much to take. And yes, I usually had a good time once I was there. In the last few years, I’ve realized I’m too old for that shit (on a regular basis, anyhow) and I became totally ok with missing out on things. I wasn’t even that jealous when I’d see pictures of awesome fun times later. (There are obviously some exceptions to this, but for the most part… nah.) This is why, when I first saw The Oatmeal’s take on FOMO, I was like YESSSSSS. This is so me. (The last panel is below, but you should really click it and look at the whole thing because, in true Oatmeal style, it’s amazing.)

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There is, however, one instance in which I have total FOMO. That’s when it comes to books. Book FOMO rears its ugly head frequently. Here are some times it’s particularly vicious:

  • When I see books that look interesting on sale on Amazon (or B&N or iTunes or even kobo).
  • When new books are added to Edelweiss or NetGalley (especially with those publishers I have auto-approval from).
  • When I get an email from BookOutlet. (Their marketing department knows how to speak to me, yo!)
  • When my friends are talking about this AWESOME new book they read, even if it really doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy/it isn’t in my preferred genre. (Please note: this is not the same thing as ARC envy. I’m not opening that can of worms.)
  • Library book sales. (There are SO MANY around here.)
  • Used bookstores. (I cannot be trusted here, especially since developing a crush on historical romance.)

No matter how many times I tell myself I’m going to control my book-buying or ARC requesting, I start to get all “BUT WHAT IF THE BOOK IS REALLY THAT AMAZING?!” I’ve been late to the party when it comes to a lot of fantastic books (The Sea of Tranquility, all things Lisa Kleypas, Penny Reid and Kristen Ashley, historical romance as a genre, and so many more) so I’ve been a little sensitive to that and I think it’s led me to go more into “BUY ALL THE BOOKS” mode when the opportunity presents itself.

If it’s on sale, I’m going to buy it because it sounds good and why pay full price when you can get it at a discount? If I see it on Edelweiss or NetGalley and the cover draws me in and it sounds like something I might even POSSIBLY enjoy (and especially if my friends have been talking about it), I’m gonna download it.

But, I still can’t “READ ALL THE BOOKS” as much as I want to because a) there aren’t that many hours in the day and b) adulting, so I wind up in the mess I’m currently in – drowning in ARCs and unread print copies. (Seriously, it’s a good thing I live alone because there’s not room for anyone else and their possessions in here with all these books.) More often than not it also leads to a total lack of decisiveness when it comes to deciding what to read next.

I recently took some time (er, a few days worth) to catalog the unread print books in my apartment. I’m actually almost embarrassed to admit how many there are. In my defense, a lot of these were either purchased at library sales or used bookstores – or gifted from friends – but there are way too many. (Yes, there might be such a thing as TOO MANY books.)

*deep breath*

NOT counting print ARCs or finished copies from the publisher/author, I have 259 unread books in my apartment. I created a Goodreads shelf. It’s out of control. (I’m out of control.) I haven’t figured out just how many unread print ARCs or finished copies from the publisher I have, but I think if I separated those out I might have a panic attack. So, I’m not gonna do that. I also created a new Goodreads shelf for unread ebooks I own, but I’m not falling into that rabbit hole just yet. I’ve just added new books I’ve purchased, so it’s at a fairly reasonable 51 books – even though I know there are hundreds more out there in the cloud. (Oh, Amazon sales and freebies.) And let’s not even talk about my audiobook collection.

I know my book FOMOness will never change. However, I can do a better job of actually READING those books I buy and that’s one of my biggest goals for 2016. These books appealed to me at one point or I never would’ve picked them up. (Unless, of course, the hype monster got me… but even still, I know my own reading preferences well enough that it’s rare I pick up something I honestly don’t think I’d enjoy just because everyone else is reading it. But it does happen.) ARCs are great. It’s wonderful to get early access to a book you really, really want… but what about those books that are languishing on my shelf, just waiting to be read and loved? I’m going to read more of them this year. Signing up for the Rock My TBR Challenge helped. I actually read eight books from my TBR in January alone. Hopefully I’ll be able to read at least that many each month for the rest of the year. Tomorrow I’m introducing a new weekly feature, inspired by another awesome blogger, to spotlight some of those older titles from my shelves. I hope that will pique my interest in them again and inspire me to read even more of them.

The struggle is real.

I Have Book Fomo

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let's chat

Do you suffer from book FOMO?
Please tell me I’m not alone.

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Kim Sig_edited-1

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10 responses to “Thinking Out Loud [16]

  1. I completely understand, I am bad a book sales I feel like I need to have all the books, but there is never enough time to read them. I try and make a list, but than someone talks about a new book they just read and the list goes out the window!

    • Kim

      I’m glad I’m not alone! Haha. I kinda figured I wasn’t. 🙂 Book sales are the worst… and also the best. I just need more hours in the day.

  2. Oh good lord this is so me. I have issues when it comes to kindle sales, recently Book Outlet and NG and EW. I mean I say I am not going to request that many ARCs but I literally can’t help myself. Ugh it is so hard. I need to be in on all the action (with book that is!) I feel your pain and joined the Rock My TBR challenge as well. Hopefully it helps!!

  3. Yes to all of this!!! I can’t say no to anything, I always feel like I’m missing out, and I download way more books than I’ll ever be able to read for fear of missing out! It’s horrible. I try really hard not to get sucked into book hype and not to add books I don’t think I’d enjoy, but when I see everyone else loving something I think I HAVE to try it. My Kindle books are so out of control it’s ridiculous. I’m really trying harder not to request books unless I know for sure I’m interested and will read them. It’s just a vicious cycle.

  4. You are definitely not alone, I have 222 books unread at my place and that list is continuously growing. I usually will eventually read a book that everyone is gushing about but if its not provided I will wait for a sale or until the library has it. Last summer I set a goal to read series that I have started and haven’t completed, and it will probably be my goal this summer as well. I eventually hope to try to make some progress in the book pile but right now the books just seem to be adding up. I have even started reducing the number of reviews I accept in an effort to focus and read what I have. Somethings gotta give…I wish I could read as a full time job.

  5. Hi Kim! My name is Jessica and I also suffer from book FOMO. (Oh wait was this not a sponsor meeting? Damn.) LOL.

    Anyways. Yep this is SO me. I’m always afraid of missing out on the BEST READ EVER. If everyone starts raving about it, I usually need to see what the fuss is about. I can’t seem to say no to EW/NG because so many people will talk about a book and I’m like, yeah I need that too.

    I don’t buy books as much because I am so stingy with my money, but when it comes to those Amazon freebies, I was a crazy person. For all the freebies I’ve gotten, I don’t think I’ve read a single one either, which is just sad. I honestly don’t feel like my TBR will ever be under control and I have accepted that for the most part. LOL

  6. Mom2triplets04

    Yup that’s me too! I own 3 book shelves plus about 14 plus crates filled with books I got from library sales. Not to mention the kindle books which I pick up free or very cheap. I need to read more of my kindle books but I prefer the hard copy. I too have folders on goodreads called books I own tbr and kindle books to read because it helps me decide if I want the book or not when I’m shopping for more. So many books so little time !

  7. Oh YAY my book hoarding has a name now, I have this condition! I absolutely have Book FOMO. I buy ALL. THE. BOOKS. because they sound “soooo good”. I ummm don’t even want to discuss how many unread books I have 😉 It’s bad. Like…. so bad. I started Goodreads shelves too, but then things got out of hand and I stopped even keeping track of them. I have my books double stacked on my bookcases, and my Kindle purchases haven’t seen the light of day in YEARS, because of eARCs. If someone had ever auto-approved me, it would look like some kind of ebook war zone 😉 The thing is, I read ALL the ARCs, because I requested them. So when it comes to books I have bought… they sit on my shelves forever, even though most of them were SUPER anticipated- most of them, sadly, are pre-orders. And don’t even get me started on BookOutlet- I swear they search your TBR and THEN send out those emails! 😉 This is such a great post- and SO TRUE!

  8. I completely agree and feel you! I have so many unread ARCs now and yet it seems like there are SO many books not even on my radar for which I will se reviews and/or books that make everyone’s top 10 lists and I am so clueless. I am trying to be better about books that I will like, not just what’s popular (like YA and fantasy YA).