This lockdown, I am NOT slaying my TBR, and I am okay with it
Lockdown 3.0 starts tomorrow (or maybe it has, by the time this article reaches you) and a lot of us are starting to get used to its mundaneness now. While there are a whole of lot us who’ve figured how they want to get through with this time, a lot of us continue to struggle.
Amongst this lot that struggles are readers who, at the beginning of Lockdown 1.0, looked at their TBR and thought, “Who’s going to save you from getting demolished now?!”, but have struggled with making it through even just a few pages. I am one among these people.
My goal for April was to read a decent 7 books, because I read as many in March and I thought I could continue at that pace, if not more. After all, I am working from home and have a lot of time!
However, I hit a slump in April and struggled with one book, a leftover from March, for a good ten days. What was I doing? I had so much time and yet I wasn’t able to finish one book. I felt guilty every time I decided to watch something on Netflix, because, hello, shouldn’t I be reading?!
This insane amount of self-criticizing finally got me when I didn’t want to read because I was literally forcing myself to. I doubted my love for reading. Was I even a reader if I didn’t have a book in my hands at all times? Well, I did have a book. Just that I wasn’t reading it.
I was letting my anxiety take over and reading now became a chore that I had to do, instead of a hobby that I loved indulging in. And isn’t that the worst irony ever when a hobby stresses you out so much?!
So, when I sat down to decide a TBR for May (once a planner, always a planner), this is what I promised myself: I am going to read the books I want to, the ones that I picked over several solo dates to bookstores because they seemed to call out to me but I abandoned them because nobody else was reading them. I am not going to feel guilty if I choose to watch a show/movie over reading a book. I will not berate myself if I don’t read today, tomorrow, for the rest of the week, and even maybe for the rest of the month. And that I will read because I want to and not because I have a Goodreads challenge to finish, one that I planned months before knowing that a pandemic was going to change the way the world lives.
We’re in the middle of a pandemic and everything that is happening around us is not something any of was prepared to live through, no matter how big a fan of dystopia anyone is. Remember that at this time the only thing that matters is getting through the day following every rule set by the government and going to bed with a smile that you did all that you could without getting overly ambitious.
And if, like me, you are struggling to slay your TBR, remember that it is okay.
Stay home, stay safe
Nikita Jhanglani is a technical and creative content writer, editor and book blogger. She strongly believes that checklists are the way to world domination. You can find her on Instagram talking about books and more