It is raining outside of my window, wetting every blade of grass and leaf in my garden, and I’m sat here writing a blog post about the onslaught of books that have hit me over the past few weeks, which is kind of fitting.
I made it a goal over the summer to read as many books as possible before I head back to school in the fall, which meant going through my own pile of books at home and releasing all the pauses on my holds at the library, which in hindsight was not the brightest of ideas.
One of the best things I have learnt about placing holds on library books is that you can pause the hold, which holds your place in line until you decide to resume the hold. It’s honestly one of the most useful of actions I learnt about borrowing books from the library years ago.
But getting back to my decision to release all the pauses I had on my holds from the library – it wasn’t the best idea. I was hit with a landslide of books coming in from the library over the past 6 or so weeks. I’ve literally had a new notification every day that one of my holds has become available and either automatically downloading onto my Libby app or telling me to go pick it up at the library.
I was inundated by books – so many, many books. Everywhere I turned, there was a new book waiting for me, waiting for me to pick them up and dive into each of their stories, waiting for me to read them. I was overwhelmed and a bit terrified, to be honest. All of the books came with their own countdown timer of 21 days, which meant I only had 21 days to read and return them. Which meant I had to read them before those 21 days were up.
The task at hand was daunting. I’m not the fastest of readers, I’m also not the slowest. I would say I’m a pretty averagely paced reader. I did read the last three Harry Potter novels in one sitting when they were published, but I was young then and had absolutely no responsibilities like I do now. (Adulting does take the fun out of reading sometimes.) And so I sat, completely overwhelmed by the number of books that I had to read – which in itself is a luxury, I know.
The thing was that I didn’t have to read them. There was no requirement that I had to read all the books that I had put on hold. I wasn’t going to be penalized for not reading them all. All of that pressure, all of the strain, was because I put it there. It wasn’t like I couldn’t put these books on hold again and return to them later. I just made it so that I felt like I had to read every single one of these books.
This isn’t unusual for me, the pressure that I put on myself to keep going, forge ahead, and tackle everything that is thrown at me on my own is quite characteristic of the type of person I am. I think it comes from my inability to place trust in others and my utter need to maintain control of all things at all times, which is a whole discussion I will probably have to have one day with a psychologist, but that’s a whole different topic.
I didn’t get to all the books that I had put on hold from the library. I actually returned quite a few and placed a hold on them once again or just let them go in general. There was no way in hell that I would’ve been able to read all of those books in time. There’s no way that I would have possibly enjoyed or savoured each of them if I had chosen to power through and attempt to read all of them. It has been a process of learning to let things go and giving myself the ability to breathe and to realize that while I am one hell of an independent and fiercely determined woman, I can’t do it all, no matter how much I want to.
I decided to take the summer off of school because I wanted some time to breath, to relax, to reflect, and giving myself the grace of not having to read every single book that became available from my holds list is one of the best things I’ve done for myself for the past few weeks.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to give myself more of that grace over the rest of the summer.
Let me know what you’re reading this summer or what goals you have in mind.
Thanks for reading!