If your TBR list has become a source of stress, get rid of it. If that pile of unread books in your home gives you guilt rather than anticipatory pleasure, spread those suckers out on the floor and yank out the ones you’re no longer interested in. If you really wanted to read that book you’ve had sitting around for a decade, you’d have done it by now. So what that you spent fifteen bucks on it back in the day? Donate it to a shelter or charity, and give yourself the gift of reading freedom.
I just finished reading No Regrets, a book made up of three conversations between women artists, writers and thinkers about what they did and didn’t read when they were young, and how they feel about it now. The book’s conclusion, more or less, is that you shouldn’t regret anything you did or didn’t read, because how could you know what would and wouldn’t be useful to you? This sentiment, as wise as it is, didn’t keep me from feeling woefully ill-read, unprepared and, well, regretful while reading the book.
But it also made me realize that reading regrets aren’t ever really permanent — if you really want to read something, learn more about a subject, tackle some theory, you can just do it. Unlike becoming an astronaut or POTUS or a doctor, your window for becoming “well-read” (whatever that really means) never closes. So throw out whatever books you want, but don’t hesitate to get some other ones, too — your time isn’t up.