Unread. And looming.


My reading backlog, tweaking me, ever present, ever growing.
Unread books on night stand.
Unread eBooks slumbering on my Kindle.
Unread magazines. Hard copy + digital.
Unread newspapers. Hard copy + digital.
Unread articles and blog posts on my Pocket App and Evernote App.
Unread emails in a reading folder on gmail.
All swelling, bulging, throbbing – an alien blob slime slowly cutting oxygen.

Kooser chanting: I travel the endless reaches of my ignorance, all of the books I haven’t read, and never will, come rolling at me out of the dark like a hail of asteroids.

Apparently, I don’t suffer my affliction alone:

“Many people are drowning in magazines, articles, newsletters, books and blogs they want or need to read. Is it possible to get to Magazine Zero?…”

“Three in four people say they feel overwhelmed some or all of the time by too much information from magazines, newspapers and other media…”

“Everybody has this deep dark feeling that they aren’t keeping up…”

“I hope at some point I’ll catch up…”

Read more on how others are coping here: How to Declutter Your Magazine Pile: Prioritize and ‘ABR —always be reading” with digital apps and iPods

Image Source: sentimientos-en-el-aire


  1. True for me. I have let all my magazine subscriptions expire as they sat there and looked nice, but were not used as intended. And reading magazines on the iPad is uncomfortable for me. There is just too much information.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I’d only turn off the tv watching mindless crap, I would get through all those unread books.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t know about you but with reading I have to be 1) in the right mood/mind frame and then I just go for it and 2) at a point where I can do #1 and suffer no consequences. I have to pace myself or I’ll fall down a reading wormhole, stay up too late and suffer a paperback hangover 🙂

    Mom started taking me to the Library when I was 5 – she gave me the gift of reading and the greatest compliment recently, “You know, of all my kids, you’re a voracious reader like me — I just can’t imagine my life without books!” 🙂


    Liked by 2 people

  4. I, too, have pared my magazine subscriptions down to almost zero, and even those few pile up on my bedside table like bills of indictment. I read books on the iPad, but don’t like reading magazines on it, and there are SO many worthwhile items vying for my attention that I feel like I’m drowning more often than not. I also struggle with the “read for edification” versus “read for pure escapism” issue. Glad to know that I’m not alone. Really don’t want to see one of my favorite guilty pleasures turn into another “assignment.” Sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on edenstream.com – catherine whittier and commented:
    My books surround me and decorate my space. They pile up like wishes and they beckon me to come away. I peer over the computer screen at neat shelves and lovely stacks. I swear if they’re near me — the words they contain will be mine.
    I feel the covers and touch the pages. They are always on my dreamy one day.
    There is a rattle of a chain and a sucking sound.
    Back to my to do list…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chuckling. “All swelling, bulging, throbbing – an alien blob slime slowly cutting oxygen.”
    My beast isn’t quite as slimy as yours – but I can see it’s on the same alien path. Thanks for sharing your lament!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I had a dream recently in which I threw away a pile of magazines instead of reading them each, cover to cover, like I feel compelled to do. I woke up feeling so free. It must be a sign……

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I used to be a bookstore manager. Books, magazines, reading, collecting was my life. Then I got sick. Then I got poor. Priorities shifted to what was necessary and actually therapeutic. I gave away or sold half of the books I owned. I don’t buy them or magazines anymore. I go to the library. I keep a list of books recommended to me, and when I have the brain-space and inclination (like MJ above), I seek out the next one. Or I follow a new author-love through all the books they offer. Reading is a joy again. I don’t want to jeopardize that.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I have three bookcases in my bedroom, two in the living room and in piles all over the house not counting the boxes in the basement. I was once obsessed with reading and studying different subjects. I even use to be in a book club but after retirement I wanted to live and experience the things I read about. Now I’m de booked. 😀BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Unread books and mags are like unopened presents to me–sometimes I feel pressure–but it is good pressure
    I once owned a bookstore and it took the fun out of visiting bookstores for me which is one of my hobbies–I am no longer hobbled by being a bookstore owner–I love having books around me–but I am not a salesperson

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jan Hobbs says:

    All of my life I have been a voracious reader. Even when I was active duty in the Air Force, and newly married, I still read 7 to 10 books each week. As a new mother, with a nursing baby, I often held my baby in one arm, and a book in the other. Then sometime in my 30s my eyes went downhill. Suddenly I needed bifocals. Around the same time is when my carpal tunnel syndrome started truly acting up, and holding books was uncomfortable. For a period of about 10 years, give or take, I stopped reading for pleasure. Then one day when I was on a train trip, I bought a book in the gift shop of the train station. The book was so good that I am that up buying another book by the same author, and then another, until I had read everything by that author. Before I knew it, I was finding new authors, and reading everything that they had written. When I moved from California to Nebraska 7 1/2 years ago, I moved at least 50 cartons of books. Plus I continued to buy books once I moved here. My pile of books waiting to be read is ginormous, as I discovered the joys of Kindle. Reading on that device is so much easier for my carpal tunnel syndrome. In the slightly more than two years since I bought my first (and so far only) Kindle, I have purchased and read over 500 books. For 18 months of that time I was still university student, yet I still managed to read. Books have always been my friends. Yet, somehow, since I graduated with my bachelors degree, I have once again lost the desire to read. I hope I find it again. I think for me, reading is one of the greatest joys life has to offer.


    • Wow. 500 books in 2 years, holy cow Jan. That is incredible. And I’m with you, reading for me, is one of the greatest joys life has to offer. Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts on the topic.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. There are some wonderful novels I’m longing to read — to feel actual paper in my hands again, but there’s this tremendous backlog of ebooks to get through first. I’m still not that enchanted with reading books electronically, even though they’re usually cheaper to buy in that format. I just can’t get into a story so much or emotionally engage with its characters. Maybe this is just a generational thing, but focus is definitely a problem for me unless the print is on paper. And yes, it is a stress keeping up with all the reading. For the last few weeks, I’ve been painfully aware of not spending enough time looking at people’s blog posts, but there’s only one of me and I’ve had a whole load of family things to deal with. As for magazines — I subscribe to one monthly writing magazine and admit to never finishing an issue.
    Tearing out my hair … not enough years left to read everything worth reading, let alone writing my own stuff and making it worth reading D:

    Liked by 1 person

  13. sometimes you just have to let things go. it is a never ending waterfall of words and impossible to hold so much in our hands or even to pass through our fingers. give yourself permission to do what you can to breathe easier and enjoy the moments of your life rather than feel burdened by a heavy load of words.


  14. In the same boat. Gave away boxes and boxes of books recently…luckily Kindle has the cloud where one can hide most of the unread ones until the moment when, magically, more time appears out of nowhere. And I’ve been ruthless with newspapers and magazines lately too. Prioritize is good, ABR not my cup of tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. One must use common sense to save sanity. Once in a while, just LET IT GO! That’s why there’s a “delete” button, and a recycle bin.


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