This post is for all the book nerds, bibliophiles, overachievers and all those recovering from the know-it-all syndrome to cut themselves some slack.


This post is for all the book nerds, bibliophiles, overachievers and all those recovering from the know-it-all syndrome to cut themselves some slack.

Recently, I listened to Steph Crowder’s Courage and Clarity podcast featuring Jessica Eely which gave me some perspective on information overload. Jessica shared her story about when she had an *aha* moment while washing dishes and listening to a podcast about creating sales funnels. Jessica momentarily stopped and asked herself, “Why am I learning about sales funnels and I don’t even have a business yet?”  

This simple question prompted her to disconnect from all the sources of information (newsletters, subscriptions). She decided to put into practice all the knowledge she had already acquired by becoming an entrepreneur. She also paid closer attention to her inner voice through journaling.


The moral of this anecdote is really not to quit your job and become an entrepreneur.

Rather, focus on the importance of just in time learning.

One of my virtual mentors, Myleik Teele likes to reiterate, ” Take what you need and leave the rest on the floor”. This does not only apply to in-person advice but also the various form of media that one consumes. I should take the books that I need for that particular point in time.

Just like when Jessica discovered that she didn’t need about sales funnel when she didn’t have a business, I do not have read every single book that crosses my path, just in case in I will need that knowledge in the future. I am particularly guilty with non-fiction books.

All my life, I have always been the one who is always telling people the importance of continuous self improvement-recommending and gifting books, forwarding links to online courses, websites and podcasts. It has always been my badge of honour. I  have always perceived that my accumulated knowledge to make the world a better place, through writing, educating and empowering others.

I mean, just look at just ask Wonder Woman or Temperance Brennan (Bones).

But even for Wonder Woman, one’s super power can take a toll on them. Between, teaching myself some new concepts for work and keeping up with my  ARC reviews and reviving my book blog, I just could not keep up. Let us not even forget my already accumulating TBR pile on my nightstand. I was just overwhelmed, so I have tried all sorts of bans.

No more  ARC requests until I finish those already queued up.

No more bookish newsletter subscriptions.

No more binge-watching book and library hauls on Youtube.

Instituted book buying ban (worked for a month but then fell off the bandwagon).

No killing time at bookshops as I wait for my fashionably late friends.

No signing up for online courses for the someday-maybe trip to Kazakhstan or business that I will start once I get settled in life.

Then one night, I just looked at my bookshelf and just broke down on the inside.

This realisation was a reality check for me and forced me to Konmari my bookshelf, TBR list and newsletters. I asked myself, do these books bring me joy or I just want to plough through them to earn bragging rights? What do my reading habits indicate and how can I maximise on them?

Granted, I have always been curious about different cultures and eager to hone my skills and broaden my knowledge base. But I am human and I have a limit the amount of information that I can ingest which leads to analysis paralysis. I don’t have to read numerous books on Chinese history if I have no direct way of applying it in my life.

Accepting that I am finite human being means that I was created to enjoy everything in good measure (this seems quite relative for bibliophiles). This means splitting my Goodreads TBR list into an actual TBR list of books that I actually own a wish list to deal with my TBR anxiety. This means not feeling obliged to love every critically acclaimed book and accepting that life is too short not to DNF books that are just working for me and not to finish them just for the bragging rights.

Hence  I am accepting that I don’t have to own gazillion books to prove that I am intellectual.  I should get the books that I need for a particular season in my life so that it can be more valuable to me in my current situation.

This does not mean that I should stop being a book hoarder.  Just more biblio-conscious.

Photo Credit: Kari Shea on Unsplash

One thought on “Accepting That I Don’t Have To Know It All

  1. So much yes Lillian! I’m glad you enjoyed my episode on Courage & Clarity. I too was a chronic learner (not in the good way – in the “I’m not actually implementing any of this stuff” kind of way)… I actually talked about it more in depth on a different podcast which you may enjoy too (

    Cheers to being ok with not knowing it all!

    Liked by 1 person

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