The One Where I don’t know what I am any more: Let’s Talk – To TBR or not to TBR

This is not so much a discussion post but me thinking out loud, you find me here a lot of times with long ramble posts, talking about my whatever that I am in the mood to discuss.

This month the thing I really wanna talk about is TBR lists or To-Be Read lists.

For anyone reading this who is new to the bookish community, firstly let me welcome you to our side of the woods, this is wonderful community with wonderful people and you will have a great time here reading, discussing and talking books with us.

Second a TBR list, full form To Be Read list, is a list of books a reader chooses based on conditions prevailing at the time, it can be mood based, prompt based, readathon based, etc.

TBRs can be set over any duration of time, most common ones are yearly TBRs set at the start of the year (usually) like 21 Books I wanna read in 2021 lists and monthly ones set at the beginning of every month like monthly TBR.

The other durations for TBRs can be weeklong, day long, etc.

Now setting a TBR is a personal choice, some readers like setting TBRs and some don’t and this is a you do you situation.

From readers who like setting TBRs, their usually answer to why is that they like the structure and like having their reading month mapped out in front of them.

From readers who do not like to set TBR, also called mood readers, their usually answer to why is that they find TBRs restrictive, the pressure reduces the joy of reading and can even put them in a reading slump.

Both points are fair and valid and as I mentioned this is a matter of personal preference, so you find that difference in book readers.

Now why have I created this discussion post?

Well because I am in kind of a dilemma and I just wanted to talk about it, so sorry but you are gonna read my rambles now.

I personally love setting TBRs, well at least I used to, I liked having a structure to my reading and other than Book Club reads, readalong picks my TBR is always crafted based on my mood, which basically means that at the beginning of every month I search my feeling and based on what my heart and gut told me I picked the books I wanted on my TBR for that month.

So I kind of classify myself as a TBR-mood reader, I know it is weird but it is what it is or at least it was.

These past couple of months beginning in March I have not been wanting to set a TBR what so ever, in April however I did but I just didn’t feel like reading those books and in May I have not set a TBR whatsoever (even though I have a post up on the same and there are 5 books that I have included on it)

This feeling of no TBR is very weird to me since I have always enjoyed setting TBRs, I like having structure to my reading so why suddenly it feels so off is something I have been trying to figure out too (hence this post).

The biggest change in my life recently has been that my days have gone from being extremely unstructured to pretty structured, I am working from 9:30 to 7:30 everyday and bullet journaling has also gone out of the window and I hate that is also making me feel kinda anxious coz I like my bujo though I digress, after work all I wanna do is whatever the hell I want to and having a reading list was not making me feel great anymore, it really did feel like a weird sort of pressure and thus I was kinda feeling disconnected with it.

I mean, I know this could be a temporary feeling and this post could become moot like in a month but at the moment this was something I wanted to get off my chest, so I am.

Ultimately reading is a solo game, read what you want, make as many or as little lists as you want to, do whatever you want to and TBRs fall high into that.

I know what I am feeling is ridiculous, I do not have to justify myself to anyone but I kinda feel like I need to talk to myself about this and there is no better way other than typing it out.

And to answer the question – To TBR or To Not TBR – Honestly You do you.

Are you a mood reader? Or Do you like setting a TBR?

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19 thoughts on “The One Where I don’t know what I am any more: Let’s Talk – To TBR or not to TBR

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  4. I am a reader who simply can’t set TBRs. For whatever reason, as soon as I set an intention to read something it becomes the last thing I want to read, and I have a personality where any “failure” kind of makes me feel super guilty.

    I’m a mood reader for sure, and I have my ARCs sorted by pub date and do my best to read those as the mood strikes and jump around genres to avoid slumps. I miss the structure a LOT but it’s a lot healthier for me. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 😊
      I can understand, the pressure to finish the list of stuff I set out to do also gets to me but when I had a lot more free time it didn’t seem bad but now it seems a lot more constricting and I like the freedom and flexibility of reading whatever the hell I wanna 😊

      I have given up on catching up on ARCs, I have so many and I’m so behind on all of them 😢😭


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  6. I am a DEFINITE mood reader! I can’t think of a single time I finished a TBR! I do usually have a general idea of what I want to read during a given week/month/year, but only about half of those books get read, while the other half have to do purely on what I’m interested in reading at the moment.

    I find it interesting that connection you made about having your days structured, and no longer wanting your reading structured. I know it’s weird when these things change, but I hope that you do what ever is best for your reading enjoyment!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Liza | The Inharmonious Heroine

    This is such a great discussion post! I go back and forth on TBRs a lot, to be honest. What I’ve sort of settled on is setting up a couple books per month as my TBR, but making sure to also leave room to read other books as I wish! I’m usually reading more than one book at a time, so I wind up with one of those books being from my TBR and the other not! But I think at the end of the day, you have to do what serves you best. If the pressure of keeping to a TBR takes the enjoyment away from reading, then it’s not worth it! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more!
      I have always found myself reading audiobooks and mangas that I don’t add to my TBR so I’ve never really stuck to it much but not having a set TBR or leaving room on the TBR has been a really good thing


  8. I’ve always have a TBR before starting a month. But I find myself deviating from it everytime. I start to pick books that’s suit my mood, or the weather sometimes, and read them. At this point, I’ve told myself it’s useless to have a TBR but I don’t want to give it up either. At the end of the day, reading is all that matters. I hope you have time to look after yourself because you’re working for long hours and great discussion post.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great discuss post, Mek! As you said, setting TBRs is a personal choice and the kind of TBR also varies from person to person. I personally don’t set TBRs at all. It has worked for me very few times as I’m a complete mood reader. It is fun to see TBR posts of other readers though, because I find new books to add to my neverending list 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 😊
      I love doing that too, I also love finding books I’ve already read on people TBRs, it’s so much fun to see how they feel about a book I’ve read and how different our feelings and opinions are


  10. Aha!! I have always been a mood reader and setting a tbr was usually a sure way to NOT read these books. 😁 But the last couple of months I have done something different. Let me introduce you to The Possibility Pile! 😁 Basically I set a couple of books I might read this month because they jump at me from my actual mile high tbr. But reading them is totally optional to me. I might read them or not. If I read the – great! If I don’t – no big deal! It just reminds me that I have great books at home that I could read and it takes away all the pressure. Maybe try it like that? 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I personally have monthly TBR, tour read or something I got from publisher or book from shelf but I keep it up to 4. I usually read 8 books a month so next 4 book are totally mood read books. It keep things balanced for me and I like to have list but I don’t stress when I don’t have one because there are so many series or books on shelf that I want to read so pick them whenever i have that luxury.

    Liked by 1 person

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