Monthly TBRs And Why You Never See Me Do Them

august color schemeIt’s usually right around this time of the month that I see a lot of fellow book lovers post their TBR for the upcoming month – be it on YouTube, Instagram or their blogs. And every month for a short few minutes I will consider setting up a TBR too and post it but then I realize that I just can’t do it. And I thought I would talk a little bit about why with you guys today!


I’m A Mood Reader


I go into every month not knowing what I am going to be reading – or at least that’s true for 95% of the time. I will have looked at which books are being released in the upcoming months (as part of my research for my monthly New Releases posts) and I know what I have on my shelves that’s still unread. That’s my starting point.

Some months I will have a super anticipated book being released so I know that I want to read it as soon as I can get my hands on a copy (which often ends with me being angry with Amazon for delivering pre-orders a week late) and other months I have nothing that I want to immediately get to which can be quite a debacle because how do you choose??? There are too many options – even on my physical shelves at this moment. May’s book haul was a bit much.

Whenever I feel like picking up a book, I will then look at my options and start reading whatever is the most appealing at that particular moment. Do I want to revisit favorite characters? Great, let’s go for one of my favorites on my shelves! Do I want something light and fluffy? Let’s go for a contemporary! Though to be honest, that doesn’t happen too often. You might’ve noticed that I don’t read too many contemporaries.


I Feel Like TBRs Limit Me


This is connected to being a mood reader, but I still wanted to include this as a stand alone too. I often feel like if I set myself a TBR for an upcoming month I am limiting myself in what I can read. Logically, I know that no one is going to hold me to my TBR and I can pick up something else whenever I feel like it, but I would also want to read what I told you guys I would be reading as some of you might be excited to hear what I thought about the book!

I’ve seen many book lovers set up TBRs and not read what they said they would and they were fine with it and so was their community, but in my own head, I can’t do it. I like knowing that I can just pick up whatever I want whenever I want to. I also feel like I might set myself to big of a goal and then be intimidated by it and not feel like reading at all.

Even when I made a loose plan in April to re-read the first two books in the A Court Of Thorns And Roses series in preparation for the final book I ended up not really feeling like reading those two books which then resulted in me reading almost nothing all month long. And I hated it. It felt like even my loose plan messed up my reading for the month!


I Don’t Like Pressure When It Comes To Reading


Basically, in my own head I see a setup TBR as something that is going to put pressure on my reading and I reject the idea of a TBR because of it. I want to be as free as possible when it comes to reading since it’s a hobby and I want my reading to be about me having fun and exploring new worlds!

I will often find myself reading ARCs pretty much at the last minute because I keep telling myself that I have to read them immediately and that kind of pressure will result in me putting them off for as long as I possibly can. It’s a vicious cycle and I really hate it, but I haven’t been able to break it yet.

Well, technically I read my two most recent ARCs weeks before their release, but the publisher requested that the reviews go up two weeks before the official release date. So it was kind of last minute.


What About You?


Do you plan your reading for the upcoming month in advance or do you prefer going in with no plans at all? Do you feel like a TBR limits you in what you can pick up during the month? How do you feel about TBRs in general and your’s in particular? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


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21 thoughts on “Monthly TBRs And Why You Never See Me Do Them

  1. I never make monthly TBRs either because I’m SUCH a mood reader. Usually I have planned out what I’m going to read directly after I finish a book, but after that anything is up for grabs! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s usually how things go when I’m reading a book in a series or re-reading a series. Then I’ll usually want to pick up the next book as soon as possible – but other than that, I never have a plan.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like a good plan! I will usually only read fantasy novels with the occasional contemporary thrown into the mix, so I don’t have that option myself but I’m sure it keeps reading interesting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I honestly used to feel the same exact way. I didn’t want to set up a TBR because I wanted to be able to read whatever I wanted when I wanted, without pressure (even if it’s just from myself) to read specific books. I ended up starting to put together monthly TBRs because I found myself losing track of what review copies I had that I needed to get to and a TBR forced me to look at which ones needed to be read soon. Now I find that I like to kind of pull together an idea of what I might read, but I don’t always stick to it 100%, especially if I end up at the library a lot and can’t resist grabbing a bunch of random books, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That definitely makes a lot of sense and I’ve seen quite a few people do that too! I usually don’t have too many ARCs for any particular month that I have to get to and I just keep track of them by checking NetGalley regularly and making sure I’m on top of my ARCs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Truthfully I’m still trying to figure out the best way for me to keep track of ARCs, haha. I end up requesting them from so many different places that there usually isn’t one place I can check to keep myself updated. πŸ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t have one to start with but as my TBR got bigger I introduced a monthly one. I was finding I was getting into a habit of only reading the books on my Kindle app and neglecting my own books and some of the physical ARCs I’d received. Planning my monthly TBR gives me a chance to look through my TBR and think about what I feel like reading and make sure it’s a bit of a mix.

    That said I quite often veer off in a completely different direction and end up reading something else, fortunately that doesn’t bother me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re definitely not the only one!

    I like to have a vague theme for the month, whether it’s catching up on ARCs or trying to read all the LGBTQIA+ books for Pride Month. But I definitely think having a set TBR is almost impossible. It makes you feel guilty if you want to stray off the path. I’m definitely a mood reader when it comes to re-reading (I’ve been craving a re-read of Anne of Green Gables and the Game of Thrones series lately, so we’ll see when that happens). I definitely don’t post my monthly TBR, although I have a running list in my blogging documents that I pull from.

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    1. Oh yeah, I saw you trying to read a lot of LGBTQIA+ books in June and I think that was a great idea!

      I still haven’t tried reading the Game Of Thrones books even though I did enjoy the first two seasons of the show when I watched them! But those books are HUGE.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They are huge! It’s definitely a commitment too. Personally, I have to read them all in a row or I forget what’s going on (which is part of why I want to read them again before the new season of the show!). I’m not even that big into fantasy, but he’s such a brilliant writer. And obviously his characters are fantastically well-developed.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely topic! I really feel the same way as you do about TBRs in general – I never make TBRs because it makes me feel a bit pressured about reading and I am a mood reader so I would rather choose what I’m actually in the mood for than just follow some pre-planned list πŸ™‚

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  6. Love this discussion, Swetlana! I’m definitely a mood reader and monthly TBRs are SO not for me. But most of the books I read are from the library because I’m #broke, so I have to finish the checked out books since they’re due. So I guess it’s a bit like a TBR??? XD About pressuee in reading — I set a goal each month of how many books I want to read, and while it’s pressuring, it’s VERY motivational! But that’s just me. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I used to do a couple of years ago too! I would only get books from the library and then that would be what I read until I went to the library again and it was great too! I obviously had picked up books I enjoyed so I was definitely looking forward to reading them and didn’t feel any kind of pressure as I would if I made a TBR now.

      I can definitely see how it would be motivational to reach your previously set goal!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I tried making a TBR way back last year and it was…. very ambitious? And it didn’t go horribly but I’ve never made one since then–and don’t plan on it either, for the reasons you wrote here! I’m definitely a mood reader and I also HATE having pressure to read a certain book, even if it’s just in my head haha. Definitely one of the reasons I am horrible with ARCs as well, oops. Lovely discussion, Swetlana!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post!
    I totally agree with you on each on of your points!
    Upon finishing one book, something that I’ve observed or felt will usually influence what I read next. I recently finished Lang Leav’s Sad Girls and since then, I’ve been in a YA and romance sort of novel which is probably part of the reasons why I’m now reading When Dimple Met Rishi.
    The whole reading challenge idea that is supported by Goodreads definitely puts a sort of pressure on us readers to finish one book after another as quickly as possible which ultimately endangers the pleasures we derive from reading itself.
    I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future, Happy July Reading πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so happy to read that you enjoyed the post! πŸ™‚

      I surprisingly don’t feel any pressure when it comes to my goal on Goodreads since I can edit the number whenever I feel like I need to. I think I’ve upped my number twice already this year because I am currently reading so much more than I did last year and am much more motivated to do so too. Any other kind of challenge would definitely feel like pressure to me though.

      I’ve seen a good amount of people do Diversity Bingo this year to encourage them (I guess) to read more diversely and reach for books they might not have discovered otherwise. That’s definitely the kind of challenge that would put pressure on me and influence they way I feel about any given book I would read for the challenge.

      Thank you, I hope I don’t disappoint! Happy July reading to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

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