Why I Stopped Doing Monthly TBRs

Ever since I was introduced to the online book community I have loved the idea of setting monthly to-be-read lists. It’s a great way to organise which ones you want to read in advance and to make sure you don’t have too many unread books.

Yet for me there has always been a consistent pattern each time a new month comes and goes: I never end up sticking to them.

why monthly tbrs no long work for me

As someone who is a huge fan of making lists I thought this would be perfect for me! That feeling you get when you get to tick off tasks that you’ve done can at times be more satisfying than the actual task – so why doesn’t it work for me with books?

The main issue I seem to have is that I’m extremely indecisive when it comes to picking what to read. I’ll say one time that I’m going to read a certain book next but when the day comes I’ve lost interest and want to read something else. It’s almost like I’m jinxing myself! Even my love for routine can’t help me with this dilemma.

I don’t like to say that I have too many books because I want to believe that’s not possible. Although I do tend to feel overwhelmed when I look at my bookcase filled with over 100 books and wonder where to start! There’s the ARC shelve and the Harry Potter shelve with the rest organised by colour, height then alphabetically to make it aesthetically pleasing to the eye. All I need to do is walk past the bookcase to have a book catch my eye and that’s my TBR list out the window!

The downside to all of this is that I will then be disappointed because I didn’t stay to what I said I would read despite being happy with the books I did pick up instead. Reading for me is a way to escape into another reality, learn something new and relax. What’s the fun in doing what you know doesn’t work for you? Answer: there’s not.

why i stopped doing monthly tbrs

I still read some amazing books and I get to have a nosy at what everyone else is reading so all-in-all I’m not losing anything from not setting myself a TBR list each month. I know that it doesn’t work for me and that’s okay.

Do you set yourself a monthly TBR list? How do they work for you?

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  1. / 3:58 PM

    I’m not alone! I’ve gotten sucked into the world of bookstagram maybe a year ago and it’s really kind of put a sense of dread over me because I begin each month, and year, with books that I want to read but I just can never stick to it. Generally, I’m a a slow reader and it takes me about a month to finish a book but even I challenge myself to read two books, I end up reading two completely different books! It’s frustrating because I feel like I’m denying myself a good story along with trying to read something that COMPLETELY raptures me. Sadly, for me, this has ended with me barely finishing any books I’ve started and making a TBR out of books I should finish. Reading is purely for pleasure but sometimes I place something on myself where I feel like I’m making it a competition with myself rather than something for enjoyment. Loved the post! 🖤

  2. / 6:33 PM

    I feel like this is a post I could have written myself. I’ve always admired people who can make and stick to TBR lists, but that isn’t me. I’m reading a series of six at the moment and I’m already wanting something else and I’m only on the second book. Not because I’m not enjoying them, but because I’m used to picking up the things I’m interested in/feeling on the day and it feels weird to follow a pattern. It feels like once you’ve said you’ll do something, you can’t sway from it, and that really doesn’t work for me! Very interesting post.

  3. Bookinggoodread
    / 7:18 PM

    I don’t really make lists I just kind of pick what I fancy at the time, and plus I’m not really one for being organised with anything in general great post 💕💕

  4. I have such a love hate relationship with lists! Sometimes I stick to them the other times I just don’t seem to bother. Sometimes I just wish I could make up my mind on what I have to do next lol

  5. I do have a TBR list (I use my Goodreads account for it) mostly because I want to keep track of books that I see in Waterstones etc. when I’m out that I intend on buying at a later date! I don’t use my TBR as a goal-setting list because like you say, what happens if you decide to read something else? All reading is good and worthwhile, so I don’t think there’s any point in feeling guilty just because you haven’t stuck to your intended plan at the start of the month! Fab post!

    Abbey 🍕 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

  6. / 7:37 PM

    I never really do lists of the books I want to read. especially coz sometimes I have new books and then decide I am not in the right state of mind for reading them and just left them aside for months before coming back to them. xx corinne

  7. / 10:07 PM

    Oh gosh, I can relate so much! I’ve so many books to read, you’d think a TBR list would help, but it’s the complete opposite! Great read, and great to know I’m not alone!!

  8. / 12:02 AM

    I’m right there with you on this post. I love making lists too but I know that sometimes I get into reading slumps, start books and don’t finish them, get overwhelmed with all of my unread ones etc. So instead of making a TBR list each month I make a (small) one for each season. (My last blog post was actually my TBR list for Fall.)

    That way I don’t put too much pressure on myself to read a ton of specific books in a short time period but I still get to look for new books, put them in a list, and check them off once I’ve read them. (Which I love doing.)

  9. / 6:43 AM

    ahh i have this really irritating habit with books where if i start one, even if i hate it, i feel soooo guilty if i don’t finish reading it!

    there’s no point setting yourself a strict structure when the world doesn’t work that way! i say do book reviews / book TBRs if and when you fancy…and don’t if you don’t!

    ps. I see you by Clare Mackintosh – cracking novel!!

    katie. xx lacoconoire.com

  10. / 11:49 AM

    I don’t think I’ve ever set myself a monthly TBR! Maybe like, once in the whole time I’ve been book blogging. I just find when it’s time to read a new book, you really have to see how you feel and what type of book you’re in the mood for. I’ve felt like I’ve HAD to read a book before (a review copy) and I’ve just not been in the mood for that particular genre and I’ve not enjoyed it xx

  11. / 5:03 PM

    Couldn’t agree more – I did monthly book lists for a while but always found myself falling behind. Nowadays I don’t give it a time limit but still do a general post if I purchase a few books at once! Good luck with your list, I LOVED ‘The Girls’ x

  12. / 5:26 PM

    Yep, a monthly TBR is very hard to follow… used to completely not be able to handle it, but now I still set ‘target TBRs’ because there are ARCs I absolutely need to finish, etc. It works though because I let myself pick up other books and I don’t have to read the entire TBR, so there is some choice in there 🙂 and that motivates me to finish at least *some* of them on the list.

  13. / 10:31 PM

    I always thought I would hate setting myself a monthly TBR, but actually? I love it! It works so well for me, and really motivates me to read more. But it isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing and I can totally see why it doesn’t work for everyone!

  14. / 10:03 PM

    I definitely agree with this, it is so difficult to judge when you are going to want to read and when you will have the time.

  15. / 2:04 PM

    That wouldn’t work for me either as I’m most guilty of starting and not finishing books, or worse buying new books when I have already so many to read at home on my own shelves. I do like the idea of organizing books into a list to see where to start or which ones could capture my interest though- as an inventory sort of way-.

  16. / 12:09 PM

    I could never stick to a TBR list… but I do like to keep track of the books Ive read over the year, then around this time I look back and am always impressed by how much I read! (PS: Im easily impressed – anything more than 1 and I’m happy hahaha)

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