[LET’S CHAT] Do We Need to Set Monthly TBRs (And Why I Don’t)?

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Ah, yes, monthly TBRs. I know there are several people who actually do these things, because once the month comes to a close, there are always those, “February Wrap Up and March TBR” depending on the month, and I used to take part in Wrap-Ups, but have decided to dump them recently, but I’ve never done monthly TBRs on my blog.

I used to be able to do monthly TBRs when my primary blogging site, if you will, was Books Amino (I know, you guys are probably tired of hearing me talk about it). Basically, it’s this great app that combines blogging and Litsy and Instagram, so you can write mini blog posts or your own writing and upload pictures. I like to think it’s like if you want to blog, but don’t want to do the 34828042 other things you have to do to actually maintain a blog.

I actually wrote an entire post on the subject on Books Amino about how I was going to stop doing Monthly TBR posts just because they personally didn’t mesh with me and my reading style. I’m well aware that set TBRs can work for some people, but there are a multitude of reasons as to why I just can’t do them.

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1. I’m a huge mood reader.

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Me looking at my TBR

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before in passing that I’m a mood reader. That means that I pick up books based off what I’m feeling like reading at that very moment. One week, I’m in the mood to read some contemporaries, and then I might never want to read contemporaries until the end of the year. During the last half of last year, I pretty much read thriller after thriller after thriller, and I couldn’t stop. Now, I’ve sort of backed off the thrillers (even though I miss all my babies), and read a mix of everything, especially since this year, it seems like SO MANY GOOD BOOKS ARE COMING OUT THIS YEAR IN ALL THE GENRES GAH. So I just don’t set TBRs because nine times out of ten, I’ll end up reading everything except the list of books I put for me.

2. I’m way too much of a perfectionist.

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I know, I know; there are so many people who do monthly TBRs who are like, “It doesn’t matter if I don’t make it through all the books or if I don’t read any of them. It’s just there to be a sort of guide during the month.” BUT I CANNOT DO THAT. I am a perfectionist. When I accidentally deleted pictures in my Media and then realized that they deleted across my few blog posts, I went back and took two hours to put them back in. When I finally made my graphics that I have now, I changed my graphics for every single post I had before. If I misspell something in a comment, I have to leave because if I don’t, I’ll give into the urge to delete it and re-write it all over again. I will delete tweets if they don’t look perfect the first time. I check my captions ten times before I copy and paste them into Instagram when uploading photos. If I set a TBR, and I don’t follow it, IT WILL STRESS ME OUT. I know it might not make sense to other people, but that’s me as a human being.

3. Life happens.

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Me talking about my TBR

And by “life happens,” I mean, “great books come out, like, every single month, and I borrow/buy them, and want to read them right away, but there’s also the fact that I haven’t finished up reading these unfinished series, but there’s also these backlist books that I want to read, and then I also have 48928849 books that have been recommended to me.” Basically.

4. I literally suck at making decisions.

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I DO OKAY. Eleven times out of ten, I’ll finish a book, then stare at the iBooks app for an hour because I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO READ. We bookworms understand that feeling when you’re so excited to read about 1200 books that you realize you’re way too overwhelmed and can’t choose one to settle down with. THAT HAPPENS TO ME ALMOST EVERY DAY. So imagine me trying to compile a list of books I want to read for the month. That’s right, IT NEVER HAPPENS.

5. I just can’t stick to it.

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I’ve tried doing TBRs. Multiple times, in fact. Literally every single time, I fall flat on my face, and read none of the books I told myself I was going to read. I DO end up reading books, though, so that’s always a plus. Just not the ones I was originally going to force myself to read. Oops. Hence why I don’t see the need to force myself to sit down and make a plan when I never actually keep up with it.

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And, basically, this is why I totally suck at monthly TBRs, and why I’m just writing them off forever, and never doing them ever again. Like, ever. There are just too many traumatic memories attached to doing monthly TBRs. Mainly because I’m a perfectionist as a human being (trust me, I wish I wasn’t).

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How do you feel about monthly TBRs? Do you like them or not like them? Are you a perfectionist much like I am (please say yes)?

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26 thoughts on “[LET’S CHAT] Do We Need to Set Monthly TBRs (And Why I Don’t)?

  1. As you know, Books amino is where I found you, so I totally understand why you made the decisions you did. Books Amino is just so easy sometimes! And don’t worry “I literally suck as making decisions too” – not too many people stick to their TBR’s 100% of the time and I’m one of them!

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    • Yes, and I’m glad you did! It is so easy; I wish blogging was as easy as that; it’s so much easier to insert links and pictures. πŸ˜‚ Yes, I’m glad we all completely suck at making decisions! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think monthly TBRs (and wrap ups too) is a completely personal matter. I don’t do either, because that’s what suits me. Even if I do end up making a TBR and publishing it, I prefer to put only those books which I know for sure will be getting to, instead of books I ‘want’ to get to. I’m a mood reader too, and what I ‘want’ to read keeps changing all the time. Instead, I just talk about the books I will be reading for sure, like new releases I’ve been anticipating and review books.

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    • Oh, yes, same; the only thing I plan for monthly TBRs are for e-ARCs I’ve gotten and the archive dates are coming up! I always fail to read monthly new releases, but that’s because so many books come other each month that I spend so much time trying to catch up. πŸ˜‚ I’ve stopped doing wrap-ups just because I didn’t feel like writing one, and I was like, “Why do it if I don’t enjoy it?”

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  3. I think that they’re a cool idea annd I like watching/reading them but I’m like you in the actual doing part xD I did a tbr not too long ago but I made sure to title it ‘Spring TBR’ because there aint no way in hell I can read all that in one month hahaha. Awesome post, agree with everything you said hehe

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    • Lol, that sounds accurate! πŸ˜‚ That’s also a problem for me – I have no idea how many books I’ll read per month, and that’s just because I can have a sucky month once and then the next I’ll have an amazing reading month. So I always worry if it’s too much or too little. I probably shouldn’t, but I’m weird.

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  4. Well, I always try to reflect on what books have been added to my TBR for the last month in my wrap-ups (but I always forget most of them lol). But I never make myself stick to a to-read list for the month. Like you said, I’m a mood reader — I read what I want when I want. Most of the time, my books are picked up from the library by me looking at it and deeming it interesting. Sometimes I will actively look for books on my TBR that I want to read, but most of the time, no. I mean, it is useful to keep a TBR, so you know what books you want to read, but often I just forget. πŸ˜„

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    • Ooh, yes, I use Overdrive, which is basically an app that’s like the library except with ebooks (which I love), so it always depends on how many holds there are for a book. I always try to check so I can get it first. πŸ˜‚ I’d probably forget as well unless I wrote it down, tbh. I feel like I have a horrible memory.

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    • Ooh, yes, I definitely need encouragement to read! I blame it on the fact that even though I love e-books, there are so many distracting things on my phone, and I can’t help myself. πŸ˜‚ And, yes, I’ve always wondered if some books I don’t like I read at the wrong time. There have been some books I re-read that I used to love, and now I hate and vice versa. It might be due to age though, since middle school me and high school me are so different.

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  5. I started doing monthly TBR’s only recently, I think I started with my October/November recap last year, and since then I’ve only completed my TBR once. I’m like you a huge mood reader so although I set monthly TBR’s there’s always going to be a book or two that gets pushed to the side because there’s something else that interests me more.
    I never really force myself to stick to my TBR’s, although that may defeat the purpose of setting them, they’ve always just been what I’d like to read if I get a chance. I know I won’t always get the chance though. πŸ˜€
    Great post Mikaela. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol, same, I feel you on that! Lots of books end up getting pushed back because I learn about backlist books that sound amazing or a new release comes out. I can’t help myself. πŸ˜‚

      It does, which is probably why I don’t set them! I feel like I don’t even really have the time. And too many choices! I made this little reading plan I wanted to stick to to get me back on track with my reading goals, and I was so overwhelmed with all the books I wanted to read. I wanted to read ALL OF THEM. I wish I had clones.

      Thank you, Beth! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will go a complete 180 on what I want to read. There’s always a chance I’ll end up ignoring my monthly TBR list completely and picking different books from the ones I said I’d read, but I’m not going to force myself to read something I’m not interested in just because it’s on my TBR list.
        Ohh, clones would be a good way to get ahead on reading. Sometimes I’d like to stop time for everyone but me so I could do the same! πŸ˜€
        That’s all right. ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I totally get where you’re coming from. I’m not much of a mood reader but sometimes it just hits me out of nowhere and I just cannot pick up a certain genre or author. And, I totally understand your perfectionist problems, I thought that’s what I’d be like when I started a blog but I think because the rest of my life is so busy, I’m able to let it go if I don’t get to all the books. The thing with my TBRs is I’ve really started to minimise them, there’s only a few books on the list each month, one being an arc I have to review. This way, I don’t put too much pressure on myself because I know I won’t have as much reading time as I did last year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh, I’m such a perfectionist when it comes to my blog. πŸ˜‚ Less with reading, but that’s probably because I don’t try to turn it into a chore. Blogging is like fun hard work to me. Yeah, I usually plan to read an ARC at least once a month, depending on release dates (my e-ARCs are usually always around the same month, funnily enough).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t usually create monthly TBRs because I suck at sticking to them and it makes me feel quite pressured. I can also never predict how much I will read that month so I just stick with doing wrap ups at the end! However, I love seeing other people’s TBRs and occasionally will do a tentative one of one or two books I am DEFINITELY planning to read! Thanks for sharing Mikaela!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I mentioned in another comment that I just never know how much I’ll read that month, so how many books do I even add to a TBR??? Sometimes, I do have a plan when I have e-ARCs to get through, though. Thank you! ❀

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  8. Hahaha this is SO GREAT, I can totally relate to lots of your reasons. I’ve tried monthly TBRs before?? And they’re fine and all except I am a huge mood reader as well, which means I don’t end up sticking to a lot of my planned books. Often times I have a TBR with like a ton of great books I want to read, and half the books I read that month end up being totally different. I like making the TBR itself (I’m a sucker for lists) but they end up being kind of futile! πŸ˜‚ Great discussion. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve tried them as well, and not one has been successful so far. πŸ˜‚ I always end up stressed by the end of the month. Ooh, j also likes lists and checklists; they always make me feel so much more organized than I really am, except when I’m reading. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Same, for any ARCs I get, I put those as priority, but for anything else, I don’t really have a set TBR for! Ooh, I’m not a huge audiobook fan, so that’s really interesting! I’ve always wondered if I’d read faster that way! πŸ€”

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  9. I canNOT do monthly TBRs. I’ve tried. When I do, I’m LUCKY if I read ONE book that made it onto that list. I’m also a mood reader, and I’ll be in mood A when I make a list, and then NEVER BE IN THAT MOOD AGAIN until like three months have gone by. I’m amazed by people who say “I’m going to read this, then this, then this” because I just CAN’T DO THAT! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • BUT SAME! I’ve tried it a couple of times, and I just can’t stick with it. I’ve probably only done a monthly TBR once or twice, and then I was like, “Nope.” πŸ˜‚ I’m such a big mood reader that I just don’t know what will happen next or what I’ll be in the mood for! I know, people who do that are talented! Thank you so much, Michelle! ❀️

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  10. Pingback: The Sunday Post #17 | Read-a-thons – 9/04/2017 | Drink Coffee and Read books

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