Why I No Longer Do TBRs

Hi everyone,

Today I’m going to be discussing why exactly I no longer do TBRs. This post is long overdue. The last time I did a TBR post was in May 2020 and I never actually explained why I stopped doing these.


The main reason I no longer write TBR blog posts or decide on a TBR list for the month is because I have discovered that I am such a mood reader. Before, I used to find that TBRs gave me some sense of structure; I have far too many books on my TBR and I really felt that a pre-decided list on what I was going to read that month made the decision of what exactly to read a lot easier. By removing the choice it meant that I didn’t feel overwhelmed.

Though having the structure of what you’re going to read can motivate you, there came a point last year where it meant that I was sitting there reading books that I wasn’t particularly enjoying. Not because they weren’t good books or that I would never enjoy them, but because I simply wasn’t in the mood at that time to read that book. It also meant that I missed out on books that I really felt like reading in the moment because I felt trapped by my TBR and letting people down as I had promsied to read certain books that month.

2020 was really a turning point for me where I decided that I just wanted to read books that I felt like reading and that I didn’t want to feel constricted by a set list. It made reading a lot more enjoyable to me (of course, reading was always enjoyable, but I felt like it allowed a different sense of freedom with my reading).

If you read solely by your mood I also find it reduces reading slumps and when, like me, you love reading and reading is your escapism, then you really want to avoid those pesky slumps!

I have thought several times about just doing seasonal TBRs but, at the moment, that doesn’t feel like the right decision for me. I think, though seasonal TBRs would give me more flexibility in what I read, it also means I need to plan a lot further into the future (3/4 months!) of what I’m going to read.

Another idea I thought was maybe to do a “Books that I might read this month” style post.

I’d be really interested to hear what’s your favourite way of deciding what to read? Do you do monthly or seasonal TBRs? Or do you prefer to decide what to read by your mood?

Let me know!

Thanks for reading.

Love, ZoΓ« x

14 thoughts on “Why I No Longer Do TBRs

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  1. I try to balance my mood-reading with a bit of planning πŸ™‚ I usually have about 3-4 books that I want to read in the next period, and also 3-4 ARCs that I want to read as close as their publishing date. So I create a very flexible plan for the next 2-3 books that I will read, but it can change drastically if I am not in the mood at all to read those books. On a monthly basis I try to read at least one ARC (e-book) and the rest are physical books.

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  2. I do TBRs because I NEED to read some of the books that backlog on my shelf but I do them for whole seasons instead of months. It gives me lots of room for mood-reading. HOWEVER, I don’t think what works for me should work for everyone. If you only want to mood read that’s not any less valid. I feel like the bookish community really pushes monthly TBRs and they are not a one size fits all. Reading needs to be fun and relaxing!

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  3. As someone who never does TBRs, I understand you completely! My mood always fluctuates so much that I’ll just buy or borrow whatever I currently think sounds intriguing and read it immediately!
    Although I also don’t like having unread books lying around in my room, so now, for the first time ever, I actually have something like a TBR πŸ˜… Since I had a ton of exams in 2020, a bunch of the books I was gifted piled up, and I really want to read those before I get any new ones! But as soon as I’ve done that, we’re back to my no-TBR policy 😁

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  4. I never order more than 2 books at once so that I don’t feel pressured to read a book only because I already bought it. Most of the time, I make a mental note on a book I want to read but only order it when I actually have the time & motivation to read it.

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  5. Good for you! I still plan ahead what I am going to read during the upcoming month for the most part, though I not unusually add books. But these are books that have been on my shelves for years, and that I really wanted to read.
    I am accepting less and less often books for review, wanting also to focus on books that really mean more to me at the moment

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    1. That’s a great way to get through the never-ending TBR pile I think we all have haha
      I do like the idea of reaching a goal with a TBR and finishing a set number of books/books that you’ve been wanting to read for ages, but I’m worried that when I get to that book I might not feel in the mood to read it and then I feel guilty because I’m disrupted the TBR

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  6. I am very much a mood reader so TBRs are not for me, at all! I’ve tried in the past, mainly in the hope of working through my unread books, and it never works. I have to read what I am in the mood to read otherwise I don’t get any enjoyment from reading at all.

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    1. I feel the same! I always found with TBRs that by the time I’d reach my third or fourth book in the list, I’d just feel a bit deflated and not motivated to read that book. My eyes would always be looking elsewhere at other books on my shelves.

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  7. I am a mood reader too so I’ve never done TBR’s. I do have a list of books that I try to read at some point during the year, but I try not to push myself too much to read them or else I might get into a reading slump.

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