Feelings and attitudes toward TBR (to be read) lists are as varied as the lists themselves. Some people throw everything they want to possibly read at some point on their Goodreads account and call that their TBR. They don’t read in any particular order, just choosing titles as the mood strikes them. Others have a set order and limit to their TBR, only adding more once the previous books have been read. TBRs can be managed in a number of ways including Goodreads and other online resources, pencil and paper, or a stack of books lying beside your bed.
I fall under the first category. My Goodreads To-Read shelf currently has 759 books on it and that is after a heavy purge. This is my TBR and I don’t follow it in any specific order, picking and choosing as I place my library holds. Sometimes I don’t follow it at all, since I’m prone to late night Overdrive browsing.
The wide, casual TBR works best for me because it provides some structure and reminds me about books I was interested in reading, but may have forgotten. I find that setting a monthly goal or making a specific list makes reading less enjoyable for me. Nothing kills my enthusiasm for a book faster than putting it on a list with five others, then forbidding myself from reading anything else until those books are finished. Having a loosely organized list of books I want to read gives me options for different moods and situations and keeps me from blanking on titles when I’m standing at the library catalog.
Meanwhile, my husband is in the second category. He has a plan in place for his next few reads and does not stray from that. He enjoys debating his options a few books ahead, then having the winning choice waiting for him when he’s ready. I don’t understand his reading habits and he doesn’t understand mine, but our styles work perfectly for both of us.
This style allows you to do more planning. If you’re reading a dense sci-fi novel, then maybe you’ll plan your next book to be something more lyrical. Planning out your TBR is a good way to keep yourself from getting burned out on a certain genre or style because you accidentally read seven of them in a row.
I don’t know if a certain type of personality is drawn to a certain type of TBR, but these seem to be the two major categories I’ve seen people fall into.
Do you keep a TBR list? Which style do you use?
YouTube Channel: Epic Reads
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