Thursday Thoughts: To TBR or not to TBR

TBRs are very common in the book blogging community. A “To Be Read” list is something that all readers have. However, in the book blogging world it has come to mean a list of books you are planning to read in a certain amount of time. It’s also a topic that I’ve struggled with personally. So, I thought in today’s Thursday Thoughts I would talk about the pros and cons of creating TBR lists.


  1. Provides Structure:
    • As readers it can be helpful to have some sort of structure when reading. It can be nice to just pick up a book without really thinking. That’s something that TBR lists can really be helpful with. I can pick up a book out of my TBR shelf and just dive in.
  2. Limits overbuying books:
    • I have a book buying problem. I am constantly finding new books that I want to read. However, if I limit myself to only reading books on my TBR list I find that I do not spend as much money on books per month. This definitely helps my wallet.



  1. Inability to Mood Read:
    • I am a huge mod reader. I like to pick up books on a whim. Sometimes I’m just really feeling a fast paced contemporary. Other times I need an intense fantasy novel. I’ve found that TBR lists prevent me from reading books depending on my mood. This makes reading feel more like a chore than a pleasurable hobby.
  2. Reading Slumps:
    • Reading slumps are every reader’s worst nightmare. They can come out of nowhere and make it so that you don’t want to read anything for weeks at a time. Set TBR lists make it difficult to bring yourself out of a reading slump. They also have a tendency of putting me into a reading slump. Altogether, I have a hard time sticking to a strict list.

All in all, I haven’t made up my mind about TBR lists. I go back and forth about it all the time. I don’t know that I will ever commit myself to one side or the other of the argument. I’m just going to go with the flow.


What are your thoughts about TBR lists? Are you Pro or Con?


24 thoughts on “Thursday Thoughts: To TBR or not to TBR

  1. I was totally just entering a reading slump because I didn’t want to read any of the books at the top of my TBR. Finally, I just decided it’s better to read something than nothing and grabbed a different book. Funny though how the thing you use to make you read can really get you into a slump. Loved this post, very clever 🙂


  2. Love this discussion topic (As well as your blog, it’s gorgeous!)! To be honest, I’m really neutral on TBR piles. I like being able to pick up a book just cause it’s on my TBR, but I am a MAJOR mood reader. So I don’t often use TBR piles. Great post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of a TBR for a long time. Now, I love it! It holds me accountable, and I love updating it on a quarterly basis. I love making lists, and this is a great one for me.


  4. I totally feel you! I just started the whole TBR thing and I’ve having a hard time with it (even have a post coming up about it!). So I’ve switched to a list of books i would like to read in a season but not enough books to keep from not being able to add based on mood etc, just a small list with no real commitmment.


  5. Great post, I think that TBR are a bit of guidelines to what I might read and they have been helpful to me in the past few months, specially to keep a bit of order in to what I’m reading and buying. This doesn’t mean that I stick religiously to it because I¿m a mood reader and I squirrel between books quite a bit… but they are helpful.


  6. I’m such a mood reader – I always set myself TBRs and then never follow them. Right now I’m just letting myself go with the flow, although my ARCs are crying because of it!


  7. I’m a mood reader, so I have a TBR for books I want to read, but I try my hardest not to make TBRs for books to read in a certain period of time. I have a summer one right now, and it has been going okay, but I prefer to pick up books when I want to read them instead.


  8. I have been setting a weekly TBR, but I have bumped books when I felt like reading something else quite a few times. It has helped me keep a little more on track, and I like having goals for the week. My GoodReads TBR is just like my wish list, and my number one reason for adding books there, is to get the email for giveaways.


  9. Somewhere in between. I maintain a loosey goosey TBR that I semi-follow due to my mood reading escape clause–and then there are writer friends whose work suddenly has to be read NOW!


  10. I like having a TBR list but I find I don’t stick to it as much as I probably should. I’m a mood reader as well but I try to put a mixture of books on my TBR list so I can be a mood reader, while sticking to my TBR list as well. Or that is the plan, but it never quite works out like this!


  11. I am definitely a huge mood reader and have slowly been moving away from creating TBR lists. I’m the same as you and find they push me more towards a reading slump than anything else. When i first started becoming active in the book blogging community I used to make them just because I thought it seemed helpful but you’re right, it’s very restrictive! I’d much rather be free to choose and grab what I want


  12. I have a TBR list of a sort, but it’s not the type where I’ve written a list of books that I plan to read this month. It’s more a list of books that have caught my interest, so I’m always adding to it as well. It still helps with not buying too many books because I always give it a once over to see if it has something I’m in the mood for. (I’m most definitely a mood reader)

    Along with that, many of the books on my list are ones I know are available at my local library, as I can check their catalogue online, so no money spent! (Unless there’s something that catches my attention online or there’s an ebook sale then all bets are off.)


  13. I kind of just have one big tbr, and then some books that I know I want to read, and that works for me! Monthly tbrs are too structured and pressuring for me!


  14. I agree with all your points! I have debated doing away with monthly TBR posts but I find that I do actually make a dent if I list six books and then actually read three plus 2-3 more based on mood!


  15. I never have a TBR unless I’m going on holiday, because then I have to decide what books to take 😀 Other than that I’m too much of a mood reader!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I never make TBRs because I often find that they greatly limit my want to read a book? I participated in the booktubeathon last month and quickly found myself not really in the mood to read any of the books I had on my TBR for the month. I am too much of a mood reader for sure!

    However, I keep a TBR shelf on Goodreads just to have a place to put any book I have an interest in and to make sure I don’t forget about it over time.

    Liked by 1 person

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