Why Abandoning the Monthly TBR Has Made Me a Happier Bookworm | Rants & Rambles

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Rants & Rambles is a weekly feature where I share my own personal thoughts and opinions about both bookish and blogging related topics. As stated, these are MY OWN opinions and while you can choose to disagree with it, I hope that you at least respect it.


This week on Rants & Rambles I want to discuss:

It’s the start of a new month and we all know what that means…a NEW MONTHLY TBR! I love seeing what other bloggers plan to read for the month, especially if they plan to read books I’ve already read because then we can discuss our thoughts together. What’s even better than that is if I see another blogger planning to read a book I also plan to read during that month because that means IMPROMPTU BUDDY READS!

But wait a minute Ari— you haven’t had a monthly TBR since March…

Now, this isn’t a discussion about throwing hate at monthly TBRs. I think that for many bloggers, monthly TBRs are an effective way to organize one’s reading, especially when the ARCs starts to pile up. I definitely see the perks of creating TBRs as it gives one an idea of what their reading schedule will look like for the upcoming weeks. But for a reader like me, monthly TBRs have proven to be quite limiting and have put a damper on my overall reading experience.

I never made monthly TBRs before I started blogging. My eReader was always stocked up with books so when I finished one book, I randomly started another. I never put much thought into what I wanted to read next. But when I started blogging, I thought that making monthly TBRs would help me to be more of an efficient blogger. Organization is key, right?

I was clearly going against my own nature because I am the FURTHEST thing from an organized individual. I’ve always worked best in the mist of chaos. I rarely ever plan things out because I’m so indecisive. I can never make up my mind and just stick with something. So why did I think that making a reading schedule would be for me? I AM A MOOD READER THROUGH AND THROUGH and I have come to accept this. 

reaction taylor swift lmao 60 minutes i do what i want

I’ve found that by NOT making a monthly TBR, I have become more of an EFFICIENT reader. I read so much faster and I enjoy the reading experience much more because I don’t have to worry about getting to the next book on the list. It’s a bit freeing being able to just go with the flow and read whatever I want. I really don’t miss having to sit down at the beginning every month and try to decide what I was going to read. Going in blind works just fine for me.

So what about ARCs and review books? I’ve found that my mood reading has actually proven to be helpful in controlling the urge to request books. I now only requests ARCs for books I know for sure I will read and enjoy. This girl just doesn’t have time to spend reading books she won’t enjoy. The TBR list is already long enough!


It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but deciding to abandon the monthly TBR has worked better for me in the long run. I’m not trying to convert any other readers to my rebellious bookworming ways, but I do urge you all to give it a try to see how freeing it can be to not have your reading schedule planned out. Sometimes chaos can be a beautiful thing my friends!

That is all for this week’s Rants & Rambles. I hope you enjoyed my random thoughts!

Are you a mood reader?

Let me know in the comments!

3

24 thoughts on “Why Abandoning the Monthly TBR Has Made Me a Happier Bookworm | Rants & Rambles

  1. I am definitely a mood reader 🙂 I tried monthly TBR when I joined the blogging community, but after I failed on my first month, I gave up. I don’t like the idea of a list telling me what to read and when. I do take part in the This Week In Books meme, for which I decide what book I’ll read next, but as I usually write it after finishing a book, my mood dictates what the book is gonna be for the next days. It is much less harder than when you need to plan for weeks. June is gonna be difficult because I took on many ARCs while there are books on my TBR that I really really want to read. I’ll have to find the right balance to satisfy the deadlines and my moods!

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    • My mood reading has gotten so out of hand that I’ve put a pause on requesting ARCs. I blame it on the fact that summer is coming and the amount of books being released has slowed so I’m hoping to just read whatever I want now and I will start back on ARCs in the fall. I am loving this break and I’ve read a lot of great books so far.

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      • That is awesome news 🙂 I’ve only requested one new ARC because I love the publisher and it’s my favorite genre, but otherwise I stay away. Summer is perfect to tackle those towering TBR of ours.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never actually posted a monthly TBR, but I really admire bloggers who do consistently – they must really have their lives sorted. I’m a mood reader, and I only realised this when I started blogging. I think you’ve made a great decision 🙂

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  3. Totally agree with you. But I do sometimes make a TBR if I really want to get to them quickly or if I’m going on holiday and won’t have my entire book collection to choose from. I just posted my summer TBR and I think tbrs are a great way to organise what books you want to prioritise and I think making seasonal tbrs is working for me because I know I have a longer span to get to them and it doesn’t feel pressurised 🙂 great post!

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    • I’ve never made seasonal TBRs, but it does sound like there is less pressure to read since you could space out your reading time. They are great way to prioritize one’s reading and I wish I could stick to them, but I can’t. To each their own I guess. 🙂

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  4. I tried doing the monthly TBR’s as well. I quickly gave it up. I found that I was reading every book EXCEPT what was on my reading list. And I am so glad I read this post because I totally forgot about the books I was supposed to read for review this month. lol

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  5. That Taylor Swift gif is so perfect XD I do like writing up monthly TBRs but I’m not really good with sticking to them. I kind of see them as a hazy guideline to my reading. If I did stick to them the pressure would get to me! I definitely agree that mood reading is waay more efficient.

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    • Lol thanks! TBRs makes reading fee like a chore, like I’m just checking something off a to-do list and that’s not how reading should feel. I rather read something I know I will enjoy in that moment instead of pushing myself to read something I’m not into.

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  6. I don’t really do monthly TBR, because I know I won’t stick to them and it makes me feel pressured, a bit. There are some books I want to read every month, mostly ones that I bought, before buying others (I try and refrain myself from getting TONS of books, because it’s not good for my wallet, AT ALL, haha), but I mostly choose my books from whatever mood I am in. I feel less pressured this way 🙂 Great post!!

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    • You have more restraint than me because I am forever buying books. But I read mostly ebooks so it puts less of a dent in my poor wallet. I really need to learn self control though. But I totally agree. I don’t like feeling ‘pressured’ to read a book. I also don’t want my mood to affect my rating for a book. It wouldn’t be fair to the book or to others reading my review.

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  7. I’m definitely a mood reader, my next read picks are super random! Sometimes I just stare at my books and go towards the one the pulls me lol. I don’t really think making Monthly TBRs would help, I don’t like the pressure of HAVING to read the scheduled books, because reading for me should be fun and it’s a hobby so the less pressure the better. But I must admit, I really do need to be more organized as a reader and blogger, or as person in short. Great post! 🙂

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    • I wish I was more organized to. Blogging would be a lot easier if I didn’t leave things to last minute and I would probably get more sleep if I planned out my posts. I have yet to master this. But feeling pressure to read a book is no fun and the reading experience is suppose to be fun and relaxing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • OMG YES!!! I haven’t done any scheduled posts yet, I always write them on the spot. Which can be stressful. I hope we’ll develop that skill very soon. I agree, reading is suppose to be our break from the real world so it shouldn’t be stressful. 😄👍

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  8. I loved this post, and it definitely got me thinking – I like doing monthly TBRs because I feel like they make me feel organized, but I’m not sure if it does much more than that. I rarely stick with TBRs as it is, mainly because I completely forget about them, HAHAH, but it does make me feel bad at the end of the month when I realize I’ve failed to stick with them. Maybe I’ll consider ending my montly TBRs, too. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Feeling bad because I didn’t read some of the books on my monthly TBR was the main reason I stopped making them in the first place. I would then try to get to them the next month and I found myself just repeating the same cycle. You should totally give it a try and abandon your TBR and see if this works better in the long run!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a really great discussion topic! I think different things work for different readers/people and I agree in that when I do a monthly TBR I find myself going off track with random ARCs, library finds and other stuff haha. I have so much respect for people who can keep themselves organised (it also must be way easier to plan and schedule reviews, which I am terrible at) but I enjoy my reading much more if I leave things more open! X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I tried really hard to be organized. I even got pretty notebooks and pens and that was just a waste because I’ve never actually used them. I guess organization is not for everyone, also I think organized bloggers probably get more sleep than I do, hahaha! I love the freedom of being able to read whatever I want and I won’t be going to making TBRs ever again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha, that sounds exactly like me! I am a confessed stationary addict but when it comes to blogging it never really seems to make me any more organised than I was before. I totally get what you’re saying about the freedom of it! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m very conflicted about TBRs… I use them, but I tend to try not to prescribe extra books for me to read: just books for school, any ARCs and then anything I’m currently reading. I used to go the other way and make a list of like 30 books from which I could pick and choose, but one of the reasons I like having a TBR (beyond not really having to worry about what to read next most of the time and being encouraged to read those books that might be a bit harder/less easy to read) is the sense of accomplishment I get from physically crossing them out on my list, so that didn’t really work.

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