the dreaded and beloved tbr list.

I love making lists. I adore making to-do lists, playlists, heck even shopping lists! If I could put Professional List Maker on my resume I probably would. But there’s one list that kills me every time.

My TBR list.

I have a horrible problem with following my TBR lists. There, I said it.

I’ve been struggling a lot with this problem lately, particularly in regard to the summer TBR list that I made back in June. It was a Top Ten Tuesday post, and the theme was to list ten books that you would read in the summer (click here to see this list!). Back in June I was like, “Oh, you have a whole two months off from school. You’ll totally have time to read these ten books!” And yes, I will admit that I do have the time. But do I have the desire? Heck no. Even though under normal circumstances I would definitely pick up these books, I’m just not in the mood for any of them right now. I don’t know why, but the “pressure” of having to read these specific books instantly makes them undesirable to me.

But the thing is, the List Maker in me loves to make these lists! Even though I know I probably won’t follow them, I always feel the urge to make them. In theory, the idea of a TBR list is great. It’s supposed to keep you in line and ensure that you read books that need to be read sooner than later. Yet for some reason it never seems to work with me. Either I don’t read the books on the list, or I force myself to read them and end up not liking them as much as I normally would because I’m just not in the mood to read them. It’s a vicious cycle, I’m telling you.

Does anyone else have this love-hate relationship with their TBR lists? Do you have any advice for sticking to a TBR list? Let me know in the comments section below!



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  • I’m a list-making MANIAC! I love everything about it, whether it’s in a spreadsheet on my computer or written out longhand in a pretty notebook.

    One thing I’m going to be trying is using a To Read jar. Perfect timing too, I posted about this yesterday! I’ve noticed that when I set myself to a strict schedule reading doesn’t seem as fun anymore. With this book jar I’m still picking books from my list, but the random order of it is exciting!

  • For me, my Goodreads TBR list is much more a collection of all the books I’m interested in than ones I will eventually read, if that makes any sense. There are well over 1,200 books on my list right now. Will I ever read them all? Probably not. Are there a few things on there that if I were to go back now, I could probably delete? Sure. But they caught my eye at some point and whether it means I look for an ARC for upcoming books or hope to find them someday at a book sale or some other place, at least I know they were appealing at some point.

    I have to adhere to a schedule for my review copies, but I’ve taken to using a TBR jar for one book each week. It’s been fun so far. I didn’t count the number of books I added because I knew it would just stress me out, but I added any archived review copies I didn’t get around to reading before, all the books I HAD TO HAVE on release day, but didn’t get a chance to read, and any other purchases (Iike all my Amazon one-click sale/freebies) and I let fate decide. πŸ™‚

    • Wow, that’s A LOT of books on your Goodreads TBR list!!! I give you major props for keeping track of all those books! I really should probably use Goodreads more for my TBR list… it’s such a great way to keep everything organized.
      Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  • That’s so funny–this morning I was also thinking about my love of lists. You could probably find a list of anything within a foot from where I now sit, haha. I also have this love/hate relationship with TBRs. Have you tried making a TBR jar? I kinda strayed away from my TBR because of library books, but it’s a great way to see your reading progress and cross those books off the list. You could put the papers with the names of the books you did finish in a separate container so you can see yourself making your way through your infinite TBR πŸ˜€ This has been working for me (though I’m taking a short break from that due to a read-a-thon I’ll be participating in), so maybe it’ll work for you!

    • I haven’t tried making a TBR Jar yet, but I think I might soon. So many people seem to enjoy using them! That’s a good idea to put the papers in a different jar as you read them to see progress- it’s also a great motivator!
      Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  • I have the same problem! I don’t like TBR lists because sometimes I’m just not in the mood for those kind of books and if I have force myself through them I don’t enjoy them. I noticed when I made a TBR list for readathon and I just struggled with reading so much, I thought I was in a reading slump until I picked up a book that wasn’t on the list and I started reading again.
    Admittedly, I’m just not a lists type of person because I rarely ever actually follow what’s on the list haha

    • It’s so strange how as soon as I put a book on a TBR list, I instantly lose my desire to read it. I love lists otherwise, but this one seems to have me beat! I’m participating in a read-a-thon right now and I totally get what you’re saying about feeling like you’re in a reading slump.
      Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  • I absolutely love making lists! It’s my favourite way to stay organized, and crossing items off is just SO satisfying. My TBR list is the one that I just can’t seem to work with though; I’m a mood reader, so following a specific reading plan just doesn’t work for me. As a result, my to-read list on Goodreads is more of a collection of books that have piqued my interest than a list of books that I am definitely going to read.

    I’ve seen a lot of really cute TBR jars online, so I’ve been thinking about starting one of my own. That way, I won’t feel like I’m ever forcing myself to read a book, but I’ll still manage to get through my ARCs/review copies in a timely fashion.

    • I’m beginning to realize more and more recently that I’m a mood reader as well. I always thought that I could read any book at any time of year or point in my life, but I don’t think that’s the case anymore. It’s so strange how our reading habits can change so much!
      Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

    • The Beginning of Everything is SO GREAT! It’s adorable and light-hearted but bittersweet at the same time. It’s books like that that can definitely yank me right out of horrible reading slumps.
      Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  • I definitely have this same relationship with my TBR! I also love making lists. They make everything seem so organised and lovely *sigh*

    But once I make a TBR list, I know deep down inside of me that I WILL not stick to it.

    I am what you call a mood reader. Only my mood can stipulate what book I will read, and when. Which is why making a TBR list is so incredibly fruitless. Because I don’t know what my mood will be like in the future, and what book I will feel like reading when that future comes!

    I made a list of TWO books for June. I thought I’d be able to stick to that. Nope. I only read one of the two books.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have any tips on how to stick to your TBR lists! I just eventually gave up on trying to abide by them, haha.

    • Yeah I think I might give up on them eventually as well. I’m going to try to stick with them for a little longer, but I’ll probably end up just creating more vague ones as time goes on.
      Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  • I absolutely agree with you. My TBR list is frightening especially since I’ve paid good money for a lot of those titles waiting to be read! I’m currently reading a very dense book, and I can feel a touch of anxiety creep over me about those books lining up behind this one. My only consolation is that i’m currently 7 books ahead in my reading 2014 reading challenge so… there is a bit of breathing room.

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