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Why I Don't Use TBR's Anymore...

Updated: Mar 3

TBR's are a really popular way to plan your reading for the upcoming month, or months, and track your reading. If you are new to this phrase, TBR means to be read. Tons of people in the bookish community use this to plan out their reading for the month, which is totally and completely okay! However, I have recently stopped using TBR's and it has changed my life, so I wanted to share.

I'm not saying that I don't have a TBR. I do have a massive TBR and list of books I want to read! I just don't put those books into lists or plan when I am going to read them.

How many books are on my TBR??

Well, if we look at it on Goodreads and go to my "Want To Read" shelf I have 1,098 books to read. However, that's really scary. Now, if you look at my physical TBR (books I own and haven't read), I have 81 books to read which honestly isn't any less scary than my Want To Read shelf to be honest. So, thats how many books I have to read. I know you're probably asking, "Opal wouldn't you kinda need to set TBR's to get through all those books??"

Well, I actually used to use TBR's!

If you scroll through my Pinterest feed, you will see some TBR videos! Well, I am here to tell you I almost always did not finish those TBR's. I would go to my bookshelf and pick out 5-6 books I wanted to read them and write them down in my planner and check them off as I went. Now why ever did I stop doing this??

First of all, I am a massive mood reader.

I think defines us mood readers best when they said "A mood reader is a person who reads according to their mood. This means that their feelings and emotions often dictate what they’ll read. You can read the whole article going into what it means to be a mood reader at

I also like to read whatever I want, whenever I want! I need to mix it up, I need to read something scary, something sweet, some high stakes fantasy…Honestly, mood reading is what helps me want to keep on reading so much.

I actually end up reading more each month!

Once I stopped setting TBR's for myself and started reading what I wanted, I started reading waaay more! I went from reading 3-4 books a month to reading 5-6 books a month. That's a lot for me! I also got to read more of what I wanted to read, and started enjoying reading a lot more.

TBR's are really restraining, and cause unnecessary anxiety.

For me, when I set the TBR, I had to stick to that. That meant no reading any ARCs I recently received, no reading new purchases, no nothing. If I wasn't enjoying a book, I had to finish it because it was on the TBR. As you might already be understanding, this gave me so much anxiety. I would feel so bad if I didn't finish my TBR, and reading became less of a hobby and something I enjoy and more like a chore and something I had to do.

Not setting TBRs gives me the freedom to set aside a book if I’m not liking it. I feel like this saves me from giving books a low rating or DNF-ing them when in fact it just so happened I wasn’t really in the mood for it!

This is my second month not using a TBR, and I'm loving it!

I've been having such a good time reading whatever I want these past two months, and its so refreshing! I completed a trilogy, started a series, and finished a bunch of standalones. Also, my ratings have all been in the 4 star and 5 star range. Whoa.

Now, just to be clear, the point of this post isn't to convince you to throw your TBR's out the window! If TBRs work for you, and you enjoy them, that's amazing, and you should keep using them. I know that not everyone is going to have the same reading experience and preferences as me. I just wanted to share my experience, and help out some other people who might still be forcing themselves to use TBRs!

Thank you so much for reading and have a lovely rest of your day <3



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Let's Chat!
  • Do you set TBRs? Why or why not?

  • What do you think about my reasons for not setting monthly TBRs?

  • If you do set monthly TBRs, how do you go about it?

  • How does your physical TBR looks like? And your Goodreads one?

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