Why I’m not the type to write monthly to-be-read lists (ft. my first attempt at a TBR post)

I’m not the type to write monthly to-be-read lists (and subsequently posting said lists on my blog as a form of accountability) but, under current circumstances, I have decided to finally give this thing a shot! But before we get to that, let’s briefly discuss why I typically do not engage in such practice.

Normally, I love, love, and love everything list-related, but if I’m being really honest, I never understood the need for monthly to-be-read (or TBR) lists. It’s a commonplace thing for book bloggers to share what they intend to read for the month, and monthly TBR blog posts are pretty popular, too (exhibit A: my friend Kate’s September 2018 TBR wherein her boyfriend picks out her reads for this month – too adorable for my life, by the way).

However, every time I encounter a blogger’s TBR post for [insert month here], I immediately think, “Um, nope.” And by that, I’m not trying to shame the people who openly talk about the list of books they intend to read. Nor am I implying that TBR posts are bad or wrong or any other negative adjective that comes to mind. It’s just that, from a personal standpoint, monthly to-be-read lists aren’t very useful for me, and here’s why.

1. I am huge, huge, HUGE mood reader!
You know that old Katy Perry song that goes like “You change your mind like a girl changes clothes” or something of that sort? (Sorry, I’m not really a fan.) That is essentially how I am whenever I pick up my next read. I could tell myself that I’d start reading my most highly anticipated fantasy release in the evening, but once evening comes, I would end up diving into a completely different book, like let’s say, a contemporary romance. Why? Oh, well, because I felt like it. I am annoyingly indecisive and largely guided by my moods.

2. I’m not really interested in other people’s TBR, so why would anyone be interested in mine?
In other words, who would even read the list? Honestly speaking, I am very rarely interested in learning what other people are planning to read in the next week or the next month. If I encounter a “September 2018 TBR!” blog post on my WordPress reader, what are the chances of me clicking on that post title and reading its content? Highly unlikely. I don’t want to sound mean or bitchy, but I’m generally more curious about what people are currently reading as compared to what they’re planning to read.

With that said, since I’m not really curious about the books people intend to read, I fail to see why anyone would be curious about mine. Is anyone really interested in knowing that I want to finish reading Julie Kagawa’s Shadow of the Fox and starting on Joan He’s Descendant of the Crane? Yep, I don’t think so.

3. I hardly ever buddy read books.
I think sharing monthly TBR lists is really useful for people who are looking for friends to buddy read with. Through the lists, people can find other readers with similar plans – and then yay, instant reading buddies!

However, I don’t usually look for people to buddy read books with. In fact, the first and only time I buddy read a book was purely coincidental. It just so happened that Fanna and I were both reading Sisters’ Entrance by Emtithal Mahmoud at the same time, and then we started exchanging some feels on Twitter. (By the way, Sisters’ Entrance is my favorite contemporary poetry collection, and if you need some convincing to read it, check out my 5-star review.)

4. I only take note of books that have a reading deadline.
Unless I’m reading a book for a blog tour or something similar that demands a deadline, I don’t really prioritize reading anything. I know that some publishers prefer ARC reviews to be posted within a certain timeframe or on the exact day of the book’s release, but if I’m being totally honest, I don’t really adhere to those rules. I post ARC reviews whenever it’s convenient for me, which is probably frowned upon (in which case, I sincerely apologize to all the publishers).

5. I’m too lazy to be bothered.
Need I say more?

Which brings us to the huge irony of this post. As I mentioned in the introduction, I will finally throw caution to the wind and share my to-be-read list for this month! I’ve been overwhelmed with the number of books I’ve been meaning to read so I figured that maybe a bit of organizing would help me out.

Current reads I need to finish in September

Books for blog tours

Other books to read

Let’s talk!

💜 What are your thoughts on monthly TBR lists? Do you share yours on Twitter or on your blog?

💜 Are you familiar with any of the titles in my list? Have you read any of them?

💜 What are you planning to read this September?

Do you like this post? Then share it on social media platforms (see buttons at the bottom of this post!) or maybe consider sending a cup of coffee my way?

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First of her name. Queen of lists and spreadsheets. Protector of books. Breaker of norms. Iskolar ng bayan.

48 thoughts on “Why I’m not the type to write monthly to-be-read lists (ft. my first attempt at a TBR post)”

  1. Wow, I could have written this exact list of reasons myself. I agree with all of these, which is why I don’t share TBR posts either (with the possible exception of a TTT post once or twice a year—and usually those are just books I have for review or sequels that I plan to read at SOME point).


  2. I normally am not a fan of making TBR lists for myself because I am a huge mood reader. But I liked seeing all of the books in one place last month when I did my first one!

    I’m trying to do one for this month. I just have a hard time deciding ahead of time.

    I like reading other people’s lists because it gives me a feel to whether we have books in common. And also, ebook stores don’t always show all of the books out there and TBR lists by other people help me remember which books I wanted that are coming soon. The Nook storefront was the only one that did semi ok but I’m done with them because of losing content offline outside of my home network.

    Kobo does ok. Kindles don’t show the prices of books until you click on the book unless you are on the website.

    But yeah that’s why I like other people’s. I read 6 books from my TBR list last month and then ya fantasy got me into a slump.


  3. you make a lot of great points here. I make a TBR list each month even though I’m definitely also a mood reader like you, but honestly I use it more to keep track of what’s coming out each month vs. what I am honestly planning to read. I also have to admit I do not adhere to rules about ARC reviews either…thankfully, now I get ARCs because I’m a librarian, not for blogging, so I feel less bad about not reading things at the “right” times or meeting deadlines.


  4. I’m the same as you – I skip TBR posts and don’t make ones for myself. I’ve tried, but I never follow them… and same about the deadlines thing – obviously if I need to read something this month, I will, but I am also such a mood reader.

    THAT SAID. I really like “currently reading” posts where people talk about the books they’re in the middle of and what they think so far. So I guess I am interested in what people are reading? Just not before they read it.

    I love that you’re calling out TBR posts as something generally not for you, cuz srsly sometimes it seems like everyone is doing them.


  5. I dig how candid you are about this topic! I personally love TBR posts—they’re actually my favorite “monthly” post to write AND read—but at the same time, I can totally see why they aren’t for everyone! Good luck with all of your current and upcoming reads, by the way! ♥


  6. I’m the same as you, kinda lazy about actually doing the lists. I do have them in a way in my blog planner. And then my ARCs are stacked in order of when I need to get to them. I keep wanting to do blog posts about them, but again it gets into not having time. Great post!

    You can check out my discussion post on audiobook narrators HERE


  7. I usually only do monthly TBRs if they are for some kind of challenge with prompts, but this month I started doing a structured TBR, hoping to diversify my reading… it still leaves me with options if I don’t feel like reading something on it, but I’m not sure how well it’s working out so far 😀

    The Plastic Magician has a really intriguing cover, I’m going to look that one up.


  8. I’m a huge mood reader as well, and if it’s not for a blog tour I’ve committed to then I’m in the same boat as you. *shrug* I try to get to ARCs in a (sort of) timely manner, but even those are highly subject to my mood reading whims. I do try to browse my list of ARCs to see if something strikes my mood reading fancy first so I can at least knock out an ARC…

    The Kiss Quotient kicked around my TBR shelves for quite a while, but once I finally started it I INHALED IT. Loved it. I hear they signed a deal to make a movie, so YAY! ❤ ❤ ❤


  9. Your reasons for not making TBRs are similar to mine! I hardly ever adhere to my TBRs, and then I feel unnecessary pressure to read what I’ve said, or to finish books, and I just don’t end up enjoying them. I read for myself, at the end of the day. But I envy the people who make TBRs and keep to them. What magic did they do to manage this almost every month?

    I love your TBR though. I really want to read a few of those titles – Desendent Of The Crane especially. Enjoy reading them!


  10. Shealea I like reading what people just received, not necessarily what they PLAN to read, as that can be a LONG way down the road. I enjoy just seeing what people are into it, mainly current reads, unboxing and reviews, not necessarily what people are planning to read.

    I’m a huge mood reader and can totally relate, but I do my utmost best to finish reviews by publisher headlines. I’m not a popular blog with a huge following so any NG or ARCS I get I am beyond grateful for, so I don’t want to be removed from the PR list 😂 however, I don’t care to DNF books…strange I know 🤔


  11. I’ve never done TBR posts myself. I only make a list for the review copies I need to read – so it’s commitment based. I make one when I have to xD
    I’m also not very interested in people’s TBRs. I’d be more interested in their opinion when they’ve read it! It seems we have similar styles when it comes to TBRs 😀


  12. I generally don’t have a monthly TBR, although whenever I have library books come in, I kind of have to read them right away. That, and when I have a pre-order coming in, I know what I’m doing on that day.

    For that reason, I know of several books I’ll be reading this month. I’ll be reading War Storm, Wildcard, Addicted to Outrage, and probably City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, Fangirl, and Daughter of the Pirate King.

    I do find people’s TBRs to be somewhat interesting. It’s cool to see what people’s reading tastes are.

    I did read The Kiss Quotient and thought it was good.


  13. I used to post a TBR post but I ended up reading other books lol so I stop. Plus, I’m too lazy to write the post every month and probably unrelated but my laziness is also one of the reasons I stop using Goodreads.


  14. I’m reading Shadow of the Fox this month too Shealea! ❤️ As for TBRs I NEVER could adhere to them… until this year! In March I participated in a readathon (something I’m not good at either) and ended up reading most of those books! WHAT?! So I shrugged and decided to do it in April and shocker read like 8 of my 10 books… So I just kept doing it and mostly reading what I listed… Now its a normal thing (for what 7 months now?!) I don’t know if its going to wear off or what?! Funny thing is all of your reasons NOT to do a TBR apply to me! Except I go ahead and force back my laziness now and do them as it seems to make it easier for me to go from book to book… Well I hope yours is successful and its the beginning of a beautiful habit for you!


  15. Okay. YES! You make some excellent points. I do like seeing people’s TBR pictures on Instagram (occasionally I find out about an interesting book this way), but I could pretty much case less about a TBR post. Until today, I’ve yet to come across one that provides any interesting material in addition to the list of books. I like a post that exhibits personality and perspective, and there really isn’t any perspective in a list of books with their publisher synopsis. The content isn’t unique enough for me. Maybe (big MAYBE) I would like TBR posts better if a blogger wrote something about why they added each of the books to their stack, or what makes them excited about the book. I’m far more interested in bloggers’ thoughts after they actually read the books.


  16. I’m exactly like you! I still read other people’s TBRs, but love Wrap Ups a lot more. I find that making a list just isn’t motivating enough for me and kind of turns into too much of an obligation?
    Weirdly, if I make a pile of physical books on a shelf that I want to read that month, that seems to work?

    Good luck with your TBR though!


  17. I do a tbr post, but I do it in my monthly wrap up post instead of separate post because I just couldn’t spare the effort 😅 I’m a huge mood reader too, but I find that making a list helps as it decluttered the “books-to-read” part of my brain; it gives me a picture of which ARCs I need to get to soon, or series I need to finish, or books I were in the mood too at that time when I was writing the tbr and maybee I really need to read them 😂 And at least by rereading my tbr, I read 1/3 the books just by reminded how excited I was for that book when I wrote the post, so I considered that a win! 😂


  18. I used to write TBRs since I was on Tumblr because it was one of my FAQs (bec I usually share book finds, quotes, reviews etc.). I just stopped because I had no enough time to read more books though I challenged myself on Goodreads lol.

    I follow book blogs, and as a reader, when I read reviews that are full of sense, I usually take note of that blogger’s genre or most-liked books. That way, I know she/he has same taste with mine on choosing what to read. So next time, if I run out of what-to-read or whenever I’m too lazy to look for something myself, I’ll just go to his/her page.


    1. I already told you about receiving a manuscript of it. 😂 Would honestly read it right now if I didn’t already have 5 books in my currently reading shelf. Huhu.

      I considered asking my Atenean boy the same thing. But then he might just pick out Children of Blood and Bone lang because, despite making him read it months ago, I still haven’t gotten around to it. Oops. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I stopped to read this because your post title caught my eye. But I don’t enjoy monthly TBR lists or monthly wrap-up lists of what’s been read. Another post I don’t understand, is the need for those who brag about ‘book mail’ either. I say, please just read the book and write us an honest review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, that’s an interesting take. I like monthly reading & blogging wrap-ups because all the blog posts and reviews a person has published within that month are enumerated, and I get to see the content that I may have missed out. If the wrap-up is solely about the books a person has read, I become less interested. Plus, some wrap-ups include life events/updates (such as mine!), which I like reading because it helps foster a connection between me and the blogger. Kind of like a way to know more about them as people, not just book reviewers.

      But I get why you aren’t a fan of them! 😊

      As for ‘bragging about book mail’, I don’t really see it that way? I think of it as a gesture of courtesy towards the authors and publishers. I mean, surely, it’s common decency to thank them, yes?

      And it’s worth pointing out that physical review copies are promotional tools. A review isn’t the be-all, end-all of promoting a book. If that were the case, then digital review copies should suffice. But publicity and visibility are key components of promotion! Physical review copies are sent because publishers want more than book reviews (that won’t really garner much attention): they want photos and videos of these books circulating. They want the books to be visible, especially on blogging and social media platforms (i.e. Twitter, YouTube, Instagram). This is the best way to find more potential readers.

      With all that said, I don’t think it’s about bragging. I think it’s an integral part of marketing, but that’s just my 2 cents. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I love the irony of this post. And I honestly love your out-of-the-ordinary opinion on TBR’s? I know a few people who feel the same way, but they haven’t been THIS honest about it, hah.

    I love my monthly TBR’s, but that’s more because I like setting myself some challenges (hi, monthly reading challenges) and – like you said – it keeps me accountable as well. It also helps to stay on track when it comes to ARC’s and such. If I wouldn’t do a monthly TBR, I think my whole reading would be upside down and I’d be hurrying my butt to get certain ARC’s read on time, really.

    Haven’t read any of the books on your list, but I’m going to keep an eye on reviews for Not Even Bones. With the Dexter-comparison, I think it might be something my boyfriend would enjoy. :’) And of course I’m eagerly awaiting the release of What If It’s Us. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

    As for my own TBR. It’s Sequel September all the way. I have way too many unfinished series so I’m trying to get some of them read. We’ll see how that goes. :’)


  21. I do post monthly TBR’s with the intention of reading the books on my list. It very rarely happens that I read those books. I know this may sound weird but I think my TBRs are more of a numbers game. In other words will I really read 6 books this month?
    I just got What If It’s Us today and I’m really excited to read it. Having said that, I will probably knock a book off my TBR in order to read this book.
    My monthly TBRs are more of a wishlist of books I’d like to read for the month.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I honestly feel the same way about everything you said! Anytime I see a TBR post, I pretty much skip it. I don’t really care what someone is going to read, sorry to say. I’m also a mood reader. I have a ~plan~ of what I might read this month but it could change depending on how the previous book I read went! TBR posts are great for those who are into it, but I don’t care to read them oops.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to know that someone shares similar sentiments! I was a little bit hesitant to share my thoughts because I was scared people might take them as a personal attack.

      And honestly, what’s there to comment on, especially when all the titles in their TBR are unfamiliar to you? All you can really say is “I hope you enjoy them!” which just comes off as politeness. 😅 I tend to avoid reading blog posts that I don’t think I can offer input in and/or engage with.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m really glad you did post this because sometimes I feel like I’m doing blogging “wrong” by NOT having a TBR post that I share all the time! XD

        Thats also a good point! Its hard to say much to a post like that!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Aww, I feel you! There are a number of things other book bloggers seem to do that I don’t (e.g. sharing book hauls, bookstagram), and sometimes, I feel pretty left out and self-conscious. But we really shouldn’t feel that way! There’s not really a “wrong” to book blogging, and our content should be personalized after our needs and interests — not anyone else’s.

          I really prefer talking to people about their current reads! It’s nice to know their thoughts as they read, whether they’re breezing through the chapters or struggling to move forward, if their expectations have been met so far, etc. It’s nearly impossible to have a real conversation about a book neither of you has read. HAHA.


  23. I don’t do TBRs at at all. I tried and failed massively because I’m a huge mood reader as well. And as you said, I don’t usually read others TBRs so who would be interested in mine?
    I’ve just given up on TBRs at this point, reading whatever I feel like at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, reading what I’m in the mood for seems like the best thing to do. Especially because forcing yourself to read something usually reduces how enjoyable the experience is. 😅


  24. I don’t post monthly TBR lists as well. I don’t post anything regular on the blog, not even recaps. I just post whenever and whatever. It’s not that I hate reading about them because I do like checking out other people’s monthly TBR. It’s more of a bother doing it in my part regularly. It’s nice of you to try doing it now, who knows, maybe it’ll work out for you.

    I’ve already started Air Awakens a while back and not to discourage you from reading, but I dropped reading it. Maybe I was just not in the mood for it that time. The Kiss Quotient, ah prepare a tall glass of cold water by your side for the oh so steamy scenes. I devoured it in one sitting. Happy reading! 🙂

    Jennilyn @ Rurouni Jenni Reads

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, honestly, I don’t think monthly TBRs will be my thing. I just figured I should try it once and see if I can commit to the items on the list. Haha!

      But I totally get what you mean about the hassle that comes from posting regularly. Even monthly recaps start to feel like a chore sometimes, tbh. However, I’m hoping to be more consistent with blogging content so I started doing a weekly meme (Top Ten Tuesday) and trying to write a discussion post per month. Hopefully, things will work out.

      Air Awakens is a bit of a struggle for me, too. I started reading last month, and up until now, I’ve barely made a dent. It’s slow progress for sure, which is such a shame because I breezed through Eliza Kova’s other novel, The Alchemists of Loom.

      And I’m glad to know you enjoyed The Kiss Quotient!


  25. Oh, I’m so like you, Shealea! It’s hard for me to keep track of monthly TBRs, but I do have a tendency to almost always prioritize review copies. But, just to treat myself to something nice, I try to re-read favorites every once in a while. Excited to know what you think of What If It’s Us (!!!), The Kiss Quotient, How She Likes It, and Descendant of The Crane (!!!!!!!!!!! yay, you got a review copy!)

    Have a great September, dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The people who can make monthly TBRs /and/ actually follow through are real life sorcerers, imo. I can take note of what needs to be prioritized; but ultimately, if I don’t feel like it, I won’t read it.

      But anyway, I’ve heard nothing but great things about these books so I’m very excited to dive in! Joan was very generous and offered to send me a manuscript of her debut. Naturally, I freaked out. 😂

      Thanks, JM! Hope your September is an excellent one!


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