I’ve previously talked about my mood reading and how that impacts my reading and TBR creating. Well, I’m back here again sort of discussing the same thing… with a few updates. I’ve recently started making monthly TBR posts on the blog to help guide my reading for each month and still continue to join reading challenges or readathons (because I love them) even though I don’t often have success with actually READING according to plan. The question I keep asking myself is:
Why bother making TBRs if you never follow them?
To put it simply, I love making TBR lists. I don’t care about whether I follow them because I genuinely enjoy the process of putting a TBR together. I like making books fit into certain categories and planning which ones I could switch out if the mood strikes. I love bingo boards and figuring out which books on my existing “read soon” list will end up fitting with a particular challenge/prompt. I like to join these challenges or participate in bingo cards because I often don’t have to go out of my way to find which books fit with which squares. I think I read pretty diversely across genres and age targets, for the most part, so there’s almost always something on my to-read list that could work in any given bingo square. If I participate in a challenge where I can make my existing “up-next books” fit with it, the challenge should be easy to complete.
Also, I do generally use my TBR posts as a baseline of what I hope to read soon. You recently learned about how terrible my bookish memory is. That definitely includes simply remembering what books I want to read in the coming month. I always used to keep some in my mind so I had a thought about what to pick up next, but it really helps me write the list out even if I’m not sure I’ll actually get to it.
I love getting feedback on my TBR posts too. Hearing what you guys think about the books I’m planning on reading is awesome! I learn what I should prioritize or keep on the low-priority list. Even if I don’t read the books right away, like I hope to, I still remember your thoughts when I DO finally get to those books.
So how am I doing on the whole TBR thing, anyways?
After seeing the post on Pretty Deadly Reviews about TBRs, I started to think that I should actually analyze my progress with them. Since I started making monthly TBR posts in February, how many books have I read? I feel like anything over 10% will make me happy at this point, lol. For the months I had a poll, I counted those options as one book instead of three, since I was looking to only read one out of three… if that makes sense. Here’s the analysis:
February – 4 books read out of 9 books on TBR (44%)
March – 6 books read out of 10 books on TBR (60%) — best month
April – 3 books read out of 16 books on TBR (19%)
May – 6 books read out of 13 books on TBR (46%)
June – 4 books read out of 11 books on TBR (36%)
July – 3 books read out of 10 books on TBR (30%)
August – 1 book read out of 10 books on TBR (10%) — worst month
27 books read out of 79 books onTBRs (34%)
There definitely have been some books I put on the TBR for one month and then read later, though, so it’s not completely a waste. I can’t really say for sure if these TBRs guide my reading at all in the way I expected, because it mostly depends on the happenings of the month. Sometimes I’ll get a surprise ARC I didn’t anticipate, so I read that due to excitement. Sometimes I have to return a book to the library early because I forgot it was due. Sometimes I forget to pack certain books to/from Portland and home. Sometimes I get super busy and read considerably less, so I don’t even look at the TBR. There are a million excuses, but I don’t think I’m doing as terribly as I expected with reading books on my TBRs.
So, why bother joining challenges if you suck at them so much?
I love the sense of community and, yes, TBR-making that happens during challenges. I always think I can be crafty and integrate my normal up-next books into my challenge TBR, so it’s like I’m not doing any work. I’ve already talked about those points so I’ll leave it there for now.
Otherwise, you can feel free to again reference my post about loving reading challenges. All of those things are still true. I’m a huge fan of readathons and readalongs and year-long challenges, even if I usually do poorly at the small challenges. I can usually finish all of my year-long challenges because the timeframe is obviously so much longer. The smaller challenges involve me having to plan what I’ll read for the week and then my mood changes, so I’m out of luck. I wanted to bang out a few more books for The Reading Quest in August/September, but I ended up really not having any time to read in the last 3-5 days of the challenge. It was a fail, but still fun overall for the weeks I paid attention.
I’m also a huge fan of tracking reading and writing progress-oriented posts. Bout of Books is one of my favorite readathons because I like going in, updating my post, and sharing how much I read. It’s always fun to evaluate your progress and make adjustments as time goes on. This definitely happened with my Reading Quest TBR too; I would get a book in from the library or the publisher and find a way to squeeze it into the challenge instead of the previous book.
Moral of the story?
I may be bad at following TBRs, but I love making them and hearing what you think of the books. It helps me prioritize my reads and decide what books should be enjoyed ASAP. Challenges bring us all together to bond over certain books, topics, genres, and obviously just reading in general. I’ll always join in with readathons even if my TBR changes or life always gets in the way. I don’t see the harm in signing up with good intentions and giving it your best shot.