As of a few months ago, I hated the idea of putting together a monthly TBR. I was reading anywhere from 10 to 30 books a month, and my reading schedule would pretty much be whatever books I got from the library. I considered making monthly TBRs a couple of times, but they always ended up with maybe two books on them and then a whole bunch of "we'll see" spaces.
But now, things have changed. I actually have TBRs planned for the next two months, order and all...and I'm really liking it. Why? Maybe it's because I'm going to the library less often, so I don't have an influx of brand-new books every couple of weeks. Maybe it's because I have less time to read in general, so I have to prioritize things. I don't really know whether I can give a concrete reason, but for now, TBRs are working for me.
But why didn't I like them before? I had quite a few issues with TBRs. Here are some of them:
- I'm usually a huge mood reader. I find it so hard to force myself to read something that I don't feel like reading at that point in time. I didn't want to have to hold myself to something that I'd created weeks before - what if I was in a big fantasy mood when I made the TBR, but half-way through the month, I just wanted to read contemporaries?
- My reading quantity habits can be...unpredictable. For example, let's take last July. I read over thirty books. I never would have guessed that I'd read so much, so my TBR would have run out. And there are months where I read a lot less than I'd expect to - then, I wouldn't finish my TBR.
- I used to not know which books I'd have accessible to me at any given time. As I said before, I went to the library a lot, so I'd usually just pick up whatever I saw that was somewhere on my humongous TBR. I might not know what most of my reading would be until a week into the month. How was I supposed to schedule a TBR when I didn't even know what the options would be?
- It lets me prioritize my reading. I know I'm not alone in having a to-read list that I'll probably never get through in my lifetime. That can be pretty intimidating. Where do I even start? But if I take some time at the beginning of the month to make a list of top priorities, then the list is a lot smaller and more manageable.
- It eliminates the slump that can come from having no idea what to read next. I know there have been a few times that I finish a really great book, can't decide what to read next and then just don't read for weeks because I can't think of anything. If I've already made a list of things I want to read, I don't even have to think! I can just go back to the list and see what's next.
In case anyone was wondering, here are my TBRs for the rest of the year:
- November: This Is Where It Ends, Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, Blood for Blood, Emma (for the Austentatious Book Club), A Million Worlds With You, Like A River Glorious, A Darker Shade of Magic
- December: My True Love Gave to Me, Mansfield Park (for Austentatious), and the entire Harry Potter series (for Harry Christmas to You)