So, I don’t have a TBR list as such, I have a bunch of books on my shelf and Kindle that I want to read at some point, as well as a very long Amazon wish list, but I don’t plan my reading ahead of time. I am a mood reader, so a TBR list just wouldn’t work for me. The only thing I do stick to is reading my subscription service book right after I finish whatever book I am reading when it arrives.
I do however really enjoy watching TBR videos on BookTube, and I love it when people use an actual TBR jar, basically because I think they look cute. While watching these videos however it has become apparent that a lot of people find having a TBR list really stressful. So why do they do it?For the “bigger names” in the online book community it seems that some of them at least feel a lot of pressure to get through either specific books, or a set number of books each month. Why you ask? ARCs. Most people in the book community are nice people and when they are sent ARCs they feel obligated to read them, because they want to be helpful and provide a review. Most publishers want book reviews near the release date so it isn’t just a case of “get to it when you can”, so when someone gets a lot of ARCs the pressure and stress increases. There is some community pressure too I think. If everyone is reading a certain book, others feel that they need to too, which is (partly) why all the big names mention a lot of the same books on their channels.
Quite a few BookTubers seem to be breaking away from a strict monthly TBR lately. Instead they do something more general, like a seasonal TBR, stating the stress caused by monthly ones as the reason. While many of them treat BookTube as a sort of job, unless reading really is your job I don’t think there should be any pressure associated with reading. Even if it is your job there shouldn’t be pressure but that’s not really the way jobs work for most people.
Are there any good sides to having a TBR list, other than meaning fun videos for people like me to watch? If you are someone that needs motivation to read then I suppose they can be a good thing but if you need motivation then maybe reading isn’t really for you? Reading should be a fun thing, you shouldn’t need to force yourself to do it, if you are constantly forcing yourself you need to ask yourself why. Some see a TBR list as a good thing as getting through it gives them a sense of achievement. In that case, great, go for it.
I read purely for pleasure (unless it is a textbook/journal), so I am unlikely to make a TBR list beyond something very general like “I want to read that new thriller at some point”. What do you guys do, TBR or no TBR, and what are your reasons?