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My Take | What’s Wrong With The TBR Jar

Confession time: I’ve never really liked TBRs and TBR jars.

So when I read Katie’s (over at Katie Jay’s Book Blog) post on her problems with the TBR jar and recommendations, I was like, “Soul sistas!” And I was inspired to write this post!

Here’s the thing (or rather, two things): I’m a serious mood reader and I don’t like feeling pressured to read a book.

See, TBR jars are great if you don”t know what to read next, you’re at least semi-organized and want some system of organizing what you read, and you want to feel a little spontaneous.

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But then again, if you’re like me, maybe you’re a complete mess in every aspect of your life and you prefer it that way. *shrugs*

See the thing is, as Katie kind of pointed out, for me, the TBR jar and just TBRs in general makes reading feel too much like an assignment. And I don’t like that, especially as I’m already in school.

I also don’t like promising people I’m going to read something, when I might get distracted and read something else. I’m not about that pressure. *hums “Under Pressure” by Queen under breath*

You may be thinking, But Lila, you have a book bucket. Yes. I do. But the book bucket is just a general guideline of a few (okay, a ton–in this month’s case, 37) books I want to read. It can change at my every whim. But it’s at least a little bit of a way to organize my otherwise chaotic reading life. And I like that. So it’s not really a set law of what I’m going to read.

NOW! One thing I have learned over the past two months, however, is that TBRs are great when you have ARCs, or books that you otherwise need to read by a set deadline. But that’s the only area where I use a TBR (or ARC schedule, as I prefer to call mine).

Idk. I guess I’ll just always be messy. I guess I just like it that way.

What do you think of TBRs and TBR jars? Do you  like to use them or do you just like to play it by ear?

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11 thoughts on “My Take | What’s Wrong With The TBR Jar”

  1. Good topic. Like you, I don’t enjoy feeling obligated to read a book. However, I’m kinda nerdy about loving seeing a list of all the books I want to read and then switching them around in order of preference, kind of like what you said, based on my mood.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I have tried doing TBRs before, and I just…I feel pretty much neutral on them. I did a TBR for January but only chose I think 7? books total, which left me a bit of breathing room as well in regards to being able to pick up whatever else I felt like picking up. And that worked for me, actually, and is the way I’ve approached this month’s reading as well–with the challenge I’m participating in, I pick something like 5 books but then read them in whatever order and change them around as I feel the need to.

    However–sticking solely to a TBR, where I pick every book for that month and then actually READ them all in the order I specified? Doesn’t work for me. I find myself loathing some of the books, or feeling pressured about reading them, and that’s not cool. SO yeah, I agree with you completely!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I have no interest in doing a TBR Jar! I have dozens of books I want to read at any given time, but some of them I want to read more than others. What if I get stuck reading a book I had no business adding to the TBR Jar? I want need more agency in my life! Hah, but honestly I would’t do something like that unless I was pressured into by readers or possibly got paid. 😛

    I love your book bucket idea! Lol, I just have a book pile, but your bucket is so much cooler.

    Liked by 3 people

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