As readers, we are constantly discovering new books. Sometimes people introduce them to us and other times we find them ourselves by sheer luck or through our own research. Either way, it’s a never-ending process of adding books to our mental, digital or written lists of books to read. The notorious TBRs.
I never gave much thought to what I added to my ‘to be read’ list on Goodreads until I saw someone on Twitter commenting they were ‘cleaning up’ theirs. That got me thinking in all the books I’ve added that I’m never really going to read, which are a nuisance when I’m looking for something that I actually want to pick up. So today I want to discuss if we should limit the books we add to our TBRs or if it’s better to add any book that calls to us, no matter how small the reason might be.
As I said before, I never really considered what I added to my TBR. If I heard a nice thing about a book and it sounded intriguing, I would add it. Then, when looking for the next book to read, I’d have no idea which books were actually worth it. I’d click on some and think to myself: “Why on Earth did I add this book?”. The thing is, as time goes by, our reading tastes change. A book you added to your TBR a few years ago might not interest you anymore because you’ve outgrown the theme or even the genre.
Other times we are even lying to ourselves. We say we are going to read something, maybe because it’s hyped and people recommend it a lot or because it is a classic, but deep down we know it’s not true! My theory is that we find comfort in having some books on our TBRs because they represent that we at least tried, that we gave them a chance.
“Have you read Jane Eyre?”
“Oh no, not yet, but it’s on my TBR, I’ll get to it eventually!” BAM! I feel an instant peace of mind as I award myself a mental gold star for knowing the book and having considered reading it at one point.
Joking aside, just knowing some books are on my ‘to be read’ list make me feel better, like I won’t forget them. But there are books that I know for sure I’m never picking up. Why do I keep those then? Well, because I hadn’t really considered ‘cleaning up’ my list before. I just ignored the mess I had created.
Now, as a little weekend project, I’ve decided to take off of my list all the books that I know I won’t read and to actually consider more carefully what I add to it. I think that by doing that, I will actually read more books that I’m truly interested in and enjoy, as opposed to reaching out for books that maybe someone recommended to me ages ago and don’t fit my reading style anymore.
HOW I’M LIMITING MY TBR
- I’m letting go of series I don’t want to finish.
- I’m admiting I don’t have to read ALL the classics.
- I’m saying goodbye to books with the same bored plot I’ve read time and time before. I enjoyed it once or twice before, but I don’t need to read it again.
- I will stop giving some authors a second or third chance to prove themselves. If I didn’t like their writing by now, they’re not for me.
- I’m cutting loose books I know I’ll never own (that is, not available as e-books or as printed copies in my country).
So now I want to hear your thoughts on this, what do you think it’s better? To have a list of books that you keep updated and know for sure that fits your reading style or a very diverse list comprised of recommendations and books with mildly interesting topics that might give you a pleasant surprise?