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.


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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Lila is a twenty-something college student studying physics and a lover of literature. When she's not busy reading or saving the world through science, Lila can be found singing jazz and blues and obsessing over hedgehogs (a.k.a. the cutest animals in the multiverse!)

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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