You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit absent in the recent weeks. I’m sorry for that. Right now life is a bit chaotic and most of the time when I’m at home I find that I’m too exhausted to even open my laptop. However, today I wanted to talk about to be read lists. These lists are often set at the beginning of each month with the hopes of being able to complete them by the end. I’ve tried to complete my tbr’s, but every time I go to set one, I find that 99% of the time they are forgotten about by the end. So, here are the main reasons why I no longer set tbr lists.
Being pressurised to read is never fun, even if that pressure comes from yourself. I find that by setting a monthly to-read list, I feel like I have to meet a deadline. It’s like a challenge almost. A taunt. I have to meet this deadline, and I won’t be satisfied until I do. I also feel so guilty when I don’t meet it. There’s an expectation that comes with tbr lists, one that I’m determined to meet, but if I don’t feel like it, or find myself gravitating towards different books, I will deviate. Meaning that, in the end, the tbr list gets completely ignored and is therefore pointless.
Work. Life. Everything in between. Finding that balance in all aspects of your life is impossible at times. Sometimes I’ll come home from work absolutely exhausted, to the point I can’t find the energy to even pick up the book, let alone focus on the content of it. If I set myself a tbr list, I’d feel obliged to read it, and would feel so guilty for not completing it. It’s a never-ending cycle of wanting to read, but finding the time to do so is impossible sometimes. So why not make the time you may ask? Because I’m a mood reader, and if I’m not in the mood to read then I won’t cause I know I won’t enjoy it.
My mood is the biggest reading influence. I spend more time trying to decipher the mood I’m in and correlate it with the type of book I want to read than I do actually reading the book. Not going to lie, it can be a frustrating process especially when I find myself torn between two genres.
I’m sure you’ve heard me mention this before, but my great school rebellion was to not read books. I hated the fact that I didn’t have a say in the books I could or could not read. On top of that, every time I actually went to read those set books I was always conscious of the fact that I had to have an analytical mind whilst reading them in preparation for my exams and essays. Therefore, I never felt like I had the freedom to just appreciate the book as a story alone because I always had to have that analytical mindset. So, every time I set a tbr list my inner rebel unleashes itself because I associate my tbr with that notion of being forced to read instead of just letting me have the freedom to read what I want when I want.
What about challenges?
The only challenge I tend to take part in is the Goodreads Challenge. However, this year I’ve decided not to set one for myself. By not setting myself a target of books to read I felt a lot more free with my reading. I don’t feel obliged to read a book just so I can turn it into a number in a list I’m probably never going to use.
However, while I can’t get into reading challenges myself, I do see a lot of benefits that come with it. If you find that you thrive when you have that competition, even if it’s against yourself, it’ll get you motivated and energised to read. Challenges are also great in building that sense of community. By taking part in the challenge, you also get that additional motivational from the others that are also taking part. It’s a great motivational boost, and the sense of accomplishment when you complete your target is the best feeling.
To be read lists and challenges are not for everyone. I know that they are certainly not for me, but there are a lot of benefits to following these tbr’s. It’s a good way to keep you in check and formulate a reading schedule. However, personally, I prefer the freedom of picking a book when I want to when I want. I never follow the tbr lists I set, so why should I set them in the first place?
Do you struggle with tbr lists?
What are your tips for completing them?
Do you like reading challenges?