Discussion: TBR vs. TBR JAR vs. MOOD READING

Discussion

Hi Munchworms!

Usually I just set myself a TBR for each month but I know there are other options as well. So I decided to put the options to the test!

In October, I read only my own books during OWNtober and I had decided to go full on mood reader then. In January, I found out what it’s like to use a TBR jar for the first time in my life. I was curious about it, to be honest, since many people swear by their jar and I wanted to find out if it was something for me as well.

TBR-LIST

This is my usual go-to TBR. I just check what challenges and read-a-thons I’m joining the next month and compile my TBR accordingly. I always make sure there’s a bit of everything on it so I can switch between fantasy, contemporary and sometimes a bit of other genres as well. I like working towards goals, creating lists and ticking things off those lists so… I guess it’s easy to say this is my favorite kind of TBR.

MOOD READING

Now, this one is something  I don’t do very often since I usually have plenty of options on my TBR-list and that also feels like a bit of mood reading to me. Actual mood reading without any kind of TBR is something I rarely do

October was different, though! Since that month’s challenge was OWNtober – reading my owned books – I decided to just go ahead and pick up what I felt like. I have to say it felt freeing. Being able to pick up whatever I felt in the mood for without having to check which ones I was going to read that month… It definitely had appeal and I will definitely be doing this again in the future. Moody May, anyone?

TBR JAR

I used a TBR jar for the first time ever in January, during January Jam Jar. I felt like I should give it a shot so I could say I tried “every kind of TBR” and simply wanted to discover what it felt like.

On the upside, I didn’t find myself staring at my bookcases anymore since I didn’t have to go through the torture of only picking one book to read next. Nope, instead I just grabbed a piece of paper from my jar and that was it. Take the book, get cozy and start reading.

At first I actually really loved it and thought that I might have to switch to a fixed TBR jar but…

Unfortunately that didn’t last. Even though I like the idea, I simply like switching between genres more. Going from fantasy to contemporary and back again is something I’ve been doing for months and it suits me perfectly. The jar started giving me one contemporary after the next and… Honestly? After three in a row I felt like they were all blurring together in one story. It didn’t feel right and I think I’m lucky I always write my reviews right after finishing a book… Otherwise I would’ve probably.. not written them?

Maybe the solution here is to make a contemporary jar vs. a fantasy one and… then another one with all the other genres? That sounds like such a hassle though… So I don’t think I’ll be doing that…

All in all I’m happy I gave the jar a try. Now I know it isn’t something I’d do every month but I’m definitely considering a return of the jar next January and start a little jar-tradition!

What’s your favorite way to set a TBR or not set one? Have you tried all three ways I mentioned? Is there another kind of TBR I should try out sometime?
Let’s talk!

Yep

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57 thoughts on “Discussion: TBR vs. TBR JAR vs. MOOD READING

  1. The only thing that works for me is mood reading. I have tried TBR’s before but then I feel like I HAVE to read those books in that month and my interest and motivation to pick them up completely drops. I know I’m the one who puts this pressure on myself but I can’t help it. As soon as I make a list, or even try to participat in readathons, I picture the books in my mind as mandatory reads, like school reads, and I don’t enjoy the books nearly as much as if I had read them whenever I wanted to.

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    1. I can totally understand your view and feelings towards a TBR then. Does suck that you simply can’t plan your reads and enjoy them at the same time though! I’d be hopeless if that were the case for me. I’d be postponing the hell out of my ARC’s and that’s simply.. not done, haha. 😛

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    2. You could always just give it a try – although, I admit, sometimes it takes ages for a request to be approved and by the time it does, I’ve lost interest because.. I’m simply not in the mood for it anymore? Sooo dangerous!

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  2. I’ve been considering doing a TBR jar for a while, but the lists are just so much of what I’m comfortable with and used to that I’m not sure about it! If you do make the jar a tradition for every January, though, I’d totally participate next year and give it a try! I’m super excited for Moody May, but it’s going to feel SO WEIRD to not create a list!

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    1. I do think my monthly challenges are just going to keep repeating themselves over the years so YES on next January!

      Hahaha. I was already tempted to create a list with books I “hoped” I was going to get in the mood for. But I know I’d simply use it as my TBR which is a no-can-do. xD

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    2. Lmaooo, earlier today I was telling another blogger about my plans for doing your challenge in May, and I legit thought the same thing. “I could make a tentative TBR… no, no, no!” It’s going to be so difficult! The only exception to my lack of a TBR will be my planned buddy reads – I think I’m going to be buddy reading Crooked Kingdom, A Conjuring of Light, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in May.

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    3. We can still make a small TBR with the ARC’s we should definitely read in May though! Like, that doesn’t really pressure me into reading them because I know I simply have to read them before a certain date and I get in the mood for them automatically?
      My brain is going “You can’t NOT post a TBR, you know?!” Ugh.
      I only buddy-read a couple of the ToG-series but.. like.. I read way faster than other people and I just felt it was a bit annoying to have to wait before reading on all the time. ><"
      I legit have all three those books on my TBR. :')

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    4. That’s true! My brain is doing the same thing. Like… I can’t handle the thought of just skipping a monthly TBR post. THEY’RE SO MUCH FUN TO MAKE, DAMMIT! I think that’s what I’ll do. I’ll only make a “TBR” of the ARCs that I absolutely HAVE to read in May, and then the rest will be mood reading! (Well, and the buddy reads.)

      Understandable, lmao. I’m only BRing the first one to kick me into gear, but I doubt I will BR any of the others. I just have heard a lot of people say the first one was hard to trudge through since it was SJM’s first try at writing.

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  3. It’s really cool that you experiences all kinds of ways to pick books to read 🙂
    I’m 100% a TBR list reader, I love figuring out what I want to read each month and I usually have a lot of choices, so I never feel restricted! However, when I’ve completed the list, I usually pick up what I’m in the mood for 🙂
    I’ve never used a TBR jar and I don’t think I’m going to, especially as I do love to mix genres from time to time – a genre based jar however, would be a solution!

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    1. I can totally relate to that! I like including a bit of everything whenever I set up a TBR – unless my monthly challenge doesn’t allow me, but even then, haha.
      Genre based could definitely be a solution but.. it would probably be a lot of jars. 😛

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  4. I just read whatever I feel like reading at the time, which is most likely why I have a few unfinished series on my shelf XD I do wanna try setting a TBR…. maybe just so I could see whether or not I am capable of sticking to one, probably not T.T
    I might just have to try some of these, as a challenge XD Great post!

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    1. Trying them out is a good way to figure out if it helps you or just frustrates you, that’s for sure! 😛
      I can totally understand the sequel-thing though.. It’s why I have my Sequel September challenge. I’m hoping not to have seven or eight unfinished series by then like I did last year but time will tell. :’)

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  5. To be completely honest, I mostly mood read with no TBR at all… Or, in some cases, I set myself some maybe-guidelines and build up from there… Depends! Never tried a TBR jar though… Missed the January Jam Jar challenge 😭
    Great discussion post!

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  6. I stopped doing monthly TBRs since I realized I’m a mood reader. But I liked what you said here: “Going from fantasy to contemporary and back again is something I’ve been doing for months and it suits me perfectly.” I do this, too! For some reason, I thought I was weird to do that. I’m glad I can switch genres. I think I read more books that way. I might have a general idea for my next few reads when it’s multi-genre. Awesome post!

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    1. Haha, you’re not weird to do that at all! I’ve found myself struggling when I read multiple fantasies after one another, simply because there are different worlds and I tend to mix some details up otherwise. :’) Not to mention contemporary is mostly light and quick to read, whereas fantasy has the tendency of being a bit more heavy because of all the world-building. At least to me. 😀
      Thank you!!

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  7. What a cool post, Kathy! I’d never seen anyone use a TBR Jar and it does sound like a bit of hassle as you said. Like you, I like changing between genres a lot.

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    1. Thank you!
      I think it can be fun at times, but definitely not something I’d use all the time. I’m thinking of using a jar again when August comes around though. Since that’s ARC August and it won’t really matter what order I read those in – or so I hope because it’s still a possibility I’m completely drowning in them by then. :’)

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  8. I don’t have a monthly set tbr… usually just pick what i feel like from my existing books or buy something from my amazon wishlist when it’s time to pick a new book

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    1. Pressuring yourself to a set TBR is definitely not the way to go. I’ve been setting myself TBR’s for ages now, but I keep switching them up as the month progresses without feelings guilty about it. As long as I stick to my deadlines, I’m all good, haha.

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    1. I’ve only done a buddy read once or twice but I found it isn’t really my thing? Mostly because I read way faster and it frustrated me when I had to hold back and let them catch up first, haha.
      Giving the jar a shot is definitely worth it! Brilliant way to find out whether or not it’s something you’d like doing once in a while. I’ve thought about doing it again in August when it’s ARC August. 🙂

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  9. I love the idea of the jar! It would force me to read some books that have been on my shelf & tbr list for quite some time. Having said that, I have a long TBR list with some that I never get to. The reality is, I mood read. 😊 great post!!

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    1. That sounds like a good idea! I think I’d be like you. The novelty might wear off if I do it too frequently. Once a month sounds good 😜

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  10. I’ve done all three and I can say for certain that I am a mood reader. Also, a lot of family situations cropped up and all I wanted to do was re-read comfort books that I knew were going to help me through them. I also can’t be bothered feeling guilty about the books I’m not reading and want to read when the moment calls for something different. I have to listen to my heart when reading otherwise the enjoyment isn’t there. Saying that though, I have a mini tbr at the minute comprised of Traitor to the Throne and Hero at the Fall because Alwyn Hamilton is at the Northern YA Lit Fest I’m going to next week and I want to be fully aware of everything in these books beforehand – I’m a little behind!

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    1. I love how our books are pretty much a support system all of their own when we’re going through things!
      I know how you feel about that small TBR because of an author meet, haha. I want to go to one next month and I have yet to read.. pretty much all the books.. but I simply haven’t felt like it yet so that sucks. I hope I’ll get there, otherwise I’ll hide in shame and won’t even go to the meet. :’)
      Good luck to you!

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  11. I’m definitely a mood reader! I have a wide range of TBR that includes all genres and read whichever the mood I’m in relates to. If I find myself in a bit of a slump with no real mood for reading I’ll either get my partner to pick a book out for me that I will have no choice but to read or I will reread a book that I know I love (usually it’s Perks of Being a Wallflower). This usually gets me out of my slump and all imaginative and creative again!

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    1. I love TBR’s with different genres best! I can’t even imagine having a TBR with only one genre. It’d drive me nuts, I reckon, haha.
      I’ve ever let my boyfriend pick out my next read but I’m not sure I want to either. He’d probably give me a creepy King-book on purpose while I really want to be in the mood for those before I commit to having a bunch of sleepless nights, haha.
      If I’m in a reading slump, I just mood-do. Do whatever I feel like and eventually I’ll be back to feeling like reading. It’s worked every time so far so I’m sticking with it. 😛

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  12. I tend to go week by week. Check my schedule and see what blog tours I’m on as those are obviously a priority. Then when I have time to squeeze in something else, I’ll go to my own TBR. But that’s also where my problem is because I then seem to spend more time trying to decide what I’m going to read instead of actually reading. Which then usually leads to me just picking up another blog tour book. So in that respect, I actually quite like the idea of the TBR jar. I may have to try that out some time.

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    1. I honestly have done only one blog tour, as far as I remember. I don’t know, they just don’t look like my cup of tea?
      I can totally understand the hassle of finding a book you feel like reading though. I’m like that sometimes as well. I think the jar could really help on that part! 🙂

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    2. You’re not the only one who feels that way about blog tours. I think the biggest thing that puts people off is that you’re stuck to this deadline, when sometimes you’d rather be doing something else. I tend to pick tours for books I’d be reading at some point anyway so that helps.

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    3. That and I’ve seen so many bloggers pass by in FB groups where they are desperately searching for other people on the same tour because they still hadn’t received their media kit and stuff like that. I’m way too happy with scheduling my posts in advance and not bothering with things like that, haha.

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