Discussion: TBR vs. TBR JAR vs. MOOD READING


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.


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.


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?


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!



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

  1. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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. :’)


  2. 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

    Liked by 1 person

    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.


    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. 🙂


  3. 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!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

    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!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

    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. 😛


  6. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

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