Hello, lovely readers – it feels as if I’ve been very absent on this blog, and on Twitter the past couple of weeks. That is because, due to my outstanding organisation skills, all of my holiday work was left until the very last minute (and I am now back at school, starting A Levels. But more on that in another post, maybe?). But now I’m back, writing another discussion post!
I’ve been thinking recently about reading slumps, and how having a TBR for each month may help prevent one. I know that, for me, a reading slump can often be brought on by not knowing what to read next – that is, what I feel like reading, what I should be reading, and so on. There’s too much choice, and that makes it feel like there is no choice at all. Therefore, by having a TBR every month, you can decide beforehand and then continue on from there. I also think that, if you set yourself a goal, you may strive harder to read the books you have set out to read, especially if you’ve blogged about it at the start of the month.
On the other hand, you may decide that you really don’t feel like reading a book on your monthly TBR, which could maybe lead to you not reading at all! If you’re struggling to read them all, wouldn’t that be stressful, and at the end of the month, kind of demoralising?
Researching for an upcoming blog post – do you set yourself a monthly TBR? If so, please let me know why/how!
— Bex (@MyShelfMyself) September 3, 2017
For this discussion I turned to Twitter to see what other people thought, and in fact most people do not make a monthly TBR. However, lots of people also said that they would like to. Quite a number of people described themselves as ‘mood readers’ (thanks to Andrew, Susie, Samantha and Helen for teaching me this phrase), so prefer to decide what to read as they go along; Justine and Rachael also said that they wouldn’t stick to a TBR, which I think is true for so many people. Of the people who voted ‘yes’, Lia and Rachel also replied saying that they usually prioritise ARCs; Charlotte also left a wonderfully long reply, explaining how giving herself a few books every month helps her stay on top of her reviews, as well as showing her if she’s in the mood for another genre! Of all my feedback, Kate seemed to set the longest TBR, between five and eight books (which is super organised, honestly), and I really thought Jenn and Emily had really good points – Jenn explained that setting a TBR means she doesn’t have to think about what to read next, whilst Emily said it makes her feel accomplished to complete a TBR! I had so many responses to this question, and it was so interesting to hear people’s responses.
Personally, I think that having a bit of structure will be good for me. Just not so much that it would stress me out. So I have decided that each month, I am going to aim to read between one and three classics, the exact number depending on the length of the book. For my YA reading, I will change my reading goals month by month. I’ll either choose a theme (for example, I plan to spend a month at some point rereading Harry Potter, and another working through my pile of proofs from YALC), or I’ll create a small TBR. This will hopefully not take the whole month, and then I have a bit of flexibility if there’s something I want to read on a whim!
On that note, this month I have chosen three books that I have been desperate to read for so long, and finally will make time for: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (at last! I know, I’m not ready), The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. In terms of classics, I plan to read Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and one other classic, which I will decide upon during the course of September. I haven’t actually finished a book yet this month, so hopefully I’ll be able to get through all of these!