Till the end of 2021, every month saw me making a TBR list. For the uninitiated, a TBR or To-Be-Read list is a list of all the books that one wants to read in a particular period of time. And I was a huge fan of making these lists, both for myself and for my channel. I used to get so excited at the prospect of making a new list every month. Fresh books that I could pick! New worlds of possibilities! Oh, the joys of making a TBR every month! It gave me joy and it gave me the views – a combination that is amazing for a creator!
But in the midst of all this, I didn’t realize that this very act of making a TBR and keeping up with it every month was straining the nerves out of me and causing me to panic. I was pressurizing myself to keep up with the list, the rules that I had made for myself. And there came a point where I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do it anymore. TBRs worked for me for a long time and I had fun doing them and trying to stick to them too. But it was draining the life out of me. It was time to stop.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t love TBRs. If you asked me to make one right now, I would gladly and excitedly do it. (I actually have to stop myself at the beginning of every month from making one.) Only, I wouldn’t try to stick to it because I know the effect it would have on me. I might, however, in the future, decide to go back to doing them. Who can tell? After all, there’s no one way of reading. You could do 10,000 different things and still call yourself a reader. That’s the beauty of it all. It just means that right now, at this point in my life, TBRs weren’t (and aren’t) something that I can keep up with.
So this got me thinking: Should we be making TBRs? Are they good or bad? How do we know which one it is?
I didn’t have to think for long before I concluded – yet again – that there’s nothing good or bad about making TBRs. It’s just about you doing what you want to do, what works for you, and what is good for you. Nobody else should be commenting on whether you should make TBRs because it works differently for everyone, even in the slightest of ways.
If TBRs work for you, if they are something that help you streamline your life, if they help you put your thoughts together, if they help you give yourself a goal that you work towards, if they help you be more productive, or if it’s just something that you love doing, then go ahead and make TBRs. That’s a decision that you yourself must make. Nobody else can make that for you. Nobody else can diss you if you decide to make TBRs. And if you decide that TBRs are not your thing, if you decide that TBRs stress you out or that making TBRs isn’t something you can roll with because you are someone who likes to pick books randomly and start reading them, then that’s also completely fine.
This brings me to the point where a creator dissed on Booktubers making TBR videos by saying that they were doing it for clout or that they were doing it for the views. But I say: so what? There are so many videos that we as Booktubers make just for the views. Because one part of being a video creator is that we want to get discovered. We want to share our love for books with more people. And if TBR videos give that to us, I don’t see the problem with it. It is nobody else’s problem except the person making the TBR.
I’d talked about this in a couple of videos, one of them a very recent Coffee Talk video. But TBRs give a lot of people structure to their reading. It used to give me a lot of structure until it morphed into a ball of stress. That doesn’t mean I love TBRs any less. That doesn’t mean that I will silently watch from the sidelines if someone deems it right to diss on creators making TBR videos. It just comes off as attention-seeking and condescending. And I can’t even say anything because they were successful in grabbing the attention they were looking for.
Oof. This is a natural consequence of talking about TBRs, honestly.
But please bear with me as I repeat myself:
If a TBR gives you value, DO IT.
If it gives you happiness, DO IT.
If it helps you in any way whatsoever, DO IT.
If you just want to do it, DO IT.
And if you decide that you don’t want to do a TBR because of whatever reason, that’s completely up to you.
There’s nothing good or bad about a TBR, unless you look at it personally. It’s subjective and all about how you find them. If they work, then post pictures, write blog posts, make videos, sprinkle them all over the Internet. Or if these aren’t your thing, make a checklist and tick the books off one by one. But if TBRs are not working for you, if they are stressing you out, if they are not giving you joy, then give them up. It is as simple as that. It is you who has got to decide if a TBR is a YAY or a NAY for you. In the end, you are reading. And that’s all that matters.
I’ve also spoken about TBRs in video format on my YouTube channel. If you’d also like to watch it, here’s the link: TBRs – Yay or Nay?
So… What did you think of this blog post? Did you like it? Did you not like it? What are your thoughts on TBRs? Do you make them every month? If yes, what’s on your TBR this month? If not, what are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you! 😊
I’ll see you in tomorrow’s Blogtober post.
Until next time, keep reading, and add melodrama to your life! 😊