Why I don’t have a physical or virtual TBR

Before we start, let me apologise if you find this post to be book blasphemy. Secondly, let me say, yes, you read that right, I don’t have a physical or virtual TBR.

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Yep. No Goodreads and no shelf of unread books at home. The closest have to a TBR is a pile of about four books in my bedroom, that I plan on reading sometime in my life (probably when I retire…at present I am 20 years old). Books like Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela and Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. That sort of thing. And that’s it.

So what exactly am I talking about when I reference my TBR (e.g. it got kicked down my TBR, I need to shove that up my TBR…)? Basically, I try and take a mental note of any books I spot that I want to read. Yeah, that’s my TBR.

How do I  remember all of the books I spot that I want to read? Simple answer is…I don’t. And you know what? I am incredibly breezy about this. Like, I am not a hugely breezy person, but it just doesn’t seem to bother me. I feel like if I am that hugely fussed about reading a book right now I will remember it. If I forget it, ok, it’s just another book I might never get around to reading (I made peace a long time ago with the fact that I will never read all of the books I want to). And you never know, I might spot it again soon when I fancy reading it and remember that it is technically on my virtual TBR.

Ok, after that lovely little confession, I feel like I should explain why I don’t have a TBR.

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1. I am a mega mood reader. Like huge. I cannot get myself to read a book I do not want to read (as a quick aside, this an incredibly annoying trait to have studying English Literature in uni with modules where I have to read a novel a week!). And ‘by not want to read’, I mean ‘I do not fancy reading this book at this exact moment in my life’. Even if I have been wanting to read a particular book for years, if I do not want to read it at this specific time, I just can’t do it. So basically, for me personally, there is no point having a TBR because I largely ignore it!

2. Stubbornness. This is an awful point but as I am making confessions, I may as well come out and reveal all. If I have put a book aside to read it later, I just won’t. It’s the same principle as being told to do something by someone and suddenly not wanting to do it. I know, I know, I’m biting off my nose to spite my face, but we all have flaws don’t we?

3. Feeling Overwhelmed. So I do get overwhelmed quite easily. Bright lights, loud noises, and a huge TBR. I actually can’t deal. It just makes me stressed. Honestly, I used to have a really massive physical TBR. One shelf of my bookcase was dedicated to books I hadn’t read, and I had a big cardboard box that I lugged to and from uni in my first year full of them. In the end, it just got too much, so I gave all of them away to my nearest charity shop. I am, of course, of the mind that you can never have too many books, but they were just getting on top of me. At that particular time in my life, when I was stressed about uni and everything else too, for my own sanity, I just needed to cut them out!

4. Feeling Bad. With regards to my previous, large TBR (and my stubbornness), every time I used to choose a new book, I ignored my TBR and just picked something else. This led to a lot of feeling bad, and at times guilty on my part. Logically, I used to tell myself I had no reason to feel guilty, but, you can’t help what you’re feeling right? In the end, I decided that reading was a hobby that I loved, and something that was meant to bring me joy. The TBR was taking that away from me, so again, I had to get rid of it.

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I made the decision to get rid of my physical TBR in 2015/16 and since then, I have enjoyed reading much more. I mean, I’m loving it so much, I decided to start a book blog this year! I think if it hadn’t made such a change, I might have started another TBR either physical or virtual, but at the moment, I don’t feel like I need or want to.

So now, when I have finished one book, I pick another off the bat and read that next. Sometimes it is one that has been on my ‘mental TBR’ for a while (at the moment Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda has been floating around). Sometimes, I pop on to a few book blogs and if there are a few good reviews of a certain book I go out and get that. Sometimes, it is a case of going on Amazon and looking at the ‘frequently bought together’ section of a book I have recently enjoyed.

So, there we have it, I have made some confessions, and given some reasons as to why I do not have a physical or virtual TBR. But, I would love your input on TBRs. Do you have one? What kind? How many books do you have on it? What are your reasons for having a TBR? Would you consider not having one? And anything else you want to share about TBRs, please feel free! 

As always, happy reading!


21 thoughts on “Why I don’t have a physical or virtual TBR

  1. Hi! This post was interesting! I’m a big mood reader, too, but I love to have TBRs. My Goodreads TBR it’s more a wish list than a proper TBR and I’ve just changed home so I brought with me only the books that I have yet to read (And now I know I have a problem, because I have tons of them!), but I love to write TBRs from time to time, sometimes I follow them, sometimes not, but I have so much fun to organize them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! It’s really interesting that you took only books you haven’t read with you because when I’m living in university, I fill my shelves with books that I have read and loved (usually hundreds of times!) before! Maybe I would be more into TBR’s if I approached it more like you, but hard as I try, I just am not an organised person so I always end up in a mess! I’m really glad TBR’s work for you, though, and thank you so much for sharing!! 🙂


  2. haha wow I actually really respect this decision. Personally if I was more breezy about this, I reckon things would be easier for me, cos I’m a mood reader anyway, so I end up ignoring the tbr a lot anyway. And yes tbrs can make me feel really overwhelmed too. Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to choose because I do not have a lot of room for books, and the idea to left behind unread books was so sad (and I couldn’t choose between them, it would have been a too cruel thing to ask!) 🙂
      Thanks to you, it’s interesting to compare TBR’s experiences 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. wow, i totally understand your reasons and it totally makes sense, but i could never do that. for one, i love collecting books. i love how they look on the shelves and it makes me happy to have them, even if i haven’t read them yet. but i get, why you got rid of your tbr because it can get very overwhelming! i am glad, that it works out for you. i could never have the strength hahaha 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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