Monday, 14 December 2015

TBR Failure: Spring Cleaning Reading and TBR Jar Wrap Up

At the beginning of September, I wrote a post entitled Spring Cleaning Reading.  The intention was to read a bunch of sequels and books I own but had not read over the spring time.  At the start of the year, I created a TBR Jar and wrote a post about it.  The intention with this, was to pick a book from the jar each month and read it.  (Almost) every month with my monthly wrap ups, I also include a TBR (to-be-read) for the next month.  The intention with that is to actually read the books that I list.  Now, let's get into why none of this is working for me.

These are all the books that were on my Spring TBR:

(Don't ask me why Killer Instinct isn't in line with the others, it's bugging me too)

Out of all 19 of these planned reading books, I read 3 in spring and one in the first week of summer.  Even then, I think the only reason I read Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows was that I was meeting the author in November.  Blue Lily, Lily Blue and The Titan's Curse were both spontaneous picks from library visits - not planned at all.  Am I still fooling myself into thinking that I'm going to get to the rest of these quickly?  (Yes).

I think the thing that puts this into more perspective is that I picked up 14 other books in this time.  I just can't plan what books I'm going to read because I just randomly choose books to get from the library - for example, I'm now waiting for These Shallow Graves and Every Last Word.  Both books that I had no true intention of reading this year, just some point in the future.  I think I read some good reviews somewhere?  It annoys me because I have so many books I own that I need to read, and sequels and I never do.

As for the TBR Jar...

I started the jar in January and, as mentioned at the start of the post, I intended to pick a book out each month to read.  I kept the little slips of paper on which I wrote the books down, and turns out I have read 7 books from my TBR Jar this year.  So at least I stuck with it for over half a year, you might by thinking.  The problem is, I didn't actually pick any of them out of the jar.  I just randomly decided to read those books and then every few months I checked my jar and took out any books that I'd read.  That's not how it was supposed to work!  I didn't even read the first of these books until May!  To prove my point, here's the books I read and what months I read them in:

Cinder - May
Clockwork Angel Manga - May
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief - June
The Dream Thieves - July
Wonder - July
Unwind - July
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - August

So you can see, I read all of them over 4 months, not 12.

What does this mean for the future?

From now on, the only books I'll be putting in my monthly TBRs are books that I know I already have on hold at the library.  I'm giving up on special TBR posts, and my TBR Jar...
I'm going to fill it to the brim with books I intend to read so that every month I should be able to take out pieces of paper by default.  Is this cheating?  Maaaybe.  But, is it still going to make me feel like I've accomplished something?  Absolutely!

What's your history with to-be-read lists?  Have you ever failed as bad as I clearly have?


  1. Honestly: I am seriously terrible with sequels. I DO read them eventually... it just takes me some time, and by the time I can get around to it, well, I've already forgotten what's happened in the first/previous book.

    1. I know exactly what you mean with that. Thankfully I've discovered !
      I never used to be bad at reading sequels - usually after finishing the first book in a series I would put the next one on hold from the library immediately, but somewhere along the line I just stopped doing that.
      That's me right now with the Messenger of Fear series - but that's hardly my fault, it's only because there was a year between the publications!

  2. I have failed with TBRs in the past as clearly as you did, even more so because you at least got to read some of the stuff within the list. I'm pretty bad with TBRs because I never stick to them. I want to, I really do but when I see a pile of books that I'm forcing upon myself each month it doesn't matter whether I want to read them; I just never do. The TBR jar though worked for me a bit better back when I used it. As you did, I picked up one each month and since it is a "surprise" it didn't feel that mandatory. My problem? I buy too much and I'm very disorganised which means I never updated the jar. YAY for us!!!

    1. Hmm so it's almost like you're stopping yourself from reading those books, rather than encouraging yourself! I'm glad that you managed to make the TBR Jar work for you though, even if it was just for a little while :)

  3. I've never done a TBR jar or list. XD I actually don't have an overwhelming amount of unread books. I mean right NOW I do, hehehe, but that's because I absolutely went wild at the library and then won an enormous (and unexpected) stack of books WHICH I'M REALLY HAPPY ABOUT. XD But yeah! I don't like the whole idea of picking something random. :P I like to plan what I'm going to read. And I read a lot of things according to release dates and just what I feel like and stuff. I prefer freedom. No TBR jar for me. XD
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. I don't really have that many that I own either, but I do have a long library list too haha. You're very lucky to have won all those books! Congratulations :D
      Well then the lack of TBR jar and list makes a lot of sense! I suppose planning what you read would be ideal for a book blogger - I wish I could do it!

  4. This is such a great idea! I've never tried using a TBR jar, but it sounds like such a great way to keep everything organized and read. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! ♥

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    1. Haha the key words being "sounds like"! It definitely depends on the person whether this will work or not.
      Thanks for stopping by :)


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