Friends, this title is not clickbait. It’s true. I have 173 books currently on my Goodreads TBR and, although I sometimes jokingly complain that my TBR is too long, I actually quite like it that way.
Before I’m excommunicated from the book community for such a brazen statement, hear me out. Yes, sometimes I wish my TBR was smaller (when it’s ready to fall off my bedside table and when there are five new books released in one day that I want to read), but most of the time I’m happy that it’s huge and unwieldy, and there are a few reasons for that.
Having a towering TBR gives me motivation to read more books and read slightly faster, so I can get to other novels I want to pick up. I’m a medium-to-slow reader so having lots of book on a waiting list gives me the drive to get through a book that bit faster (without rushing), so I can move on to the next. If I only had one or two books on my TBR I know I’d be less motivated to pick them up because my goals would be smaller and therefore more easy to achieve. Having a bigger TBR reminds me that there are several libraries’ worth of books I want to read and that I need to get going.
Diversifying my reading
Part of the reason my TBR is so big is that I’m trying to read more diverse and own voices books. Reading the same types of novels with straight, white main characters, written by straight, white (and often male) authors gets boring and repetitive after a while. I want to read about characters from different cultures, religions, and countries. I want to read about characters with different sexual orientations. Characters who identify as non-binary or genderfluid. Characters with disabilities. Characters with mental health problems. I want to read stories that represent the vibrancy and diversity of our global population. So, as more diverse books continue to be published, I’ll continue adding them to my TBR, making it even bigger in the best way.
Reminders for the future
My TBR acts as a reminder of all the books I want to get to. I use my Goodreads TBR as a digital list of all the books I want to pick up in the next few years, and my physical TBR as the books I plan to read in the coming weeks. Having a big list on Goodreads is useful when I’m browsing bookstores with the intention of buying a books, but can’t remember exactly what I want to read next, as I can just look through my TBR and choose something I fancy.
Avoiding reading slumps
I find that having a lot of books I want to pick up helps me avoid falling into a reading slump. If a book leaves me feeling a bit ‘suspended’ in its world after I finish it, then I have a huge list of others that I can dive into. Likewise, if I’m halfway through a book and I’m not loving it, I can pick up another and read them simultaneously until I finish the sub-par one. And if there’s a lot of books on my TBR, then I can do this as many times as I need to and there’s plenty of choices from which to pick.
Despite my complaints that ‘I have too many books to get to’, I do enjoy having a big TBR. It helps me stay motivated to keep picking up new, diverse books as much as I can. It’s not for everyone, but it works for me, and I’ll happily keep adding more books to it as I find out about new releases.
Do you prefer a small or a big TBR? Do you have a method for organising your TBR and do you find this helps you stay on top of your reading goals?