The Meaning of TBR


As per usual, I added a few books to my TBR list on Goodreads. What is this list of books that seemingly keeps growing day by day? It’s not like a To Do List where most of the items must be accomplished. If you don’t finish the items on a to do list, there’re usually inconvenient consequences.

What does it mean to put something on a TBR?


I get truly excited every time I push that Want to Read button because I anticipate that I’ll enjoy every book on my list. I feel the same way about books as others feel about going to see a movie. Sometimes, I just want to read a popular book so I feel like I’m in the know.  When I fall in love with an author’s writing, I instinctively want to read every book they write. Other times, I fall in love with titles, book covers, book blurbs, or book reviews.


Instinctually I want to push that Want To Read button. I try and control my impulse to add too many books to my TBR. Let’s face it, even for the fastest of readers (which I’m not) there is a limit to the number of books that a person can consume in a lifetime. Also, my book budget isn’t bottomless.


The rational side of my brain knows that the reality is that I will never be able to read every book on my TBR even though my heart burns to read them all. On the good side, a large TBR means I’ll never be left without any suggestions for what to read next.

Should there be a difference between a Must Read list and a TBR?

As a book reviewer, I keep a running spreadsheet of the books I plan to read for the upcoming months.  This list is what I whittle down as my Must Read list.  I tend to accept a predetermined number of books from indie authors and a limited number of books from promoters and publishers.  I purposely leave openings in my list for last minute books that I absolutely Must Read. Also, as one of my reading goals for the year was to read books outside my usual romance genre, I try to leave the occasional space for one these types. When I get ahead of schedule, I pick a book from my TBR.


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