On having destroyed my TBR

(this baby was the very last book in my TBR)

Hello, beautiful people!

As you might have seen on social media, I recently destroyed my TBR (to be read) pile once and for all. Wait, what? I know that most people in the book community have TBRs, so I thought I would talk a bit about destroying my TBR and what it means for my reading life again. It might have looked like a weird decision for some people, as it means that *gasp* I don’t have a single book to read anymore, so there we go.



WHY DID I DECIDE TO DESTROY MY TBR ONCE AND FOR ALL?

Like some readers, when I was much younger, I didn’t have a TBR. My parents either bought books for me, or I’d borrow anything interesting the library had, read the book straight away, then repeated the process over and over again. Then, as a teenager, I started watching BookTube videos, before joining Tumblr, where it was all about the popular fandoms, such as The Mortal InstrumentsThe Hunger GamesVampire Academy and so on. Thanks to all of this, I learnt about so many books and kept making lists of all of those I wanted to read (that was my pre-Goodreads days). 

Discovering the online book community sure changed my life on many levels, and with that came the beginning of having a TBR. It was so reassuring to know that I would always have a book I could pick up next and knew I wouldn’t run out of them, especially as I was reading in English more and more, while living in France (meaning I had to buy everything online). I have never been one to have a huge TBR though; from memory, my TBR never exceeded twenty-one books. Well, the fact that I mostly read on my ereader also helped tremendously with that… That, and not being able to afford buying physical copies that often.

And then, came 2017. Last year, I joined bookstagram, started buying way too many books because there were so many books I wanted to read and own*, but after a few months… My reading tastes changed a lot, to say the least. Well, there was something else… I didn’t really want to have a TBR anymore. Of course, it was nice to have many books to have to pick up from, but some of them were staying there so long that my excitement for them was lessening, and I didn’t want that to happen. Back then, I still had twenty-one books in my TBR and spent last summer getting through them, until I only had three of them left. Ahem. After that, I went to London twice and bought a lot of new books, most of them classics, because that’s all I wanted to read. But ever since that happened, I have managed my TBR really well and it only went beyond ten books after Christmas and my birthday, because I asked for books. So you see, I still had a manageable TBR, it wasn’t stressing me out or anything.

*I am absolutely not blaming bookstagram for this, of course, just the fact that I, Lucie, bought way too many books and it wasn’t the wisest decision. I just was attracted by shiny new books, please don’t judge me.

But for a while… I had been thinking how much I missed not having a TBR. How I missed going to the bookstore, picking a book up and reading it straight away. Like I was saying before, I stopped doing that because I was reading in English and there weren’t any English bookstores nearby. But it’s not true anymore, for I have moved to Paris since then, my favourite bookstore sells English books for a reasonable price and they have so many books I genuinely want to read (thank you very much, changes in reading tastes). That’s how I came to read all the books I had left in my TBR this summer, destroying my TBR once and for all in August.



How do I feel about not having a TBR, right now? I am the happiest. Now, I just go on Goodreads, browse my to-read shelf, looks at what I’m most excited about, get it, read it and start all over again. This is all I wanted, after all.

AND SO NOW… WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?

For now, I do not want a TBR anymore. I want to have the freedom to pick one book after another for a while. Like I was mentioning before, I can’t afford to buy physical books that often, but I have my e-reader, which is a way cheaper solution. My book buying habits have changed very much: I’d rather buy really long books, classics and non-fiction, because that’s what takes me the longest to get through, so it’s more encouraging to own them as physical copies (maybe it doesn’t make sense, but for me it does). The rest, I pretty much get as e-books already, except for when they’re written by my favourite authors.

I’m also very excited to go back to the library soon. We have so many of them in Paris and you can even find books in English, if you know where to look for. I also get my free fix of audiobooks thanks to libraries, so they’re pretty much perfect. I’m also going to start borrowing more books from loved ones. I am so eager to read Robin Hobb’s books and my boyfriend owns the beginning of the series (for now), so I’ll have those! I have also mentioned recently that historical fiction might be my favourite genre again and it’s my mom’s as well, so I’ll be able to borrow so many of her books*. It does mean reading a bit more in French once again, which isn’t a bad thing at all. I know that destroying my TBR is also linked to what my reading tastes are like now, there are so many books I want to discover and I will do so, one at a time.

*by the way, she finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and adored it! I’m so happy we can share books we love like this again, I had missed it a lot.

However, it does not mean that I’m swearing off TBRs for ever. I have some exceptions to my absence of TBR wants, such as month-long readathons. In October, I’ll be participating in #Victober like last year, so I’ll get five books for my TBR, but they’ll all be read by the end of it. The same thing will probably happen for #NonFictionNovember. I love making TBR lists for these types of challenges and I still want to do that, so I’ll get all the books at the same time, it will be simpler. We’re also talking about a tiny TBR that will be read very quickly, so it’s not really the same as having a TBR of twenty books and I’ll be back to not having a TBR in no time.

Anyhow, like I’ve mentioned before, I am so happy I do not have a TBR anymore, as I’ve wanted it for quite a while. I know that most people here in the bookish community have TBRs and I think that it’s great, we’re all different, we all enjoy different things and that’s just my opinion on the whole topic. I think that TBRs are amazing, they just aren’t for me, at the moment.

What do you think about TBRs? Would you rather have a big or a small TBR? Have you recently been without one? 

Lots of love,
Lucie

4 thoughts on “On having destroyed my TBR

  1. Honestly, I'm the same. I hate TBRs! I feel so pressured to get around to them – and half of the time, when I look at those books, I kinda think to myself \”why is this even on my TBR anyway??\” Nowadays, if I want to read a book, I just buy it and read it ASAP (usually finishing it within a day or two haha)

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  2. I'm so glad I'm not the only one feeling that way, most people LOVE TBRs so much! It's true that owning books you won't read for a very long time, slowly losing interest is quite sad (and it means that I bought the book for \”nothing\” *cries*), we change so much as a person and as a reader all the time, so I'd rather get to eerything straight away as well!PS: WELCOME BAAAAACK!!!!!!

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