Discussion: How much do you plan your reading?

I used to be the kind of person who finished a book, then looked around my room to figure out what I was going to read next. Maybe I would find something, maybe I wouldn’t. Maybe I would have to wait a few days until I went to the bookstore before I even started another book. *laughs* Obviously being a book blogger changed THAT.

I know some bloggers make really detailed tbr lists each month, scheduling what books need to be read in what order. Others have so many unread books sitting in their house that they make NO plans, just mood read to the extreme. For those of us who use the library and depend on inter-library-loan, we have to plan at least one book ahead because it takes time for our books to get to us.

These days I more or less plan a monthly tbr. If you’ve been following me for very long you probably know about my genre rotation schedule, and typically I plan all the books in a rotation together. Since I’m using more than one library and ILL, I find it helpful to order all necessary books off my list at the same time. Then I read them in the order they arrive in, or if they all come in at once I just read whatever I feel like first.

What about YOU? How far ahead do you plan your tbr? Let me know in the comments!

41 thoughts on “Discussion: How much do you plan your reading?

  1. Hmmmm. I’ve been reading four influencer book clubs, so my goal is to finish all my other reading by the last day of the month so I can prep for these picks. To add, I always have a light read going, because I need light and easy before bed. To choose this light read I go through my TBR to see what really speaks to me at that time. I belong to two irl book clubs, (one meets monthly and one meets 5x a year) so these get added. To round out (my goal is to read 8 books a month) I literally pick the next book on my TBR list.

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    1. To some extent I *can’t* mood read with library books, because a lot of the time the book I really want to read is checked out or I have to get it from ILL. It’s amazing how the library has changed my relationship with mood reading.

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  2. I don’t tend to plan what I read. If anything, I’ll do seasonal TBR’s as I feel that allows for more freedom. I feel like 2020 was the year that I fully relied on mood reading as most of the time I felt like I needed to read books that would comfort whatever emotion I was feeling that day 🙂 good luck with your 2021 reading!

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    1. Thanks, you too! I also did a lot of mood reading in 2020, mostly regarding re-reads. That was easier because they were right there on my bookshelf, and I didn’t have to wait to get them from the library/store/online.

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    1. Am I the only book blogger who *doesn’t* have a massive tbr piling on the shelves? lol. That’s a big part of why I don’t mood read so much, I don’t really have a physical tbr, I get nearly everything from the library.

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  3. I used to be a major mood reader too, but I sort of trained myself out of it and learned to stick to monthly TBRs 😂 I do have an overall TBR for the year, but I’ll just pull from the last as I make my monthly lists. I still struggle to decide which book from my TBR I want to pick up, but it’s a lot less stressful than having my entire collection to choose from 😂

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    1. Oh my gosh, I feel that! I’m a libra, so deciding what to put on my monthly tbr is SUCH a difficult decision! I like the monthly tbr as opposed to choosing one book at a time, though, because I only have to go through the agony of choosing once. 😂

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  4. I like to loosely plan 2-4 weeks in advance, but I do have enough unread books around that I can change my schedule pretty easily. Often fomo is driving my reading- if I see a great review for an unread book on my shelf or something the library has in, I’ll abandon other plans to pick it up. I only ever know *for sure* what my very next read will be, after that anything could happen! The exception is that I will ALWAYS read my library books, I feel bad returning anything unread.

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      1. That’s exactly it, for me too! Every time I feel obligated to read and return before the due date so that the book isn’t missing an opportunity to be read elsewhere. The thought of a library book sitting unread in my house for weeks while someone else is looking for it is an unhappy one, even though the system does allow it.

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  5. I actually used to plan my TBR to a T and could do it pretty well. But after 2020, I became a huge mood reader and I just can’t do that quite anymore. I can normally plan it week by week since my moods don’t drastically change so quickly, but it just depends.

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  6. Despite usually setting up a monthly tbr, I keep it short so that I can also read whatever I’m in the mood for throughout the month. I also have some books that I’d like to read during the year, but I don’t set any specific dates to accomplish that. So it’s a bit of planning and a bit of going with the flow and seeing what happens 👀

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    1. Last year I want absolutely BANANAS and made a really detailed list of every book that I had to FINALLY READ in 2020 because I was tired of putting off books I was really excited about. The list was seriously like 30 books long and took me five months to read. I don’t know why your comment made me think of that, but it did.

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  7. I don’t really plan TBR, but for Christmas I got 22 books, NGL, so I read my two most highly anticipated books, then I’m starting the two library books I just *had* to get because there’s no way I’ll ever be going out the library empty-handed. But most of the time, I look for some school library books or use a gift card to a bookstore. 🙂

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  8. Interesting discussion! Seasonal TBR’s don’t work for me, I’m probably more of a mood reader. But I do try to plan ahead 2-3 books. I like a change in the genres, length and topics of my books. Whenever I borrow books from the library, I try to prioritize these, so at times I don’t tend to read a lot from my shelves. So for these books, I’ve made a year TBR hoping it will help me prioritize.

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    1. I previously would also plan ahead about two books, just enough time for ILL to get them to me. But I found that making a genre-rotation list helped me to get a better variety, so I started going a full five. 🙂

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