Why I Won’t Be Posting Monthly ‘TBRs’ and ‘Wrap Ups’

Hello, my name is Judith! Welcome to my blog, ReadandReview.

I won’t be posting monthly ‘TBR’ posts or ‘wrap ups’.

This is rather ironic, as at the start of the month, I posted a blog post which included both a ‘wrap up’ and a mention of my 2020 ‘TBR’.

Let me explain myself.


Firstly, the reason why I have used quotation marks around these phrases to begin with is because, on the whole, I don’t gravitate towards them. I’ve tried in the past to use them, and they’ve never felt right to me. For example, using the word ‘haul’ to describe the act of buying a book. How many books does one need to buy before it qualifies as a ‘haul’? 2? 3? 10? Other examples of this book blogger language include acronyms like ‘TBR’ (to be read), ‘DNF’ (did not finish) and ‘ARC’ (advance reader copy) to describe books, and the phrase ‘wrap up’ to summarise the books one has read. Whilst plenty of bloggers and YouTubers use this language regularly and enjoy it (which is fine), unfortunately, it just doesn’t appeal to me and so I won’t really be using this kind of language; it would be a bit disingenuous for me to start writing blog posts full of these words and phrases.

Secondly, I struggle to see this kind of content as anything other than repetitive. In a single month, a reader may talk about the same books over and over again!

This is the pattern I have observed:

  • Each month, there is usually a ‘haul’ which lists the books purchased, their plot summaries, and the reasons the reader bought them.
  • This is followed by a ‘TBR’ which lists the books the reader plans to read over the month. This ‘TBR’ tends to include new books which have been recently featured in ‘hauls’. The books’ plot summaries are given again, as well as the reader’s reasons for adding it to their ‘TBR’. Their reasons for adding it to their monthly ‘TBR’ may be suspiciously similar to their reasons for purchasing it in the first place: they wanted to read it.
  • Then, there are the book reviews, which include a description of the plot as as well as a detailed explanation of the reader’s own opinions – what they liked, what they didn’t, and whether they regret ‘hauling’ it or adding it to their ‘TBR’.
  • Finally, there is a monthly ‘wrap up’. This summarises the books the reader has ‘hauled’, added to their ‘TBR’, read, and reviewed over the month. This ‘wrap up’ may also contain plot summaries, mini-reviews, and so on.

To me, this is repeating the same content 3 or 4 times every month, and I just can’t see the appeal. If you love these types of blog posts or videos, please leave a comment and tell me why – you might change my mind!

Thirdly, and finally, I won’t be posting monthly ‘TBR’ posts or ‘wrap ups’ because I don’t plan my reading. Admittedly, this shifts somewhat when I accept an author’s book for review but, largely, I don’t plan the books I’m going to read every month – and I couldn’t. The books I choose to read simply depend on what I’m in the mood for. I would be atrocious at producing ‘TBR’ content because the minute I plan to read a particular book, my brain will want to do anything but read it. This is exactly why, in my 2019 Wrap Up, I didn’t commit to what I was going to read next.

However, how can I express a dislike for this kind of content when, at the start of the year, I wrote a blog post that included both a ‘wrap up’ and a ‘TBR’?

Well, I feel much more comfortable with the idea of a yearly ‘wrap up’ than monthly ones. This blog post contained a brief overview of the 100+ books I read last year and for me, this was a much better and easier way of summarising the books I’ve read over a long period of time, rather than discussing my reading progress every 4 weeks or so. Writing a yearly ‘wrap up’ helped me feel like I wasn’t repeating myself and, given my opinions on ‘TBRs’ and ‘wrap ups’ in general, also helped me feel a little less hypocritical.


Thank you for reading my blog post! Please click ‘Like’ to support my blog, and ‘Follow’ this blog if you would like to read more content like this, as well as plenty of book reviews.

Do you love or loathe ‘hauls’, ‘TBR’ lists, and ‘wrap ups’? Why / why not?

– Judith


This post was last updated in January 2020.

27 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Be Posting Monthly ‘TBRs’ and ‘Wrap Ups’

  1. I also don’t like to post monthly TBR because, I don’t stick to it. I have tried several times and failed to read every single book I mention in the list. Reading is for me a pleasure ride and not a task to take care of. So, I might write about what I would like to read, but, not TBR posts. They simply put me off.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whatever works for you! I do TBRs, but I always make them much larger than I could possibly read, and then choose a few from them when I feel like a particular book – it’s just a list of options for me. If it isn’t your cup of tea then fair enough! (But ARCs isn’t blogger slang – that’s literally what they’re called throughout publishing)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s good that you don’t feel pressured or constrained by your ‘TBR’ list, then!

      Yes, I know ARC is an acronym of advance reader copy and publishers do use that phrase.

      When I first started reading book blogs and posting myself, though, I found every blogger would use all these acronyms and never explain what they meant – it was assumed everybody already knew what they were talking about. I didn’t, and this made me feel quite isolated (and a bit stupid) to read blog after blog that ‘hauled’ ARCs, added them to their TBR, but then ended up DNF-ing them. I clearly wasn’t a “proper blogger” when I had no idea what they were talking about!

      I don’t have anything against the phrases themselves; I just don’t really gravitate towards the acronyms (because of my experiences, I suppose) and I’d just rather use the full phrase rather than the acronym.

      Thanks for your comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s very fair – I’m sorry you had a bad experience when you started! All I meant was it’s not really in the same clique-y made up acronym group as TBR or DNF where there is a full phrase that people could use, I’ve literally never seen any publisher or anyone talk about them with the full phrase except in specific ‘explaining what it is’ contexts – you could say exactly the same about not understanding what a ‘proof’ is without context; it’s not down to it being an acronym/meme in the same way, it’s just a technical term of the industry. I hope you feel more like you’ve found your groove in blogging now though!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I can see where you’re coming from. And yes, I’ve definitely grown more comfortable in the book blogging community now, although I try to keep my posts and language as easy to understand as possible, just in case I have other readers who, like me, don’t quite “get” the terminology!

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  3. I feel the same way about TBR lists. Sometimes I have a goal to read one or two specific books during the month, but overall my reading varies greatly depending on my mood. Whenever I try to fit into this TBR trend, I just make myself feel guilty for not completing it! So I ignore doing a TBR and just let my mood influence the books I pick up, with no added pressure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t plan my reading. Sort of takes the fun out of it. But I’m not really an ARC guy – one who jumps on the new releases. It’s obvious that this way has more relevance in terms of blog readers because they want reviews of the latest books but I tried that and I realised I was ignoring a ton of books that were already out there. So I mix it up and I have put my trust in a sort of Wheel of Fortune app that I’ve adapted for book genres. I finish a book then spin the wheel for my next one, whether that’s a classic, an ARC, a fantasy book or whatever. It keeps me reading widely and I also enjoy the anticipation – ‘what am I getting this time?’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! I do not mind knowing what other people are reading and what they’ve read (I’m a bit nosey lol) so I enjoy reading these posts, but I am never able to stick to my TBRs when I read, so I don’t post them anymore. I still post the wrap-ups at the end of each month though, but I feel that it becomes repetitive.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a really interesting take on typical book blog posts! I feel the same about hauls (what if you don’t buy a bunch of books every month? Are you a bad reader?!).But I’ve just started blogging, and I’m going to do the TBR and wrap-up posts to keep myself accountable for reading – I’ve been in a bad habit of lazing out of reading the things I want to read, and I’m hoping those type of blogs might give me some structure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment! I agree, I really don’t buy books regularly enough to do weekly, monthly, or even six-monthly book hauls!

      I try to focus on reading what I already own, or I use the library. Buying books is a “treat” for me.

      Although I don’t write this kind of content myself, I’m really interested in the different responses this blog post has generated, and finding out reasons why other bloggers might choose to do ‘TBR’ or ‘wrap up’ content themselves!

      Like

      • I typically ask for books for Christmas and birthdays – I don’t know if that even counts as a haul, haha!

        Libraries are absolutely underrated. I’ve been seeing a lot of library books on TBR posts on Instagram, and I love it!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Same here! I don’t know what the rules are 😅

          I’ve seen some bloggers posting “library hauls” which I think are a nice way of promoting library use whilst still also being able to “haul” or “show off” books they’ve obtained. It’s also less driven by consumerism than a typical “haul”, as the books are only on loan temporarily.

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          • Agree with you on consumerism! Library hauls celebrate the actual reading of a book, not just the capitalism of it. I find myself so much more careful with books I buy vs books I rent as I get old, haha. I also think it’s a great way to ensure the author still receives royalties – every time I read about the stats of illegal PDF book downloads, my heart shrivels a little!

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post! I definitely see your points, especially about it becoming repetitive with the same content/books at times.I don’t usually post/create TBRs on my blog, because there’s a high chance I won’t read the books or I read very few of the ones I actually mention. I’m more of a mood reader. Once in awhile I’ll do it though, especially if I have a lot of ARCs I need to read and know what I’ll definitely read. As for wrap ups, I do like writing wrap up posts. I don’t review every single book I read throughout the month, so I like doing the wrap ups to write a little bit about the ones I read since I don’t always do full reviews on the books I read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes to mood reading! 😅

      That’s interesting about ‘wrap ups’ – I don’t review every book I read in a month either, I like to keep some books separate from my blogging so that not all my reading feels like “work” or “preparation” for blog posts.

      I’m open to the idea of a ‘wrap up’ over a longer period of time, though. Like I said, I’d posted a 2019 one, and I may write one in 2020 too – we’ll see!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post! I was so intrigued that you wrote something questioning the standards of the blogging world! I’m new to book blogging, but personally I also don’t see the appeal of doing hauls. Like you, I’m not sure what number constitutes a haul, and what else to say other than the fact that, well, I bought them.

    As for TBRs, I find reading about how a person came to add that book on their TBR interesting. Who recommended it? How did they stumble on it? What specifically interested them about it? But, personally, I don’t think I’d be doing a TBR myself. We’ll see.

    As for wrap-ups, I see the appeal. I don’t always get to see all the blogger’s past posts, and it’s interesting to get a bird’s-eye view of someone’s reading that month. Was it a sci-fi month? A feminist month? Why? What interests me most about wrap-ups are the larger reading patterns that act as a snapshot of the person’s mind, tastes, and even life experiences that month.

    tl;dr no to hauls, maybe to TBR, yes to wrap-ups. Really fun post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I feel largely the same way you do on this topic! The book language doesn’t particularly bother me, but I agree that seeing the same books discussed 3-4x/month does get redundant. And, more often than not, that number exponentially increases because many bloggers are reading the same things 😂. I don’t make hauls, TBRs, or wrap-ups for that reason, unless they’re more cumulative like a wrap-up of yearly favorites. Doing this always me to focus my (quite limited 😅) energy on trying to inject variety into my blog.
    Also, TBRs don’t work for my unpredictable moods either. After the routine of a day, it’s nice to just read what I feel like reading 🙂.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I understand your sentiments. I do tend to do TBR (if I decide to have one that month – not always the case!) and Wrap-Up posts. I partly keep a blog for myself, so it is interesting for me to see whether I set a TBR and whether I stick to it – sometimes I don’t AT ALL. Same as my reviews (thoughts!) – it is a good way to keep track of my thoughts on a particular book.

    I definitely do look at other people’s TBRs and wrap-ups, especially when they are reading things I have never heard of.

    As for hauls, I rarely do those these days. I do not buy as many books as I maybe used to. I do do haul reviews, as it inspires me to read backlist books and also reminds me that I don’t need more books – it helps most of the time 😉 .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment!

      That’s an interesting way of blogging; I haven’t ever seen my blog as a “log” for myself before.

      Ironically I do read some ‘TBR’ / ‘wrap up’ content, but I generally gravitate more towards reviews, discussions, and Q&A style posts, rather than lists.

      Like

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