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.
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Do you love or loathe ‘hauls’, ‘TBR’ lists, and ‘wrap ups’? Why / why not?
This post was last updated in January 2020.