What Makes Me Add a Book to My TBR? // Thoughts, Opinions, & My Guilty Pleasures

I have a long TBR.*

To be honest, my TBR isn’t actually long. It’s literally endless. *cries*

There are over 130 million books in the world. But THAT WAS IN 2010. Help. And yet, out of those 130+ million books, us readers somehow choose certain books to add to our TBRs. I, personally, have specific preferences a book needs to have before I hit the ‘want to read’ button. But I break those a lot and just end up adding it anyways shhh.

So today, I’ll be sharing some reasons why I’ll add a book to my TBR!

*But the way some people keep their TBRs under 200 books must be some kind of sorcery??

a note that these are my personal opinions and this post is not meant to criticize anyone for their tastes in books, or to annoy anyone. thank you! ❀️

because everyone else has

And by this, I’m mainly referring to extremely hyped books. The books I’m terrified of reading because the hype might have already ruined it for me. I’ll have very high expectations for it, and then when it turns out to be not as good as I thought… bye I’ll go cry in a corner now.

But if everyone has promised that the book lives up to its hype, naturally I’ll try reading it. I TRUST THEIR OPINIONS OKAY.

The hyped books I do read are usually books that I’m genuinely interested in, I mean, there are all the YA “classics” that everyone has probably read (like ACOTAR which I have not read and am never going to read), though most of those don’t interest me. On the other hand, here are some popular books I’ve actually enjoyed that are so worthy of the hype:

it’s by an author I love!

live footage of me when an author I adore announces their new book

After reading a good book, I usually 1) sit in shock because it’s over, and 2) develop a strong desire to read other books by the same author.

BUT. I’m also scared that their other book(s) might disappoint me. And when that happens, it makes me sad πŸ˜”

Some of my favorite auto-buy authors are (and by this I mean anything they write I WILL read (even their grocery lists)):

  • Joan He
  • Anna Marie-McLemore
  • Aiden Thomas
  • Adiba Jaigirdar
  • Chloe Gong

psst! all of these authors have upcoming releases coming out this year, go preorder their books!!

the cover is gorgeous

I almost always judge books by their covers. But don’t we all?? It’s like an unspoken habit among all readers. If there’s a cover I love, I’ll most likely add it to my TBR 99.9% of the time. Really. Pretty covers play a major role in intriguing me and urging me to find out more about the book. I need more pretty books please 🀲

And anyways, judging books by their covers never hurt anyone 😌

it has tropes I love reading about

I have a love-hate relationship with book tropes. I enjoy reading books with overused tropes if they are done well. A little part of me withers up and dies every time I read a book with insta love (I hate it with a burning passion).

Tropes I Love πŸ’–

  • slowburn romance
  • fake dating
  • enemies-to-lovers
  • friends-to-enemies-to-lovers

Tropes I Hate πŸ’”

  • insta love
  • love triangles
  • the “chosen one”
  • the MC who’s “not like other girls”

it’s diverse!

One of the things I’ve learned to love about the bookish community is it’s shown me how important diversity is and why it should be present in books.

With diverse books, readers learn about new cultures, read about new identities and learn to appreciate how rich and diverse the world is. Books like these shed light on global issues, narrate historical events, and spread awareness among readers, all while keeping the reader interested and gripped in its grasp.

I mean, I’ll still read a book even if it isn’t diverse, but I’ll definitely still be more interested in reading a book with diversity in it.

it sounds interesting

Yes this does count!! This is probably the main reason why my TBR grew to be so long, now that I think about it but shh let’s not talk about that.

If a book sounds even remotely interesting to me, I’ll add it because what if I want to read it in the future? And what if I lose knowledge of it and then I DON’T REMEMBER WHERE TO FIND IT. My worst bookish nightmare.

what makes you add a book to your tbr? what are some of your favorite tropes?? are your tbrs long (like mine)?

47 thoughts on “What Makes Me Add a Book to My TBR? // Thoughts, Opinions, & My Guilty Pleasures

  1. tbh this comment may be irrelevant because I’m so late to your posts but hello apparently we’re twins and you’re also a mind reader. Who could’ve guessed??

    First of all, I too would like to know how people keep their tbr’s under like,,, 50 books let alone 200 because mine is HUGE. Secondly, omg literally me with ALL your reasons oops!! And our fave tropes are almost exactly the same. THIS IS WEIRD YO. Friends to enemies to lovers is SPOT on. (Looking at you These Violent Delights)

    okay we’ll keep it short and sweet because I have to go read all your other posts but ADORED this one so so so much <3<3<3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahh it’s totally fine!

      omg yes ikr?! i have no time to purge books from my tbr because i want to read them all! AKLSJK this is very weird. (ahh tvd is just,, perfect. i cannot wait for our violent ends :’))

      ruby!! thank you so much, your comments always make my day <33

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with all of these so much Katie!! My opinions of hyped books align perfectly with yours, and diversity, favorite tropes, and fascinating premises in particular are sure to make me click the Want to Read button!! Loved this post πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tbh i also do judge a book by its cover…. i think people like who say they never do that…. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Pft as if πŸ˜‚
    I do agree with most of your points – definitely a huge disappointment when the book is not what you expected by a certain author

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m trying to be more particular with my TBR these days so I usually just add books from authors I already love or if they have 2 or more of all the other criteria you mentioned so as to not let it overflow.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. katie this was such a lovely post! definitely, i have mixed sentiments reading extremely hyped books too, but them living up to the hype is such a great feeling – i totally agree with you on warcross, though the second book kind of went on another path haha,,, ahh i am a sucker for gorgeous book covers as well, and now there are more and more of them which is really dire for my tbr! tropes get me everytime as well, and it’s an instant nono from me for insta-love as well! and YES my tbr is humongous too, thanks to blogging haha… great discussion!! πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ahh i 100% agree with everything you mentioned in this post!! some things that speak to me the most are also diversity, tropes, and pretty covers, because i adore those so much!! diversity is so important in what i’m reading, because seeing representation in books is always so important!! omg i hate the EXACT same tropes as well!! i can’t stand the mc who’s “not like other girls”, insta love, or love triangles – but if the chosen one trope is done well, i can handle it!! i can definitely relate to have an endless tbr, and though i don’t shelve all of them on goodreads, i have a google doc and a notion page that i update with my tbr, and the struggles are REAL!!!

    lovely post, katie!! i loved reading this!! πŸ’–πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ha…ha…ha…I feel called out by the endless TBR line.
    My TBR’s mostly friend recommendations….? And I never stick to it? Because I’ll go to a library or bookshop and be like β€œoooh new book I want it”? Good gods, my TBR list is a disaster.
    (I am also a fan of reading books purely based on their covers)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is such a fun post! I *always* judge a book by it’s cover!!! Even when I’ve heard a book is good, if the cover is ugly I’m so hesitant to read it, haha. πŸ™ˆ I also hate instalove, love triangles and when the MC is “not like other girls.” πŸ™„

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Actually, I’m pretty good at keeping my TBR short, I like to go through and decide what I don’t want in it, and On top of that, I’m very… What’s the word… Tuned (I think??) To what I like it that makes sense? I have very well-defined interests and know what I like, but unfortunately it’s not what’s popular so there aren’t a lot of books in my range of enjoyment. Therefore I do not have a lot of books to add to my TBR.

    Geesh… If I can write long comments like these you’d think of be better at writing my own blog posts… XD

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeup. XD I mean I just compare the book to last books I’ve read, is this something that just sounds cool right off the bat or something I could sit through 500 pages of? That sort of thing. Hmm… I had to go look that up. XD I can’t think of any, probably because I don’t read for representation? Queer relationships are the same as straight, and black people are equal to white people, as well as every color inbetween. So I don’t search out one thing, I don’t care how my characters look or feel. As long as they aren’t jerks, I’ll be happy to join them! ^_^


      2. I mean that, well, they’re normal. And should be viewed as normal. And, people don’t just specifically search out books with straight characters, right? And if so that’s… Weird and a little messed up… But that’s all I meant. I don’t really look for books with queer characters, because it’s normal to have them so I don’t really feel a need to find books with queer characters. But, then again, everyone has their own opinions on this so maybe this doesn’t make sense. πŸ™‚ and you’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This post really speaks to me on a personal level, haha. I pretty much add books to my TBR for all of these reasons. I’m not (too) worried about my ever growing TBR though, because I’m kind of a mood reader, so it’s nice having a lot of options to choose from!

    Chloe Gong is definitely an auto-buy author for me as well. I loved her writing style in These Violent Delights and am looking forward to the sequel!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I completely agree with you and my reasons to add a book to my TBR are pretty much yours. About the tropes, I guess I haven’t really thinking about that. I mean, I can tell you that I am not really a fan of enemies to lovers (but that doesn’t mean I won’t read a book with that trope anyway). However, I am not sure if I can choose any trope to be my favorite πŸ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Aaah this is such an interesting post! Loved this! Ugh I can agree so much, I HATE insta love with a BURNING PASSION ITS SO BAD. It will literally make my rating go down even if the rest of the book is good (*cough* Cinderella is Dead *cough*).
    And yep, diversity is definitely a big part of what I read. There are times when, if I don’t see the LGBTQ+ tag on goodreads I won’t mark a book as want to read even if my friends have raved about it (I know, I know, it’s super bad aaaaaah).
    JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER OH MY GOSH. There’s like a very specific sort of cover I like, I don’t even know how to describe it but I’ll see a perfectly beautiful cover but I just don’t like how it looks even if it is super pretty so I won’t add it eek.
    Loved this post!
    (also: only 2 days until A Vow So Bold and Deadly is released eeeeee!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you!! alsdkjf EXACTLY.

      i mean, i’ll read books without queer rep, but not often. if it’s qpoc, even better !!

      lmaoo pretty covers are just,,, so pretty and i have no self-control and i’ll end up adding it anyways ehe

      (omg i need to read it soon!!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, exactly.
        Lollll same. Man, cover artists need to make less pretty covers so that people focus on the book more. OR they can just ALL make the PRETTIEST covers haha.
        (I knowww me too! Darn library hold, come in!!!)


  13. Since September 2020 I try to add books to my TBR consciously, so only if I think I will REALLY read them soon. I choose my TBR based on tropes, diversity, and whether I think the story is interesting and captivating! My TBR list is… very long, but I plan on looking through it again soon and seeing if I perhaps can get some books out of the list again πŸ™ˆ

    Liked by 1 person

  14. this post is so relatable!! i don’t have a fixed TBR per say, but i do add a lot of books on goodreads and end up forgetting it oops 🀧 sometimes i do add them on a whim, especially if it’s by an author i love or the cover is just really pretty hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Never really thought of this. Part actually does come from my tastes in books- fantasies and old classics. It is rare to see a nonfiction book, but there are some exceptions. Could be added due to recommendations at a bookstore- Park Road Books is incredible at those. Or “blind date with a book”- that is the section I really love at Malaprops. I used to be more close-minded when it comes to book- back when I thought I would never love a tragedy.

    My TBR list is kind of long: what I can think of for now

    1. Chronicles of Narnia- that is almost finished and was a reread
    2. House of Many Ways
    3. To Kill a Mockingbird
    4. Hard Times
    5. Harry Potter Series- that is a reread
    6. Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway
    7. Something Wonderful
    8. Defying Gravity
    9. The Day The World Came to Town
    10. Nevermoor Series (own the first 2)
    11. Jane Eyre
    12. Wuthering Heights
    13. Gulliver’s Travels
    14. Kidnapped

    Liked by 1 person

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