What Makes Me Read a Book?? // A Thorough Guide to the Growth of My TBR

There are over 130 million books in the world.

What?! 130 million. How am I ever even going to make a dent in that number. Yet with all the options us readers have in front of us, we still manage to pick and choose certain books to add to our lists of books “to be read” and then continue to pick an even smaller selection from that list to actually read.

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Although it seems like maybe we’re just magical (and everyone else is just a Muggle, sorry), the thing is, each reader has an internal checklist complete with characteristics that they want a book they read to fit. In this post, I’m going to be discussing what makes me want to read a book!

There are so many factors, some more obvious than others. Without further ado, here we go. πŸ˜‰


It was recommended to me!

All you marvelous, wonderful, amazing book bloggers out there…this one is for you.

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When I read another blog post, whether it be a book recommendations post, a book review, a tag with book recs, a wrap up post, I always have Goodreads open in the next tab over. GOODREADS IS ALWAYS WATCHING ME.

Over the long stretch of time I’ve been reading blogs, I’ve learned which blogs also have my same taste in books, and when they say they love a book, I instantly add it to my TBR, too! I have no idea where I’d be without all the awesome bloggers out there.


The cover is pretty…

Yes, I admit it, I can be a shallow person.

I can *sometimes* judge books by their covers! But don’t we all do it? I mean, when I’m browsing in the library or reading a post and I see a beautiful cover, I’m intrigued. I look up the book. And I’m more likely to add it to my TBR and end up reading it.

Image result for don't judge a book by its cover gif

I love Mary Poppins, but this is a fate I can’t escape from. Judging books (literal books, not people, of course) by their cover is inescapable for me.


It has diversity!

One thing that the blogging community has done for me that isΒ so wonderful is opened my eyes to all the diversity that can and should be in books.

I want to read books with all the diversity! I want to read books with characters different than me! I want to learn about new cultures! I want other people to see themselves represented in a book!

I won’tΒ not read a book because it isn’t diverse (although in this day and age, I feel like all books should be?!), but it definitely makes me even more interesting in reading it if it is.


The setting is interesting.

One of the reasons I love to read so much, and one of the reasons I think a lot of others also love it, is because you get to go on adventures.

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I’m a homebody, but part of me really, really wants to travel. That part of me gets to live through books. When I’m reading a book’s synopsis and I see that it’s set somewhere I’ve never been before, especially if it’s a country that is foreign to me, I get so excited.

Usually that means the book will be full of vivid descriptions of somewhere that I’ve never been, and I love getting to immerse myself in a new world. I’ll always be more likely to read a book if I’m already drawn in by the setting!


I already want to get to know the cast of characters.

Whether this comes from reading a review and hearing about how great the characters are (I adore soft cinnamon rolls, chivalrous boys, and have a soft spot for bookish characters too or from falling in love at the synopsis, I can and will pick up a book simply for the characters.

I could never miss the chance to find my new book best friend (or love of my life)! If the characters look interesting, I’m in.


It’s a sequel, part of a series, or related to a book I love.

I love, love,Β love series!

Image result for i love you i love you gif

If I hear that another book is coming out that’s going to follow one I already loved??? Yes, I’m already halfway to Barnes & Noble. And if there’s another book in a series?? Already preordering it! Most of time, I don’t even stop to read what it’s about because I’m just too excited.

In conclusion- if a book is related to a book I love in any way, shape, or form, I’m 139048% more likely to read it.


I’ve also adored other books by the author.

Here is an accurate depiction of me when an author I love releases a new book.

Image result for harry potter happy gif

First of all, a moment of silence for how utterly adorable Ron and Harry are in this. *sobs quietly* All right, back to the post. XD

When an author writes a book I love, obviously from that point on I can’t wait to read the rest of their books and once I have, I can’t wait for them to write more! It’s pretty much a given that if I’ve read a book by them and adored it, and I see they have another one, I’m going to add it to my TBR and want to read it a lot.


There we have it, a guide to why my TBR is currently at way more books than I think I’ll be able to read in, well, the next few years.πŸ˜…And at the rate I’m going, I’m pretty sure that won’t change anytime soon? But hey, it’s the best kind of problem to have.

I hope you all enjoyed this post, thank you so much for reading it! If y’all like this post, I might do a part two sometime and talk about things that initially make meΒ not want to read a book, that could be interesting.

What makes you want to read a book? Do you agree with any of my reasons? I’d love to chat with you all in the comments.

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44 thoughts on “What Makes Me Read a Book?? // A Thorough Guide to the Growth of My TBR

  1. Unfortunately, I’m also guilty of judging books by their covers! πŸ™ˆ If it’s not pretty, I won’t buy it! And I also just love reading series! It makes me feel so much more happy when I know I get to read more about the same great characters, rather than just abandoning them in a standalone!

    Great post! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I relate! It’s just such an important part of the whole book reading experience.πŸ˜…Oh, I totally agree, I love continuing to grow with the characters and get to know them better and better throughout a series!

      Thank you so much! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my god 130 million books in the world?! That is an insane number, I imagine how many you’d have to read to finish all 130 million in your lifetime? When it comes to books the main thing that helps me decide what to read is whether it’s been recommended to me, and I don’t always mean through someone saying β€œyou have to read this book” but I count reviews on the blogs I follow as recommendations too. πŸ™‚
    Everything else you’ve mentioned plays a part too though; there are gorgeous covers I see that I know I need to get my hands on, and of course I have my favourite auto-buy authors whose work I can’t get enough of (who doesn’t right?) πŸ˜€
    Great post. πŸ™‚ ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know?! When I googled the number, I was amazed. There are so many books out there, and not enough time to finish them all.πŸ™ˆOh, me too, I definitely count reviews as recommendations as well!
      I love the term “auto-buy” author, it sums it up so perfectly. There are authors whose books I will read without even hearing anything about it from anyone or even reading the synopsis too much. XD
      Thank you so much! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. (out of topic but, let me sob quietly with you about that small ron and harry gif, I am having emotions right now ahhhhhhh.)
    I love this post, Olivia! ❀ I agree with all of your reasons so much! It's funny because, before I started blogging, I… well I don't know how I picked up new books, because now so much of my TBR is made of books that people have recommended to me, that I saw around on a blog or that someone on the blogosphere praised… SO many recommendations here, I am so grateful for that haha πŸ™‚ and I agree with you about an author I love, I'm always so excited to read more from them when I read a book I first adored! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • (Oh my goodness, me too, that gif of them is absolutely too precious. ❀ )
      Thank you so so much, Marie! Haha, I'm not exactly sure how I read so much, either. I think I relied mostly on choosing random books from the library, which looking back turned out surprisingly well for me. My TBR is also about 95% comprised of books that I heard about from the blogosphere!
      Thank you again, for your kind comment and for reading this post! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. recommendations are a big reason why I read books and ALSO HYPE though I’m trying to cut down on reading books bc of hype this year. Representation is also a big one for me? LIKE IF A BOOK HAS A PAKISTANI MC, i will be there in a second haha! I also read books when I know they’re gonna be short and easy to read?! ALSO SEQUELS YES DEFOO LIKE THE WICKED KING FOR EXAMPLE

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, yes, HOW did I not put hype this post?! That definitely affects what books I read also, though like you I’m also trying to not let the hype pressure me into reading books anymore. Short books is a good one too! I love a long book every once in a while but for the most part…I’m here for quick 200-300 page stories. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for your comment, Ilsa!


  5. hard agree with EVERYTHING you said. honestly my tbr is ridiculous and im aware of it but i cant stop
    pretty covers ALWAYS get me even though i’ve been disappointed so many times but I WILL NEVER STOP being shallow when it comes to book covers. this is such a relevant post!! i love it

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is the most relatable comment I have ever read?! I literally am the exact same way, I KNOW that my TBR is out of control…but I do nothing to make it better, I only make it worse.πŸ˜‚And, of course, I also will always be shallow when it comes to book covers. Thank you, May, and thank you for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. These are some really solid reasons to make you want to read a book! I basically agree with all of them – especially books being part of a series or even universe (aka my obsession with the Shadowhunter books but also Leigh’s book within the Grishaverse) where I already know the backstory/worldbuilding and don’t have to sit through all of that over and over again! I basically hate starting new series because I have to sit through worldbuilding. xD But also yes to authors being a deciding factor. Like, I don’t even have to know what Leigh’s fall 2019 book is about I know I’ll buy and read it?! Because it’s Leigh Bardugo and she hasn’t disappointed me yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Swetlana!πŸ’›That’s such a great point about series, it’s nice to not have to start over every book and instead just be completely aware of what’s going on and get immediately immersed in the story. Haha, I feel you with not even really caring with what the book is about, just knowing that you love the author and that’s enough. XD I haven’t read any Leigh Bardugo, but I think I should soon! What do you recommend starting with?

      Liked by 1 person


        I’d definitely recommend starting with the Grisha trilogy and working your way up from there. People have their preferences for sure when it comes to her work but I think to get the full experience I’d start at the beginning and go from there. Plus, you get to experience her writing getting better and better this way too! πŸ™‚ And IF you’re interested in short stories, there is a collection (The Language Of Thorns) that’s basically like fairytales the characters within the Grishaverse would’ve grown up with – can highly recommend that one too! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I will join you in that moment of silence for how adorable Ron and Harry are in that gif. My heart.
    *moment of silence*
    I definitely love reading books where I’m already attached to the characters just from reading the synopsis. Characters are SO important to me and I love want to love them dearly. I’d like to say I don’t judge books by their cover, but…. HAHAHA. I totally do. But not all the time! I have certainly read some terribly hideous books to discover that they are in fact glorious on the inside. Oooh, I do have some authors that make me freak out every time they release a book. Some authors are hit and miss, but some??? I want to read everything they ever wrote??
    Yes please to part 2 of this post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • *cries* Thank you for joining me, my heart honestly cannot take their adorableness.
      Characters are such a major factor in a book! Yes yes, I agree, I must love them from the start. (Morally grey characters, well, they can be a slight exception.) That is a very valid and good point, I also have read books without great covers that are amazing! I think for me, I won’t NOT pick up a book if it doesn’t have a great cover, I’m just more likely to pick it up if it does. Me too! The example that comes to mind for me is Morgan Matson, I’ve never failed to enjoy one of her books.
      I will have to do a part 2 then… πŸ˜‰ Thank you for your lovely comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Fantastic post, Olivia! I honestly agree with *all* of your reasons, haha. The book blogging community has recommended SO many wonderful books to me; it’s responsible for my never-ending TBR (but I love it) πŸ˜‚ And I love books that are diverse (especially ones with Asian and bi rep, as I love seeing myself represented in a book) – and I completely agree, all books should be diverse by this point.

    And yes, whenever I finish a really great book by an author, I usually add their other books to my TBR (if I loved their writing a lot). ☺️ Love this post!! And I’d totally be interested in part 2 of this post πŸ’ž

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Dezzy!πŸ’—Yes, I really don’t know what I would be reading without the book blogging community? I would never have discovered so many amazing books.

      Haha, I do that, too! I always look them up on Goodreads and see if they have any other books that I’d enjoy. Thank you again, I’m really glad you enjoyed this post!πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my word- this is SUCH a good post idea! You’re so creative, Olivia. πŸ˜€

    I completely agree! I’ve been super careful about adding books to my TBR because *cough* last year it had 300+ books in it and I just got it down to 80! so I can’t add more unless I really want them because it’ll ruin my work. XD Ahh, the temptation…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thank you SO much Lilian, that means a lot to me!πŸ’“

      Oh my gosh, ahaha, 300+ books! I must admit, I don’t really know how many books my TBR has and I’m not sure I want to check. XD Congrats on getting it back down, though! It can be so hard to not add ALL the books at once. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person


        I know, 300 books is a little excessive. xD I used to have a “prioritized” shelf on GR that I’d put books that I actually ACTUALLY want to read, but I decided to get rid of it and just have my TBR list because I was starting to have too many shelves. ;P Btw, thanks for the follow, girl!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. can we retitle this post to be ‘why bookish bloggers are scared of everything but mostly their rapidly growing tbrs’? bc THIS was exactly that. and i am eternally grateful that it exists. *pats you reassuringly*
    my favorite point of the whole post is that you get excited for new settings because ME TOO FAM!! especially with dystopian! because if like the characters are in a real location and battling not-so-real aliens or something i am DOWN. plus who doesn’t like travel 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • HAHA, I LOVE THAT SO MUCH.πŸ˜‚I’m not quite sure if I’ve ever read anything more accurate. XD Ahh, you love settings too?! *jumps up and down with you* It’s just SO interesting to travel somewhere amazing inside a story, I don’t think I’ll ever get over the fact that…we can do that. Because books.


  11. I can relate to all these reasons with one important catch, I need to like the synopsis. There have been times that I haven’t read a favorite author’s book because I know the style is not quite right for me, and I’d rather wait a year or two for them to write a book or series I’ll enjoy rather than to have a read a book I don’t enjoy from a favorite author.

    I’d also love to see what makes you avoid books! Can’t wait for part 2!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, yes, the synopsis must be good. πŸ˜‰ Sometimes I have no self control when it comes to it being a book by an author I love, and I might read it anyway, but your way sounds much better. XD

      I think I will do a part 2, thank you for reading and commenting! ❀


  12. All of the above. Recommendations and covers are my top two, probably, but I’ve added a book to my TBR for all the reasons you mentioned.
    And when I started book blogging, I didn’t realize it meant that even as a fast reader I’d never have to search for my next book again, because I’d have a pile of 783034. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, recs and covers are also in my very top reasons! I just can’t resist a good cover, or a good recommendation from someone. πŸ˜‰
      Haha, that’s an upside for being a book blogger for sure, you’ll never be at a shortage for books to read. XD

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Recommendations and if I liked other books by the authors are the two main ways I get books. I listen to this podcast called What Should I Read Next where guests tell Anne Bogel (who is the blogger of ModernMrs.Darcy and has been called the book whisperer) three books they love, one book they don’t, and what they’re reading now, and she tells them three books they should read next. I tell myself that I should slow down on adding books on Goodreads (and hahaha, I love how you described it as always watching over you- reminded me of a bookish Santa), but then I also am still listening to that podcast which you cannot not get book recommendations from, sooooo. I agree, books about different pieces of the world than yours are always interesting. That’s why I think I like books in general- because they’re almost always about people that either think or feel or like different things than me, but if I like the book, there’s also always something that I am the same with them too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those are both such amazing methods for getting new books to read! Ahh, that sounds like a great podcast. (It also sounds like if I listened to it, my TBR would grow exponentially. XD) Haha, a bookish Santa! I love that. From now on my TBR is renamed “Bookish Santa.” I love that insight, wow, and it’s so true- with books, we get to experience things that we can never do in real life and meet people we’d never met, but also find what we have in common with these people and places.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know, it’s both great and awful for my TBR. She also interviews them a little bit at the beginning, and that part is great too. People talk about their amazing book clubs, their intense bookish spreadsheets, their books if they’re an author. It’s great. Hahahaha, Bookish Santa! And yes, that’s it. :))

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Okay, this was like my EXACT line of thought when adding a book to my tbr lol. Any books that made me cry (aka 5 star books because why would I want to read a book and keep my heart intact?) means I automatically buy every single book by that author. Also, settings also really pull me in! Settings and character β€” not really plot though? Which is weird because stories are basically plot? This was such a fun post, Olivia! πŸ’›

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Oh my gosh, I relate so much to “why would I want to read a book and keep my heart,” of course all books are destined to break my heart too?! Oh, I feel you with plot- literally I never understood what was happening in the Raven Cycle but I didn’t care one bit because I loved the characters.πŸ˜‚Thank you, Madeline!

      Liked by 1 person

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