“Thoughts On” is a feature where I give my (often rambling) thoughts on a topic relevant to reading, literature, or the book business. To see previous topics, click here.

After reading Michelle’s “How a Moody Reader Picks Her Books” and Alys’s “How Being a Mood Reader Affects My Reading Experience,” I thought to myself, “am I a *whispers* mood reader?”

Because I never really thought I was at all.

Before this past year, if I happen to not be into a book, oh well, I guess I wasn’t reading that week (or month). Consistently trying to read every day but also almost never doing so was just what I was used to: other things came up and, honestly, sometimes those other things were more interesting than the book I’d happened to “assign” myself. And I never really questioned why that was the case.

But honestly? Sometimes I’m just not into a book. And reading more than one book at a time really helps keep me on track in terms of reviews. Once a month I sit down with my calendar and Goodreads to try and map out what kind of content I want to write for my blog, and posting book reviews once a week is a huge part of that content. But how do I acquire all of those reviews if I’m not reading all the time? And what happens when I am reading daily but the book I’ve started pretty much sucks?

Learning how other people define mood reading has lifted this weight off my shoulders, though. Like, I’m not alone? Other people also struggle through reading slumps and that’s totally okay and sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable to just read exactly what you’re craving? Reading literary fiction or narrative nonfiction in small bites, spread across weeks or even months isn’t my first choice—but allowing myself to also simply read fun and light books, books that I devour over days or sometimes hours because I literally can’t get enough, means that I’m both enjoying myself and populating this blog with more varied reviews. And that’s a win-win in my book.

So tell me…

  • do you consider yourself a mood reader? Or do you start one book and finish it before moving onto the next (no matter how you’re feeling)?
  • what factors influence what book(s) you choose to read?
  • are you a single- or a multiple-book reader?

4 thoughts on “Thoughts On: Mood Reading

  1. Oh my gods yes! I am a hardcore mood reader! It can be a little annoying at times, but I’ve learned to accept it over the years. It’s very strange because I prefer to read one book at a time, but does that ever happen? No! Lol. I’m currently reading 2 books right now, I’m 4 pages away from finishing one, and you bet I’m gonna start another even though I have that one other book I’m currently reading! As for how I choose what to read… I don’t. My mood chooses for me. And sometimes I don’t even know what I’m in the mood for, and that’s what can be annoying. And I don’t force myself to read something in the mood for because that just throws me into a reading slump. It’s funny because back in May I tried to read City of Fallen Angels by Cassie Clare but I only got about 50 pages in before I ended up falling into a reading slump. And I know it wasn’t the book’s fault, because, as I mentioned, I am 4 pages away from finishing it and I am loving it this time around! I just wasn’t in the mood for it then 🤷‍♀️

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    1. I LOVE getting review copies, but I think I enjoyed my reading more when I wasn’t so tethered to pub dates… that way, I could literally choose what I wanted to read on a book by book basis. I also prefer to read one book at a time, but then I worry that I’m reading too slowly and what if I don’t finish in time to post a review? It’s obviously a process and I having figured it out yet but tldr brains are weird. 😁

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  2. Great Post.. and I’m glad to help you realize that you are one of us moody readers..LOL… I used to stress a lot about my reviews because I wanted to do do something like what you do and post a review once a week… but what about when I’m not reading at all?? what do i do then?? I just let all the stress go (and it was a process) and I’m now just posting reviews when I do have some at hand… It’s for my peace of mind

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    1. It’s been a slow process for me as well—either I’m reading books that I feel like I *should* finish but find boring or else I make myself finish slow books because then I’ll have “earned” the book I actually want to read. I still haven’t quite figured out how to balance reading for fun and reading for reviews, but it’s nice to have a term for how I approach the decision making!

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