What Does Mood Reading Even Mean?

Posted May 8, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 7 Comments

I was inspired by a recent comment on my post about my Seasonal Reading to write a post about this. It’s something I’ve never thought about before but it makes a lot of sense… What exactly does mood reading mean to you or to other people? SO many of us say we’re mood readers all the time, but it clearly doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. Here’s the comment in question:

Amy mentioned that mood reading, for her, is that she reads a genre or trope until she’s sick of it. She doesn’t read anything else until that “mood” passes and is fulfilled from multiple books. I LOVE knowing this – that everyone has their own way of dealing with mood reading, and even their own way to “define” it.

I’ve talked a loooot about mood reading tendencies since I’ve started my blog. I’ve even discussed how I don’t really feel like I’m a mood reader anymore, at least on a book-to-book basis. I read seasonally, which is the post that brought this comment/thought to my mind, but is that even mood reading? Is it more seasonal reading, or is than offshoot of mood reading? WHAT IS MOOD READING??

History of Mood Reading

To recap my thoughts on this topic, here are various ways I’ve discussed it over time (oldest posts to newest):

Seasonal TBR Moods – 2016

It’s cool that this topic comes full circle because of me talking about “seasonal reading” and how that connects to mood reading. I’ve always thought that each season impacts my reading moods, because I crave a certain genre or topic when it’s related to the time of year. I tend to read fluffy, vacation-filled books in the summer, heavy fantasy books in the fall/winter, and holiday books in the winter.

TBR Planning Issues and Required Reading – 2016

I like reading this because it was one of the first times I really discussed how I always WANT to make TBRs but never thought I’d follow them. I talked about how I need to give myself guidelines, not due dates, when it comes to the “required reading” I end up with each month. This was the first time I used that term for books I had coming in each month, like library books, ARCs publishing, blog tours, and ARC tours.

Mood Reading and My Issues with Predetermined TBRs – 2017

This was an offshoot from the previous post, where I expanded to include monthly TBRs on my blog. I love writing TBRs and picking out books for each month; it’s fun to see what people have to say in the comments so I can prioritize my reading even further. I also add in some of my thoughts on signing up for reading challenges even though I blow at them most of the time.

Weird Reading Habits: Authors and Binges – 2017

This is definitely one of my weird reading quirks. I never read books by one author back-to-back unless I’m binge-reading a series (companion or regular). I have this THING about needing to space out books by authors, partially because I don’t want to “waste” all of them in a row if they’re a favorite authors. I savor those books and hoard them juuust in case the mood strikes one day in between the latest release and the upcoming release.

How I Make My TBRs (Organized Mood Reading) – 2018

I stepped up my TBR-making game in the last two years (clearly) and further added to my discussion on what I call “organized mood reading.” I always find a way of including a lot of genre, author, age target, and topic variety in my monthly TBRs, so I still have the option to choose something based on my exact reading mood. I look at upcoming deadlines, ARC release dates, blog tour scheduling, monthly events and seasonal bingo, yearly reading challenges and goals, non-review-copy books being released in that month, books of varying formats, and and other carryovers from previous months.

How are TBRs Working for Me? – 2018 

After working with the monthly TBR system for about a year, I decided to analyze how they were working for me. Was I actually reading MOST of the books I set out to read in a given month? I realized that I used to RARELY follow my TBR posts for my monthly reading, but that’s not the case now in 2019. I’ve been killin it lately.

Bookish Things I’ve Learned About Myself – 2018

This post had one section about how I really didn’t think I was a mood reader anymore. If I had a reading obligation, I could simply pick that book up next and easily read it without a problem. I never used to be able to do that. Here’s most of what I said: “There are some genres that I just avoid most of the time and/or am rarely in the mood to read, but that’s a separate thing. I’ve found that I have less of an issue with just READING a book because I have to read it. If there’s a blog tour and I need to read something, I don’t hate myself for signing up for a mystery book because I’m in a contemporary mood. I just read it, like it, and move on. I don’t find myself in reading slumps BECAUSE of genre. I do get burnt out sometimes from reading too many romance books, so I’ll toss in a mystery/thriller to jazz things up, and then I can usually head back into romance without a problem.”

Anatomy of a TBR Post – 2019

When I talked about my organized mood reading, I realized that I use all of those steps and make a TBR post that follows a specific guideline or categories each time. Not only that, I further categorize the books in each bucket For example, I’ll include five egalleys or more each month, and they follow the rules that one needs to be backlist, two upcoming/publishing that month, one in the far future, and one freebie.

Seasonal Reading: Updates and Discussion – 2019

I mentioned this a few times already in the post, but yes – I read very seasonally. This update post discussed how I’ve noticed my reading trends even based on specific months of the year (football in September, spooky in October, end-of-year challenge push in November, holiday reads in December… you get the idea).

Definition of Mood Reading

When I thought about writing this post, I knew I wanted to get other people’s opinions on this. How do other people define mood reading? Is it a constant for you, where you NEVER read to a schedule because your bookish brain has a one-track mind? Or is it something that happens occasionally, where you just really want to read ONE genre or author and can’t stop until you run out? We all talk about how there are two kinds of readers usually: the mood readers and the planners.

The founder of Uppercase used to blog and once wrote a post about this. She defined mood reading as the following:

Mood reader (n): One who chooses and reads a book according to their current state of mind. For example: A mood reader will forgo the next book in their TBR because they’re more in the mood to read something with romance or fantasy or falls into a specific genre (chick lit, historical fiction).

This is mostly true in my experience. Mood readers seem to be those who pick their next book based on their current mood or genre interest. Unlike the planners and schedulers of the world, the mood reader kind of follows whatever whims they’re feeling and physically can’t bring themselves to read something against that mood. Amy’s comment made me think though: how long do your reading moods last?

One kind of mood reader will be in the mood for a specific genre or trope and read it until they’re sick of it or run out of book options. It’s based on one mood lasting for a long time and continuing to read it all in a row. They may binge an an entire author’s published works, they may read a bunch of adult historical fiction, or they may read ten books with the fake dating trope in a row.

The other kind of mood reader will be in the mood for a specific genre and need to read that book next. They’re satisfied after that. It’s more about the process of picking their next read and the books they want to read versus need to read. They don’t want to read the book they muuust read that’s publishing next week; they just want to read this cute new contemp that just came out.

7 responses to “What Does Mood Reading Even Mean?

  1. I totally agree with the definition that the founder of Uppercase shared. I’m definitely a mood reader. I pick according to how I’m feeling. I could be wanting a light read and the next novel will be a thriller, then go to an emotional one, etc etc. And I actually love doing it, although sometimes it sucks especially if I need to read some ARCs and none of them fall into the category of my state of mind.
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

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