On Being a Mood Reader

mood readerIn my post about How I Choose What I Read, I explained how I try and balance what I’m reading, and how I try to pick books that will be worthwhile, either from an entertainment or educational standpoint.

What I didn’t really discuss then is the other side of that: how I also end up reading multiple books at a time and require a large supply of books available to pick from at all times because I am a complete mood reader.

What does this really mean?

  • My library card is perpetually maxed out to keep me stocked with lots of options. I constantly have a juggling game going on with making sure I have enough space on the card to get my new books, and at times have to return books unread to make that space.
  • Having to read a book to meet a deadline (whether it’s self-imposed or not) is one of the best ways to kill the pleasure of reading for me. As I write this, I still haven’t quite finished last month’s book club pick, The Secret KeeperThe Secret Keeper: A Novel by Kate Morton, not because it’s a bad book or I’m not enjoying it, but because I’m not in the right frame of mind to want to read it.
  • This also keeps me from making progress on any other books. I’m writing this on April 19th, and so far I’ve only finished five books this month. Yes, FIVE, and one of them was a cookbook, mostly because I feel like I shouldn’t read anything other than the books I “need” to read (The Secret KeeperThe Secret Keeper: A Novel by Kate Morton, Pride and PrejudiceThe Annotated Pride and Prejudice: A Revised and Expanded Edition by Jane Austen, and review books that are waitingwaitingwaiting). And I don’t want to read them, so I surf the internet or otherwise do other things with my reading time.
  • My house perpetually has stacks of books scattered around. Books that I think I might read, and maybe started a chapter or two, but have abandoned for the time being. Our house has a deep windowsill in the master bedroom, and it has become a staging ground for book stacks. In addition to the stack on my night stand, on the book case, and the floor when things really get out of control.
  • I have started declining all review books. I just can’t keep up, and I feel terrible when it takes me forever to read a book, but I hate feeling forced to read a book to meet a deadline. Especially because forcing myself to read a book tends to be the best way to guarantee that I won’t like the book as much as I might have otherwise.

Some of this is I think I’m in a bit of a reading slump, despite having finished several books recently that I’ve really enjoyed. Despite having lots of books that I really do want to read ready and waiting for me. Despite knowing that I need to take advantage of the reading time I have right now, because it’s going to shrink even more this summer.

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  1. I can relate on every level. I have often been asked why I buy books when I have some at home. I can’t just read it because it is there. I tend to go in streaks. I will binge out on mysteries for awhile, then classics or anything in between. I also check-out more library books than I can possibly read, but I can not guess which of them I will actually read.

    • I agree with all of this, except my book-buying has mostly been curtailed. I mostly use the library for my book fix!

  2. Well stated! Though I certainly don’t have the amount of reading you do ready and waiting, I know it’s both a pleasure and a curse.

    So many books, so little time. Thanks for this telling post.

  3. Your post really speaks to me. I too am a mood reader. Unfortunately I’m not that great at returning library books so I end up buying most of mine. I have oodles of options on my Kindle and nook app and find that I often go through slumps. It’s good to know that someone else experiences the same thing. I’m a crafter so I also find that it’s really difficult for me to be painting, scrapping, and reading during the same period. I need to do one or the other. It’s quite strange but anyhoo thanks for the post I really enjoyed it.


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