Am I a Mood Reader? Pros, Cons and Tips for Mood Reading // Discussion Post

When I first started blogging, I saw people chatting about how to read books. At first I was confused. Don’t you just pick up books and start reading? (actually not) Because there’s different styles of reading. 

There’s TBR readers. Dedicated, magical individuals with bookish checklists. Each week, they know what they need to read. and they probably read them all. And manage to write TBR posts, maybe even weekly. Call me stunned.

Because that is NOT me at all. I never even thought about having a reading list until I logged into Goodreads. And I think of my TBR list as my idea list. Here’s a million and one books I’d probably like to read before my funeral.

How I picture magical people putting together a TBR list

My roommate pulled me aside last semester and showed me her TBR. A veerrryyy long list.

I glanced at it, before handing it back to her. Nice job. It’s a great list. 

Then she asked, Should I add anything?
I was kind of confused. Um, I guess. If you want, you can add something?

No, she clarified, Am I missing any books? 

How should I know? Lists basically mean nothing to my reading. I do try to read new books. And keep track of what I’m reading. But I really, super duper struggle to make a list and actually read everything on that list.

If I’m not a list reader, what kind of reader am I? 

Then I saw people calling themselves mood readers. Hmm, maybe that was me? at first, I din’t want to be a mood reader. Because it sounded kind of moody. (does that make sense? probably not. my brain is weird) 

Moody reader sounded like someone who can’t read whatever they need to read. But someone who is stuck to reading whatever they currently feel like.

That sounded scary. Scarier than TBR readers. Probably because that’s exactly me. *hides*

So what exactly do I really mean by mood reader? 

Basically, I read whatever strikes me. At the moment. Whenever I feel like it, I read a book. Thankfully, I feel like reading lots of books lots of the time.

Being a mood reader is fun. Super fun. But there are also downsides. (As I’m sure there are also pros and cons to TBR readers)

Let’s discuss the inner turmoil of mood reading. My Pros, Cons and Tips for Mood Reading. 

Pro – I can read anything pretty much whenever. 

When I go to the library, I pick up around 10 books. All sorts of genres. Historical fiction. Fantasy. Contemporary. Big books. Funny books. Looongggg books.

and while I have those books, I will probably read them all. I might start one, and read half of it one night. The next afternoon, I might start another book, before going back and finishing the first book.

It’s out of order and wacky. But it works! If reading isn’t fun, what’s the point? Oh, to learn, of course. (I am learning, ok?)

But I might not finish all my books. Because, mood.

This gif goes somehow, because being Moody. And not finishing the end of the story? IDK, I need this gif to work, ok?

Con – I don’t finish everything I start. 

Confession – I start a ton of books. And don’t finish everything. As a kid, my mom told me I couldn’t keep more than 7 books on my nightstand. Needless to say, I constantly broke that rule. And she made me put my books away all the time. I argued about it, too. (my mom won all the arguments)

Now, I keep a pile of books by my bed. Mostly all the library books. And there’s always one or two I just don’t finish. I keep renewing, and renewing, until eventually the library makes me return the book.

This just happened with Turtles All the Way Down. I kept meaning to finish it, but it just didn’t strike me. And I wasn’t in that particular mood. And someone put it on hold at the library, so it had to go back.

Con – My review schedule is all over the place.

At the beginning of each month, I write out when I want to publish that month’s reviews. Do I ever stick to that schedule?

No. Never, ever.

Sometimes, I might write a review right on time. but most of the time, they’re super random and typed out the night before. Sometimes, I finish a book at midnight and post the review the next day at 9am.
It’s just hard! Because, some reads just don’t flow. And then I pick up a book I feel so much more, and read it instead. The next thing I know, I’m completely off my reviewing schedule.

Tip – Create mood based TBRs.

One thing I have done to work with my mood, is write tbr’s with lots of different styles of books. And because I’m typically disciplined, I can read them.

I am goal oriented. If my TBR matches my goal, I can typically get my mood to work with me. I want to read 12 non-fiction books. So I find a non-fiction book that matches my current feelings. If I’m really interested in learning about the Obama campaign, let’s pick a non-fiction book about the Obama campaign. Now, I’m working with both my mood, and my TBR goal. (Spoiler, I read lots and lots of political non-fiction) 

Pro – I’m not stuck with any particular genre

The very nicest thing about my particular brand of mood reader, is I read literally everything. I’m so not discriminatory about book genres.

I love contemporary. I love historical fiction. And classics. And fantasy. I love long reads, Short reads. All reads.

In fact, if I’m kind of weary of a specific genre, I’ll just switch to another genre for a few reads. And then I’m great with picking up the old genre again.

Tip: Find people who will help set your mood.

I know some mood readers struggle with buddy reads. But I’ve found that if other people are excited about a book, I can typically get excited too.

^Actual footage of bookish people when a hyped book is released^

So, even if I’m most likely not in the mood to cry my eyes out, if Malanie is coaching me to read Adam Silvera, I will read Adam Silvera. (thanks, Mal)
This excitement also works through social media. Everyone on book twitter chatting about a book? Than I’m super excited to pick that book up!

The problem is, I read so fast, sometimes, I get caught up in this huge hype mood. And I don’t notice problematic stuff. Then later, when I’m rereading, I’m frustrated with all the weird problematic stuff I didn’t notice because of my hyped mood.

Can you believe I wrote this post in less than 15 minutes? That doesn’t include the formatting, just writing the words. I’ve been terribly behind this week finishing up exams and moving out of the dorms, so I crammed in writing this post while I had a few minutes Thursday afternoon. (yes, I know it’s Saturday evening. My computer was packed for two days)

I didn’t realize I had so many thoughts about mood reading until I speed wrote this, and thought, WHOAH? A thousand words in less than a half hour? I’m super opinionated about this?!?!

Though why am I surprised? I always manage to be opinionated. 

lets chat

Are you a mood reader? or not? If not, what kind of reader are you? Do you create mood-based TBRs? Are you great at actually completing your TBR? 

If you’re a mood reader, how do you get into a reading mood? 

Have you watched Infinity War yet? PLEASE LET”S TALK ABOUT THIS MOVIE. I am suffering so silently, because spoilers, but that movie has killed me. 

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28 Comments

  1. emmareadstoomuch May 5, 2018 / 10:21 pm

    ooh i love this post!! i am such a mood reader, which can help with not slumping, but also i find myself reaching for the same genres a lot (and under-utilizing others). plus i end up “currently reading” a ton of books at a time, and then stay 50 pages into a book for months. it’s completely nonfunctional but it manages to work, usually!!

    • Elizabeth Hunter May 10, 2018 / 7:21 pm

      I currently read SO MANY BOOKS. It is an official problem. 😂

  2. bookwormmuse May 6, 2018 / 6:34 am

    This is such a good post!!! I think I am a mood reader as well, I have never given it much thought before today though so I might be wrong. I don’t think I am wrong, though. I generally have moods or phases as I call them where I want to read a specific sort of books and I go through them like nobody’s business. I have been through so many phases and none of them have really disappointed me much so I can’t complain. Though I have to admit to the cons. If I am in one of the phases and try to read something not related to that particular phase, I never finish it. It’s a hard life then. But then later, I manage to finish the book in one sitting, it’s weird, probably not the best way to read but it works for me?

    • Elizabeth Hunter May 10, 2018 / 7:21 pm

      Mood reading works pretty great for some people! And as long as it works, lets keep doing it, right?

  3. tasya @ the literary huntress May 6, 2018 / 8:38 am

    I totally feel you ahaha! I’m such a mood reader too, I can read like 3 months straight of fantasy and nothing else, even if I try to read contemporary I can’t finish them ahaha. Butt I still make TBR list, so that I know which books I need to prioritize. The TBR consist of different genre of book, so that when the mood starts, I know which books to read first 😀

    • Elizabeth Hunter May 10, 2018 / 7:22 pm

      Exactly! That’s pretty much how I create my TBRs, too. And when a certain genre mood hits, I can read SO many books on my TBR!

  4. Olivia @ Purely Olivia May 6, 2018 / 8:45 am

    This post is so thought-provoking! I feel like I’m mostly a mood reader, too. If I don’t feel like reading, I don’t force myself to, and if I don’t want to read a certain book, I don’t force myself into reading that either. And, like you said, I read a mix of genres all the time. Does that make me a mood reader?😂

    • Elizabeth Hunter May 10, 2018 / 7:23 pm

      Sounds like you could be! It’s so hard for me to force myself into reading something, I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to?

  5. PerfectlyTolerable May 6, 2018 / 5:32 pm

    Great post! I am definitely a mood reader. If I try to read off my TBR I usually end up in a slump. I don’t like reading books I have to read. I want to read whatever strikes my fancy!

    Before blogging it was very rare that I DNF a book, but I am getting better at it! I learned that its not such a bad thing to not finish a book!

    • Elizabeth Hunter May 10, 2018 / 7:24 pm

      It is not a terrible, horrible thing to not finish a book! If it doesn’t strike you, it’s much better to read books you will actually enjoy!

  6. existingonpaper May 6, 2018 / 5:51 pm

    Definitely a mood reader over here–I find it’s more fun, there’s less stress, and I’m never tied down to anything I said I was going to read. Loved the post!

    • Elizabeth Hunter May 10, 2018 / 7:25 pm

      Haha, so true about never being tied down! I kind of love randomly reading as opposed to much method about which book I pick up next.

  7. Jenn @ Bound to Writing May 6, 2018 / 8:12 pm

    Wonderful post! I didn’t realize I was a mood reader until I started blogging. I have a terrible time getting my review posts out on time because I never know if I’m going to finish a book before my scheduled review day. I sometimes wish it was easier. But now I’ve realized that I can’t stress about getting review posts out there because then I really don’t want to finish the book.

    • Elizabeth Hunter May 10, 2018 / 7:26 pm

      Same! I had no idea I was a mood reader until I started blogging. It’s hard NOT to stress about posting reviews but I know if I’m not exactly in a mood, it probably won’t be that great of a review.

  8. Rachel May 7, 2018 / 8:10 am

    I don’t know what kind of reader I am. I always have too many library books out and I read them in order from oldest to newest (unless it’s something I know I can’t renew due to popularity), so maybe I’m kind of like a list reader? But if I didn’t have library due dates, I feel like I would be a mood reader. So, I’m unaffiliated to any reader type.
    I wish I could see Infinity War, but I won’t until it comes out on DVD, so I’m trying to avoid spoilers at all costs. Which is hard since I’m on the internet a lot.

    • Elizabeth Hunter May 10, 2018 / 7:27 pm

      Oh, good luck avoiding Infinity War spoilers! It’s a hard battle! You sound so organized about your library books, I wish I could borrow some of that organizational skill! 😂

  9. Jared @dabook.club May 7, 2018 / 7:38 pm

    I mean, I guess I’m SORT Of a mood reader. My natural state that I prefer is to read a book when I feel like it, but if situations require, I can become a temporary non-mood reader creature. (I guess)

    • Elizabeth Hunter May 10, 2018 / 7:28 pm

      I definitely have faced some temporary non-mood reads! But I find it’s so hard to enjoy the book when I’m just not feeling like reading it?

  10. Marie May 8, 2018 / 3:18 am

    This is such a great post, Elizabeth, I love it! I have to say…. I’m confused about what I am, exactly, haha. I felt like a mood reader for so long, but I still have a sort-of TBR of the books I currently have at hand that I can read and… I pick from this small pile (usually less than 10 books) the next book I’m in the mood to read. So I guess I’m a mix of both a mood reader and a TBR reader? 😛
    I agree that it is amazing to find people as excited as you to read a book, really puts me in the mood to read it, too…. but the hype can be dangerous that way, too – I mean, we set our expectations high and, like you said, we are in a hyped mood while we read, so we can miss tons of things, too :/
    Loved this post! 🙂

    • Elizabeth Hunter May 10, 2018 / 7:30 pm

      Oh, your TBR and Mood mix sounds so similar to what I do! I typically have several kinds of books on my TBR, so usually at least one of them matches my mood! And hype is so fun, and yet so dangerous? And even overwhelming sometimes? Like when you”re not feeling the hype, and it’s so hard to not be as excited!

  11. Cait @ Paper Fury May 8, 2018 / 4:33 am

    Ohh yes I totally get this too! I mean I’m a mix between a mood-reader and I you-need-to-read-this-ARC-or-else-the-world-will-bite-you sort of reader.😂😂The annoying thing about requesting ARCs is that sometimes you don’t feel like reading them when you should looool. Awkward. But mostly I pick up things I’m just feeling like reading! For some reason, it’s been more contemporary this year?! Although I’m craving some magical realism and wish more was on my TBR haha.

    • Elizabeth Hunter May 10, 2018 / 7:31 pm

      ARCs can be such a mood read killer! Sometimes I request them, and when I NEED to read them, none of them seem to be fitting my mood? That’s the worst!
      Oh, I hope you can find some more magical realism!

  12. louise ☆ May 8, 2018 / 5:09 pm

    I’m not much of a mood reader. I’ll create monthly TBRs based on the season or just pull random books off the shelf and decide that I’ll finally read it, but I’m so bad at identifying my mood that I couldn’t call myself a mood reader. Like, if I’m feeling sad I probably won’t pick up something that matches my mood because I’ll probably not end up reading it. But I do kind of get into “moods” where I want to read more of a specific genre.

    • Elizabeth Hunter May 10, 2018 / 7:32 pm

      Yes, my moods definitely fit more genre specific styles. Though sometimes, I want to feel an emotion, especially falling in love with a ship or specific characters, so I’ll reread something I felt intensely passionate about. 😂 I don’t know why I want to reread something heartbreaking, but sometimes I do!

  13. Becky (Blogs of a Bookaholic) May 10, 2018 / 5:04 pm

    Love this post! I am definitely a mood reader too. It wasn’t something I had ever really analysed, and I didn’t even know it was an official term until I started blogging.

    Like you, I often wish I could stick to some kind of plan.

    I also used to have 7+++ books on my nightstand so HIGH FIVE.

    • Elizabeth Hunter May 10, 2018 / 7:33 pm

      Cheers for mountains of books falling on our beds! 😂 And my books are in some sort of a plan…when I feel like It, I will get to reading them, right? 😂

  14. Valerie May 11, 2018 / 4:33 pm

    I used to be more of a TBR list kind of girl, but I think I’ve transitioned to being a mood reader. My biggest problem however, is long books, especially since I’m trying to keep up with my GR challenge and all!

  15. Cailin @ Rose Petal Pages May 12, 2018 / 10:08 am

    I feel like I’m a weird hybrid of both?? I’, very list orientated, and I have my tbr lists that I try soo hard to follow, but ultimately I won’t be able to pick something up unless I’m in the mood for that kind of book, otherwise I risk just not enjoying it.

Drop some knowledge!