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life as a mood reader

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I've heard the term "mood reader" thrown around several times, and I had never thought much about it. But as I've matured in my reading, as I've come to know who I am as a reader more, I have realized that I am in fact a mood reader.

I can't do TBRs. I just can't. I keep a list of books I'm interested in reading someday, but that's the extent of my ventures in TBRs. If I even try to construct an exact, numbered order of all the books I'm going to read in the next 5 years I go insane. I feel like I'm restricted and limited. I begin to get stressed out over just how many books there are in the world, and how little time I have in my short life to read them all.
I applaud the people who can be more organized in their reading life. But TBRs induce existential crises for me. It's just not healthy.

Instead of sticking religiously to a TBR like other professional readers. I choose the books I read one at a time. Whenever I finish a book, I immediately go to my bookshelf, or my aforementioned list of interesting books, to see what exactly I want to read next. What sort of story I'm in the mood for (hence the term mood reader).

There are several cons to mood reading. Sometimes I'll accidentally pick up a book that I wasn't really ready for, and my emotions will affect my ultimate opinion of the story. I'll end up hating a book I might've actually loved if I were in a different mind set.
And since I rely on my feelings, there are times where my emotions simply say no to reading. This is when I sink into the depressing feeling that there is no book in the world that will meet my specific desires. Defeated, I turn to Netflix and develop a massive, incurable reading slump.
These instances, thankfully, don't happen extremely often.

I feel like through being a mood reader, I have enjoyed reading even more. I don't feel an obligation to read all the time. It would feel like a chore to pick up a book simply so that I could mark it off of a TBR. And since I only read what I really want, I end up loving most all of the books I do end up reading.
Ultimately, I really love my mood reading habits. It can be tricky at time, but it has opened me up to countless books and genres I may have never read otherwise.

What about you? Are you a mood reader?

18 comments

  1. I relate so hard to this. I've attempted a To Be Read list before, and it never works. I'm a hardcore mood reader, and I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)

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    1. Yes! Glad that you're a kindred spirit :)

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  2. I CAN REALLY RELATE TO THIS. Although I kind of do have a TBR pile, I'd say I'm a bit of both kind of reader... I have very few books on my TBR compare to most readers and I'm very spontaneous with which book I decide to grab next... BUT WOW I CAN RELATE TO THAT ANXIETY OF TOO MANY BOOKS AND NOT ENOUGH TIME!! STREEESSSSSS

    :'''') mood reading certainly does have its perks.

    rock on,
    abbiee

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    1. Yeah, every reader is different. There are some ways that I stray from the typical mood reader behavior. The important thing is that you read and enjoy what you read.
      IT IS INCREDIBLY STRESSFUL!!

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    1. I'm glad you could relate, Clara :)

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  4. Ooh, I wouldn't call myself a "mood reader" but I can definitely sometimes relate! I usually get a bunch of books from the library off my TBR, but only end up reading a couple depending on my "mood." :P

    katie grace
    a writer's faith

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    1. Yeah, there are some times where I do stuff like that, just get a big pile of books and read them as I feel like it. It's cool to hear about other people's reading habits!

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  5. YOU JUST DESCRIBED MY LIFE IN A BLOG POST!!! Oh thank goodness this is a thing. I just felt like such a terrible reader without any organization or structure to my reading life. But it's true, for mood readers like us, having a strict TBR pile is simply not healthy or doable. I LOVE being a mood reader, but those reading slumps tho... I just got out of a month long one. It was dark point in my life. XD

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    1. haha you are definitely not alone, dear! And yes, reading slumps are the WORST!
      I'm happy you're getting back into the blogging world, Elizabeth! :)

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  6. I think I'm sort of a mood reader, too. Recently I heard the phrase "reader's block," and I think that explains how I feel pretty often!! Sometimes I just don't know what I want to read, so I pick up several books and end up leaving them after a few chapters.

    Struggles. :-P

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    1. That is definitely a problem I can relate to too. It's rough. :/

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  7. I think I am kind of a mood reader. I just read whatever I feel like reading. :) I was talking with someone about how I choose a book to read, and she was very surprised that I chose a book to read based on what I felt like. I guess there are some people that like to do things in an organized manner.

    Here is the reason why I'm kind of not a mood reader:
    I am doing this book challenge I found on Pintrest, which has been interesting. One of the books for the challenge is you have to read a book about philosophy. I haven't read a philosophical book yet, but I like the idea of stretching the types of books I read. Part of me likes to read the books I know I will like, which are easy to read, but I also want to push myself so I can be a well rounded person. I guess part of me isn't a mood reader because I like challenges that push me to do new things.

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    1. Everyone has different reading styles and it's always interesting to hear about what other people do. I like to try to be a "well rounded reader" too, so sometimes I'll force myself to read things I probably wouldn't normally pick up.
      Thanks for the comment, Ekaterina! :)

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  8. Wow. After reading this, I think I'm a mood reader as well. I hadn't heard the term until today- but it encourages me to know there are others that are like me in that sense. I can't handle TBR lists either. I only pick up a book and read it when I feel like it.

    And hey, I just wanna say...I love your blog and will definitely be revisiting.

    -T
    x

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    1. Thank you, Tane, you're so sweet! :)

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  9. I'm a mood reader as well. I used to read library books in a certain order. I don't even know why. But now if a book doesn't appeal to me at the moment, I just drop it and pick up a new one.

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    1. That is the only way that I actually don't fit with other mood readers. I always have to finish what I start reading, even if I hate it. It's weird. :P
      I'm glad you were able to relate, though :)

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