Mood Reading (and What I'm Currently Reading)

A few days ago, Leslie from the wonderful Booktube channel Words of a Reader made a video about mood reading. In the video, Leslie talks about how sometimes she comes across books that have to be read at just the right time, giving the example of how she attempted to read Anne of Green Gables several times before she was finally able to read it all the way through and fall in love with the story. Today I wanted to pick up on that discussion and put my own spin on it.

I am the definition of a mood reader. My reading taste and mood can and does switch often and dramatically. This generally means I have several books on the go at once, something I know can actually be quite stressful for some readers. Maybe this is because I was an English Literature major and got used to reading multiple books at once. Maybe it's an unconscious attempt to read "all the books" at the same time. Who knows.

Generally speaking, there has to be something very special or engaging about a book to keep me completely occupied all on its own.

The best way to understand this reading style of mine might be to look at what I am currently reading. First up, we have two books that I have been working on (embarrassingly) since last summer. Kenzaburo Oe's Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness is a collection of four short novels that I have been dipping in and out of, reading only a few pages at a time. Alhough this might suggest I should just give up on trying to read this very complicated, literary collection, I continue to enjoy the reading experience, no matter how sporadic it becomes.

Japanese Homes and Lifestyles is a book I'm reading in conjunction with a current writing project and that I turn to only when I'm in need of inspiration or cultural research. Again, while I'm enjoying the reading experience, I haven't found that this alone is enough to keep my attention for more than short bursts.

Which brings us to the books I've picked up most recently. I picked up Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth last week on International Women's Day because I was craving both strong female writing and writing that was familiar to me. This short story collection is exactly what I was looking for and, unlike the Oe collection, I am incapable of putting the book down in the middle of a story.

And finally we have 1st To Die by James Patterson. Looking at the other books I've mentioned, this one might seem completely random, which actually illustrates my point about mood reading better than anything else. While I am completely in love with Lahiri's writing, I also spent most of Friday night watching true crime dramas on television and found myself decidedly in the mood for something different. My mom has been reading Patterson's Women's Murder Club books almost exclusively for the past month or so and suggested I start with this first book in the series. Again, this turned out to be the perfect fit for my current reading mood and I will probably finish this before I finish any of the others. Or at least, I will try to before my mood changes again!

Now it's your turn to keep the discussion going. What do you think about this idea of mood reading? Do you keep multiple books on the go for each potential mood, or do you prefer to finish one story in its entireity before moving on to the next?

1 comment :

  1. I am definitely a mood reader - if I'm not in the mood for something then I just put aside for abit. There's no point in struggling through a book if you're not enjoying it - especially if you might enjoy it at a later date :) I do tend to try and finish books before moving on though