What is the Opposite of Mood Reading?

Posted June 24, 2015 by Carlisa in Discussion / 15 Comments

mood reading

Mood reading isn’t a phrase I was familiar with before I started book blogging. The concept, though, is something familiar to every bookworm. Essentially, it’s when you’ll only read something based on your mood. Pretty simple, right? Some days you could be feeling a nice and easy romance, other days an intense high fantasy. You know, based on your mood. And that makes total sense to me. Most of the time, after reading a fantasy, I have to take a break with a contemporary or historical fiction. That’s just how I work. Or some days when I’m feeling tired or just because I feel like it, I will not go near a fantasy book.

And since I started blogging, I’ve noticed so many people who keep saying “because I’m a mood reader…” Most of the time, they’re saying they won’t stick to a TBR list because they’re a mood reader. And that makes sense to me. I make lists, but I won’t always stick to them. But one thing I’ve never seen is someone say they’re not a mood reader. And then I started thinking…what would even a non-mood reader be? This question had me all like this:

The obvious answer is someone who sticks to their TBR list exactly always, even if you weren’t feeling it. But does this person really exist? What would be the joy of books if we didn’t feel in the mood for what we were currently devouring? Or I just wonder if everyone is a mood reader to some degree. Like even if you plan out TBR exactly, if there’s a book you’re dying to read, that you’re really in the mood for, isn’t that going to be put on the top of your TBR? I don’t know.

I don’t mean to belittle you if you feel like you’re not a mood reader. And also maybe I’m missing some big, glaring, obvious thing that would answer my question…but I just want to understand other people’s perspectives on this! I’ve seen many, many bloggers say they’re mood readers. But I’ve never once seen someone say otherwise. So I want to understand what you’re thinking if you consider yourself to be a non-mood reader. How do you pick out the books you’re going to read? What are you thought processes? Tell me, please!

Or maybe even my definition of mood reading is not that well defined. And although I feel like someone is going to explain it to me, and I’m going to realize that it was an obvious answer…but despite that, help me become more like this guy:


What are your thoughts on this? Do you think being a mood reader means something else? Do non-mood readers exist or is everyone a mood reader in some way? 

  • Some people I follow on Goodreads manage to read 150+ books in a year, and these aren’t short books (I even went and looked at their stats – average book length ~250 pages), so I always considered them to be non-mood readers. Those who can read a book quickly even if they don’t enjoy it. Or maybe they mark a book as “read” but never finish it? I don’t know… But I’d like to be able to just go through a book, that is not absolutely fascinating, without feeling like I’m being tortured, because there are books that I may not like, but still want or have to finish.
    It’d be great, if we could just detach our mood, while reading a boring book, and speed through it in a couple of hours. I wonder, if speed reading has something to do with non-mood reading? I can think of a few times, when I managed to do that. In fact, just a few days ago I finished an absolutely idiotic book in a day. Is it even a thing? Being in a mood to read a book, that you hate? xD The more I think about it, the more confusing it gets. I’ve read books, that were likeable and readable; books that were likeable, but barely readable, unlikable-readable and likeable-unreadable.
    And I’m the worst with TBR lists. I think, that sometimes my brain just refuses to read a good book, just because it’s on a list. That’s why I can’t even join any bookclubs. But I’m working on that, so I’d say that I’m sort of a non-mood reader in training. xD

    • Haha, yes. “A non-mood reader in training.” And yes, I agree. The more I think about it, the more confusing it gets to me, too. Because I feel as if you HAVE to be in the mood to read whatever you’re reading. Unless it’s forced upon you for school or work or whatnot. Even if you’re not really feeling it, there’s some reason you keep going, right?

      I don’t know, ah! Thank you for the great comment though. I appreciate it.

    • I read more than 100 books a year (not including DNFs and rereads) but I’ve never stuck to my TBR pile or list or jar or whatever. I’m the worst at them! Okay, so maybe both of us? haha. But I’m still trying 🙂 I’m definitely a mood reader. Most of the time, knowing that you have to read a certain book in this specific time frame makes you feel a bit forced to do it even if initially you included that title in your list because you WANTED to read it. #thestruggle

      I’m not a fast reader either. My average for a 300-page book is 2-3 days. If I’m not enjoying the book I am currently reading, I put it aside for another until the mood to pick it up again comes OR I skim-read the rest and mark it as did-not-finish.

      • Being forced to read a book is one of the worst things, I think. In high school, I didn’t enjoy so many books (that are probably amazing) because I was forced to read them and I didn’t really enjoy them on my own. For some reason in my college English classes, that’s not the case. But, yes.

        And with over 100 books a year, I’d disagree and say you are a fast reader.

        • I know a few people on Goodreads who can read 7-10 books A WEEK. Now that is a fast reader. Seriously, HOW DO THEY DO THAT? 🙁

          • I can’t comprehend this! More than a book a day! Oh my heck. Sometimes I’m definitely in that mood where I just want to spend all day reading, but consistently to finish that many books just blows my mind.

          • Right? We all have to take a breather at some point 😉 And even if do read nonstop for, say, a week… I still probably won’t make it to seven books at least. Unless they’re only 200 (or less) pages each. What I would do to be able to read that fast!

  • I’m the exact same, I always go for something contemporary after finishing a heavy fantasy book/series. I’m with you on the non-mood reader thing, it’s like they would just be reading for reading sake and not reading because they felt like it. It can be enjoyable to not be a mood reader, right?

    • Yeah a lot of comments on here have been saying a non-mood reader is someone who can make a TBR list and stick to it even if they’re not really enjoying a book. Which to me, sounds like just reading for the sake of reading. And I guess it’s probably beneficial to people. You probably can get a lot of variety to your reviews, for instance, while a lot of the books I don’t like don’t end up getting reviewed. Also it probably helps them learn a lot about themselves as readers and what makes books interesting/not. It’s interesting to think about!

  • I love this and wonder it ALL the time! I talk about how much of a mood reader I am on the blog, and I feel like I’ve never seen anyone say something different. A few things I can think of:
    – There are people out there who only like ONE genre of books, so they (by definition, I suppose) couldn’t really be mood readers. I’d be like, am I in the mood for THIS romance or THAT romance? You don’t really have different moods. You like one genre and that’s it (and that’s fine!)… I think mood reading is “reserved” for those who like multiple genres of books, and have to prioritize reading them based on the mood they’re in.
    – I think there are a few people out there that read multiple genres and will reaaaally schedule out their reading. I can’t stick to a TBR for the life of me. It’s annoying enough when I sign myself up for a blog tour and am not in the mood for the book when the time comes! lol.. but there are definitely peope out there who can read whatever, whenever… either because they focus a lot on review books, or they’re just more structured in their reading!
    I may have to spin-off this discussion on my blog (with credit to you, of course!) – you really got me thinking!

    • That’s such a good point that mood reading is really all about the different genres! I can’t imagine only reading one genre, though. I think my head would explode. But all the power to the people who do love one genre that much! That’s awesome.
      I have a blog schedule where I put blog reviews up their a lot in advance to make me more likely to read the book…but I usually end up changing it. And by “usually,” I mean “always.” Unless I really feel like reading it, it won’t happen until much, much later.

      And if you do a spin-off, I want to read it! Come back and link me to it!

  • I’ve heard people say they finish every book they start even if they aren’t enjoying it. I don’t get it. Others do plan out exact lists of the next 10 books they are going to read and stick to it. Not me.

    • That’s a pretty good point! I don’t think I’d be able to stick to it either. Maybe to some extent, but if I’m really not enjoying it, it’d just put me in a slump, I think.

  • I totally get what you are saying. I have a TBR list, but I choose from it based on my current mood, not what is next on the list. The same with my ARCs, I don’t request unless I know that it’s something I will want to read at some point. I will drop a book if I can’t stand something about it, also, but that doesn’t happen very often.

    • Yessss, like I have a TBR list and those books are sitting in the shelf on my headboard, but I can’t read them unless I’m in the right mood.