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Booking Through Thursday: Mood reading

December 6, 2011

This is last Thursday’s question, but I didn’t get past mulling it over in my head to actually writing.

Booking Through Thursday asks:

Do you find that your mood affects the things you read? Like, if you’re in a bad mood, do you tend to indulge in reading that will support it or do you try to read things that will cheer you up? Do you pick different types of books on dreary, rainy days than you do on bright sunny ones?

For that matter, does your mood color what you’re reading, so that a funny book isn’t so funny or a serious one not so deep?

My moods about reading are less about emotional moods like anger or happiness, and more about reading whims. I go through phases where only one sort of book will do. Or I’ll pick up a book, not get into it, and come back weeks, months, even a year later, and zoom through in one sitting. I’m not sure what governs that. Sometimes, it makes book reviewing or library books inconvenient. I’ve had several times that I’ve put a book on hold at the library, and by the time it comes in, the whim that led me to it has passed, so I return the book partially read.

It’s tricky after I finish a book I really loved. I’m not sure whether to follow it up with the same genre or something completely different. Often, after I’ve really loved a book, I’ll pick a few up and start a page here or a page there of the next book, and set it down because the second book is not the right follow up to the first. Again, I have no idea what’s driving me.

Rarely, the mood I’m in will change how I react to a book. I can only read Rumi when I’m in love. Otherwise, I get grumpy and feel sarcastic. The same is true of romance novels set in the present day. Contemporary romance isn’t my favorite genre by any means, but I have better tolerance for it when I’ve got a steady supply of my own kisses and sweet nothings. I can read Regency romances, no matter what my own romantic status is. (Though I prefer the funny, bantering ones.) I’m more patient with other genres as a whole, no matter what my own life context looks like.

There are times, when I’m stressed or busy, or grumpy, that I do turn to comfort rereads. For example, the entire month of February.

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