Being a mood reader is hard work. Not only does it make it difficult to choose what book to pick up next, but it also causes reading slumps, crippling guilt, and crazy frustration. If you have to ask why being a mood reader causes any of these things, count your blessings because that more than likely means you're not one... lucky you.
I've been a mood reader my whole life, and I think that's why I stopped reading for pleasure when I was about 8 years old. I'm not counting Harry Potter here - those books were for educational purposes to prepare myself for what life at Hogwarts was going to be like (even if I am 22 and still awaiting my letter), but I digress. The purpose of this post isn't to talk about childhood dreams, but rather what it means to be a mood reader, and why it's the bane of my existence.
I can start multiple books and hate every single one of them.
Being a mood reader basically means that your mood dictates what you read (just in case you couldn't guess). Every time I finish a book/series, I have to sit and scour my shelves, looking for that one book that just appeals to me. Sometimes it can take hours, sometimes it can take days. Falling into a reading slump is something that every reader experiences eventually, but being a mood reader often expedites the process and believe me when I say I'm more often in a slump than I am out of one.
Deadlines are my enemy.
ARCs come with a deadline: publication. There's no way around that, and despite it not being a huge tragedy if you can't review a book before its release, I always feel terrible. At the end of the day, if you're not feeling a book but keep pushing yourself to read it, you're not going to enjoy it, and what good is your review if it's not actually a true reflection of your feelings? Mood readers quite often have to put a book down several times before finally reading it, but I've had books on my shelf for about 3 years that I still can't get into, despite initially being very excited about them. I just have to keep telling myself that it's not the book... it's me.
I can't borrow books because I feel terrible if I can't return them quickly.
Borrowing books is a fantastic way to save money, but be it from the library or from a friend, there's always that pressure to read and return it quickly. Of course, library fines do rack up, so there's the added pressure there, but when I borrow a book from a friend, I always feel terrible if I can't get into it because of my mood. Regardless of how much I want to read a book, it's not always possible, and I hate the awkward conversation when I return it. You know the one, where they ask you if you enjoyed it and you lie because you don't want them to know you've had the book for weeks but haven't read it? Please tell me I'm not the only one that does that.
Joining any kind of book club or read-along is out of the question for me.
I've always to join some sort of online book club, but because of my reading habits, it's difficult to commit to even one book per month. I've also wanted to start taking literary classes, but again, the required reading would make for a miserable experience. Perhaps one day there will be a way for me to accomplish both of these goals, but until my mood decides to stop dictating my reading life, I can't see it happening.
The bottom line is that being a mood reader kind of sucks, but it's not all bad. I've discovered that genre can quite often be an unseen problem whilst choosing a book to read, so I try and vary my genres. I've been quite lucky in the last couple of months that I've managed to find books from my preferred genre, but it's nice that I have options when the slump hits.
So tell me, are you a mood reader, or can you always find a book, no matter what?