Sunday, July 29, 2018

On Being an Incorrigible Mood Reader

I like to think of myself as an easy going person. If you ask me where I want to eat, and I say, "I don't care," I will not veto your suggestion, even if I'm unhappy with it--that's on me for not saying, "I don't care as long as it's not sushi."

I also do well with a certain amount of structure and routine. There's a place for my keys, and a place for my sunglasses, and the fact that I'm not sure where my new reading glasses are right now is 100% due to not yet having a place for them. I lay out my clothes the night before, I keep a shopping list on the fridge that's updated as we notice we're missing something, and I refill my prescriptions when there's a week's worth left.

I show up for work on time (cutting it awfully close, usually, but still--ON TIME) and I work whatever schedule I'm given. Block schedule with five different courses? Sure. X-schedule with an a short elective at the end of the day? I'll do my best. Six periods of one course? Seven periods and three courses? Whatever. I have my preferences, but I'll make it all work.

And yet.

I can't follow a reading plan for the life of me. Even when I keep it super loose. For example, right now I should choose my next book(s) from one of these categories:

  • The summer reading list I drew up FOR MYSELF in early June
  • Books that fit the VERY VERSATILE Pop Sugar challenge list
  • Any of the 37 books I have checked out from the library currently
  • The book my mother-in-law gave me for my birthday
  • The book my late mother's best friend wrote
  • Any of the approximately 100 books from my classroom library I stashed at my house for the summer
  • Any of the dozen professional books I want to either read or re-read
So what do I do?  Obviously, I either go to the library and get a DIFFERENT book, or I read a book and then decide I have to immediately read all the sequels, or I start flipping through a book at someone's house and then decide to see if it's on audio or ebook at the library so I can keep reading it at home. You get the picture. It's like I resent having all these great books (all but two of which I CHOSE FOR MYSELF) available and need to find something different. 

Okay, so often I choose a book from one of those many categories I already have available too, but I do so with a huge sense of doing something virtuous. "See! Here I am making good use of my resources and following my self-imposed rules!"  

It's weird. It's also why I never got into the ARC thing--I don't want to be freaking obligated to read anything. I read for fun, and deadlines and expectations make it not fun. 

Such a rebel.


  1. I hear you! Reading is indulgent; behave as you wish.

  2. First of all, that picture! ❤️
    I used to read willy-nilly, but I have found that weekly TBRs and reading challenges keep me sort of in line. I sometimes stray. For instance, the book I started today was NOT on the weekly TBR I posted today. Yeah, I can be a mood reader too, but I appear to be better with short term commitments. Weekly TBRs have been the most successful, but those lofty goals I set at the beginning of the year usually result in failure. In the end, reading is my hobby. I do it for entertainment and escape. You should absolutely let your heart guide your reading choice.

  3. I'm totally the same way! I use to think that ARC's were the end all be all, but I just couldn't handle the pressure of reading them on time (but if I happened to see same said book in the library, I would probably check it out immediately and read it). Go figure!

  4. Haha, I love that llama. It looks like cotton candy. It probably doesn’t taste like cotton candy, though. I used to make monthly TBRs, but they became too restrictive. I got bored. Now I read whatever I want. If I can’t choose, I let a random number generator choose for me. The problem is that I always want to read my newest book. Right now, I have books from last November sitting on the shelf. I’ve kind of lost the motivation to read them. I feel bad that I spent money on books that are sitting around.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  5. I definitely relate to this post. I made myself a Spring TBR list in March and have still only read maybe half of what was on it. As soon as I put a book on a list, it's pretty much a guarantee that I will not make it a priority. I do manage to read a few ARCs and get reviews posted more or less within the preferred time frame of the publishers, but otherwise, I pretty much have to read what I feel like reading or I end up doing less reading overall. I also usually read 3-5 books at a time so I can pick up the one that suits my mood at a given moment.

  6. I do read a lot of ARCs, but I still totally get this. In some ways, I think I'd be better off if I stopped accepting ARCs altogether, but I ... can't. Actually, I do LOVE to get an ARC of a book that I really want to read because it guarantees I'll read it. Otherwise I'll be super excited for a book and then I'll just let it languish until I've lost interest. It makes no sense!

    One thing I especially loved about this post: "...but I do so with a huge sense of doing something virtuous." This is SO me! I have this weird sense of accomplishment when I pick up a book from off my bookshelf or off of a list---as if I've cured cancer or done something else incredibly wonderful. Um, you read a book you bought, Nicole. You really need to set the bar higher for your life goals. LOL!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  7. Oh I totally understand this feeling! I'm also a stickler for structure when it comes to everything but my reading! It doesn't matter how flexible the TBR, I shun them all! The only thing I'm pretty good at staying on top of are my NetGalley books. But my physical ARCs are at the mercy of my mood, as is every other book I pick up!

    Malka @ Paper Procrastinators


Please share your thoughts. Comments are almost as sweet as chocolate!