Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How Mood Reading is Both the Best and Worst Thing

I'm a huge mood reader. I like to think of it as having Reading Muses. You know how people who write or draw or paint like to wait until the Muses inspire them? When they're filled with that urge to create and the words and pictures just flow right out of them? I live for that as a reader. My Reading Muses (Ruses? Sure, why not) are very much in control of me, which is why I usually start about five books at a time and then go with the one that grabs me. (I know, I'm kind of insane, but I'm an excellent multitasker.)

This can lead to absolutely wonderful experiences, like the reading journey I've been on for the last week. If you follow me on Twitter or Goodreads, you might have noticed that my entire life and brain and thoughts and TBR list has been decimated by a certain reading bomb called the Percy Jackson series. I bought the boxed set on a whim and because they were cheap and because a bunch of my friends love them (and a couple of them are utterly obsessed). I expected to like them. January and February are very busy for me, blog-wise, so I didn't really have the time to read them all. I thought I'd take a peek at The Lightning Thief and see what all the fuss is about. After all, Tumblr is pretty fond of these books for a reason, right? There might be something to them.


Boom. Totally obsessed. Totally absorbed. I couldn't put the books down. I read with the speed of the sun. All my waking thoughts were absorbed by this series. It is my favorite feeling in the world, where you're just hurtling through a fictional world at breakneck speed, and you'll die if you have to stop, you just have to get to the end. You just have to consume all the words. I will bite the face off whoever interrupts me from this book.


I read tons of books. It's kind of the nature of the job. I dislike a lot of them, because covers and blurbs are lying liars who lie.  I enjoy a lot of them, because I'm good at finding books that suit my tastes. I love some of them, because books can be great. But it's a rare book that gives you that addicted, fully immersed feeling. Ever since the days of Harry Potter, I've been addicted to that feeling. Do you remember the glory of receiving a brand new Harry Potter in the mail and just knowing the whole day was gone, because Harry and Company were waiting for you? God, I loved that feeling. Every time I find it, I go with it, because that's why I read.

The problem? I'm a book blogger. I have commitments and deadlines and review copies. Sadly, blazing through all 1700 pages of the first five Percy Jackson books completely destroyed my reading schedule, and I'm struggling to recover (while also reading The Lost Hero. Shhh, don't tell anyone). It's actually completely irresponsible of me to have taken such a huge reading detour right now when I'm already stretched pretty thin. I could have read and reviewed so many ARCs in that time.

At the same time, though, ignore my Reading Muses would have been nearly physically painful. That's such a rare feeling, and I can hardly remember the last time I had it. Sometimes, reading review books can be a real effort. Reading out of obligation can be painful, especially if it's a book that, had I not agreed to read it, I would have put down by now. I'm so impressed with the bloggers I know who maintain their rigorous reading schedule, reading review books in order of release date and always on time. I try to do that, but I just can't. Maybe I don't have the discipline. (No 'maybe' about it. I definitely don't have the discipline.)

Being gripped by the Reading Muses so fiercely reminded me that I read because I like it. And yes, I love reading review books, because oftentimes, I get to read books that would normally pass me by. But I was so stressed about them, and then the Muses got me, and I remembered why it is I do this-- because reading is the funnest thing in the world for me. And thankfully, those fickle Muses sometimes lead me towards the books I'm supposed to read. And every now and then, I rustle up the strength to corral them and force them to get on board with my current ARC. Sometimes, I make those Muses my bitches, and sometimes... well, I let them take the reins.

What about you? Are you a mood reader? When was the last time the Reading Muses ruined your life took over?


  1. Absolutely, I'm a huge mood reader, just like you it seems - I made a schedule (a reading schedule) a few weeks ago, just because I was itching to be an organized blogger... and I kept to it, but just for a few books. (And to be honest, I'd already known that I wanted to read those books. It was already set in stone.) For those first few, it worked awesome. The first book on the list that wasn't set in stone? HAHAHAHA nope. I immediately chose another book, even though I KNOW that I should be reading that review book... I don't really want to. I want to read what I want to read, right then. And that's all I'm gonna do. I WISH that I could be that "organized girl", but I'm not. And honestly, I have so many better experiences with books if I just let the mood take me. I mean, I read The Percy Jackson books about 2 weeks ago, and like you I just read all of them. And they were great. :P So, we're totally alike in the "mood reading" way. I'm thinking about revising my review policy about that, LOL. Awesome post, girly! I've been thinking about this a lot lately, LOL!

  2. I'm definitely a mood reader! I can usually multitask and read while I watch tv but I can't do that as well with adult books or historical fiction. I reeeally have to be in the mood to read them even if it's a book I've wanted for awhile. Sometimes I have to psych myself up for books I've heard are sad or difficult and sometimes I just want something fun and fluffy. Library books are what derail my personal reading schedule! I return one and come home with 8, wanting to read them all before they're due despite the GIANT pile of books I've already bought.

    Mmmm the Harry Potter feeling :) Magical. The last time the Ruses (lol) took over was for Crown of Embers, SO GOOD. Before that, I tore through all 5 A Song of Ice and Fire books in a couple months (total takeover) and before THAT, about three years ago, I read all 7 Outlander books in a 5 month period. The shortest is 800 pages, the longest was 1500 and I read four of them in a month. To say the Reading Muses took over would be putting it lightly. My eyeballs almost fell out.

    Btw I read The Lighting Thief a long time ago and liked it but your flailing has made me want to give the series another try! Yay Percy!

  3. I'm so moody . This is an hindrance with school books and they should have been read for a certain date . I hate it x_x

  4. Oh, this is an awesome post! I wish I let the muses take me over more often, but I always feel so guilty when I'm not at least trying to keep up with review books. I'm not really obsessive about reviews, and I do fall behind, but I try not to. I can't remember the last time I read something obsessively, But after reading this I'm dying to jump into some books that have nothing to do with book reviews:)

  5. I'm a mood reader, too. I just posted a discussion last week about re-reading where I talked about how if the mood strikes, I feel like I HAVE to reread a book, schedule be damned. I'm horrible at keeping a schedule, even though I, too, admire the people who are able to do it. I read what I feel like reading when I feel like reading it, be it library book, old favorite, ARC that comes out next week, or ARC that comes out in 4 months. That's just the way it is. When I force myself to read something, I tend not to like it which leads to me setting it aside. I also am almost always in the middle of 5-10 books at a time (although one does usually "win"). I've actually never read the Percy Jackson series. It sounds like I should give it a try. It has been awhile since I've had that can't-live-without-this-book feeling. Great post! I think almost all book bloggers will understand exactly what you are talking about here.

  6. I'm a huuuuuge mood reader! That's why having a reading list, even with review books is kind of a moot point for me... It's gonna work up to a point, but I'm gonna need to read what I feel like cause otherwise that's gonna colour my opinion of the book too much.
    I do make myself read review books even when I'm not in the mood if I'm commited, but I always have one of my "want-to-read-so-badly" books dangling like a carrot for when I get to the end of that other book to make it better for me.

  7. I think it is very important to follow your reader muses. If you aren't in the mood for a certain book, you won't like it as much and it will ruin your enjoyment of it. Maybe that's why I've gotten so behind and stopped accepting arcs hehe.

  8. I am so incredibly happy to see that I'm not the only one!! I have started to make a veeeery loose schedule for blog reading. I've started to limit the amount of tours and review books i take on each month, which is a good thing for a mood reader like myself. I change my mind all the time about books I want or need to read, which can be a problem if I'm approaching a deadline. But then again, it's a very good thing for my sanity! It also helps me to enjoy the books I do end up reading more. I've noticed that it's when I try to force myself to read something when I don't feel in the mood - aka not listening to my reading muses - that's when I get in reading slumps. No fun. Reading is and should be fun! Excellent post!

  9. Well, I'm not a book blogger, so I get to be nothing BUT a mood reader. This post reminds me of Steph's not too long ago and it makes me sad, because you shouldn't have to feel stressed out about finding a series you love and feeling taken over by it. :(
    But I also have to laugh a little because you should see my currently reading list right now. I think I'm at 5 right now. All of which I fully intend to read! hahaha So yeah, I know what that's like.

    I'm reading a really absorbing book right now call The Summer Prince. It's wonderful and a standalone, thank goodness, but I have the terrible feeling it's going to have a tragic ending. And I'm old enough now (never understood how my mom could be this way, but I do now) that I pretty much hate tragic endings. *sigh* But still I read because I must know. :)

    Good luck with your reading! Hope you keep the joy!

  10. Mood reading can definitely bite me in the butt. I'm one of your crazy friends with the cray-organized schedules (plural!), so I do my best to go in order of release/archive date. And since a lot of books come out close together, I can sometimes manipulate the order so it fits my mood, but sometimes I literally don't read for days because I'm just not in the mood for the book that HAS to come next. Bleh. (However, HOW TO LEAD A LIFE OF CRIME was totally a off-the-rails splurge in my schedule and WAS SO WORTH IT.)

  11. I've been following your reading of Percy Jackson through goodreads and it made me smile. Like a huge goofy smile. I love when a fellow reader falls in love with a series so much, and it doesn't hurt that it is one of my favorite series of all times. :D I love reading musues, and I know how it feels when you get the reading blues because it feels like you are obligated to read instead of for fun. It is hard, but I usually power through and end it up reading some great ARCs. I'm glad you were reminded that you read it because you like it. Happy reading! Oh and The Heroes of Olympus series is sooooo good. Sadly the last book comes out this year.

  12. I'm definitely a mood reader too! I'm terrible about sticking to a schedule…I don't even bother anymore haha. I'm trying to wade through all these ARC's and I'm just reviewing them all…kinda late…(I've decided to not request anymore unless it's a book I've been dying to read since I'm clearly incapable of handling them haha)

    I just finished the Newsflesh trilogy and OH MY LORD. If you haven't read it, you totally should because my mind couldn't even handle everything in it. It's so crazy good!

  13. I just cannot stick to a schedule when it comes to reading, I , like many people here it seems, am a huge mood reader. At times I can kind of push myself to read a book when I'm not totally into it. But I have a very hard time reading books just because they need to be read. And I had a very similar binge, even with the same books and everything! Good thing for me that I had a couple of other posts planned so I could intersperse all the percy jackson stuff with those ;)
    Now whenever I'll be deciding to read which boo to read I'll see the Hercules Muses in my head!

  14. Oh this is such a great topic! I have routines, but I also read by feeling and mood, I'll pick one that's been catching my eye for a while and grab it by the reins, and while I do request and get ARC copies, I don't force myself to read them before they come out, because sometimes, I'm just not feeling it. I want to keep my blogging enjoyable, and forcing myself through books I'm not feeling isn't the way. It's totally fine that you marathoned a series you were loving. I don't buy full series, so I never really have big reading muses, but I do become obsessed with an authors books or the books in the series if I liked the first a lot.

  15. I generally have a (loose) schedule that I'm aware of, where I list down review books that I need to read. It doesn't always end up being followed though, especially when the mood to read a different genre/book/series strikes and strikes HARD! I think it's much more fun to be a mood reader, plus you'll be much more inclined to enjoy what you're reading too.

  16. Please tell me you've read the Skulduggery Pleasant series. Obsession level: Percy Jackson.


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