5 Ways to Embrace Mood Reading

Published by The Connected Reader on

When I first heard the concept of mood reading I was skeptical. No kidding, you should read what you are in the mood for. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? There are so many books to read, why would you spend time reading something you are not in the mood for?

But we live in a “should” world. I think I should read a certain type of book – the one winning all the literary awards, the one about this important time in history, the one that will change my morning habits, the one that will make me a better parent. I should. 

And you know what happens when I read a book I should read, instead of a book I want to read? I don’t read it. I start it. I pick it up and put it down a million times. And three months later I’m still only 50 pages in and haven’t picked up another book. But don’t worry, I’ve binged the newest season of Never Have I Ever, decided to start (and finish) Bridgerton, and rewatched all six seasons of Parenthood

I have found that embracing my reading moods helps me to keep reading momentum and avoid ruts. Here are some ways I’ve found to prioritize mood reading.

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Let go of the guilt

So far in 2022, I have read 63 books. Two of them would be considered literary (The Sentence and The Prophets). Two of them were nonfiction that was more historical or research-based (Killers of the Flower Moon and To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage, and the Modern Dilemma). 

Ten years ago, I would have felt like this was a failure and I wasn’t using my reading time well. Now, I’m like, good for you, Denise, read whatever you want to read because you are grown and do not have time to worry about things like this that don’t actually matter.

Know and own what you like

You know what I never get in a rut on? Binge-watching TV shows. You know why? Because I only watch things I want to watch. So why wouldn’t I do that with my reading? Give me all the Young Adult, romance, woman’s fiction, cozy mystery books. Thanks, byeeeee.

Take a solo trip to the library

The quiet. The new release shelves. Wandering aimlessly, pulling books off the shelf. Did I mention the quiet? Sometimes when I’m not in the mood for any books, a solo trip to the library to pick up random ones helps to jumpstart my reading.

Have a stack of books at the ready

I have a shelf at home (lies, it’s four shelves) of books I’ve purchased but haven’t yet read. I have a basket of library books behind my couch. I have a wish list of audiobooks saved on the Libro.fm app. I like to have many different options available to me so there is always something I want to pick up and read. 

Abandon, Abandon, Abandon

This is only something I’ve started doing in the last three years, and it goes back to letting go of the guilt. If I start a book and I find myself doing a crossword, scrolling on my phone, or even going to bed early rather than reading it, I thank it for its service, Marie Kondo style, and let it go. It’s great for someone, but not for me at this moment.

Do you let yourself read according to your mood? How do you do it?


Dev · October 23, 2022 at 1:32 am

I feel this. I went to the library a few weeks ago, sans child, and got whatever called me. The books were Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club, Self Care for Children of Emotionally Immature Parents, Napkin Finance, Asian American Histories and Healthy as F*ck. I’ve been reading them all intermittently and have been joyfully seeing connectable themes in all of them which reflected the mood I was in when getting them. I’ve been more interested in them (and somehow already finished 3) than my usual midnight digital borrows relating to pop psychology reads. Thanks for encouraging the treat of book finding!

    The Connected Reader · October 23, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    Yes! I love that the solo library trip worked for you. I find it so fun – and even if the books don’t end up meeting my mood when I get home, it was still worth the trip.

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