Mood Reading

Posted April 8, 2015 by Kara in Imaginative Discussions, Kara / 12 Comments

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I’ve wanted to do this discussion for a while now. At the beginning of this year, I decided I was going to spend 2015 mostly mood reading. 2014 was just a big fat fail for me, as far as reading goes. It felt tedious, I had lost my passion, and very few books were 4 and 5 stars, and I think partly that was because I was forcing myself to read them when I didn’t want to. At another time I might have liked that book a hell of a lot more. But I felt guilty because I had these obligations to publishers–if I didn’t read them the book wouldn’t get the buzz that it needed to be successful. But then I thought, if I am feeling “meh” about most of these books anyway, how is that helping anyone?

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2015 rolled around, and I decided I wanted to try something different. I worked out a method that works for me pretty well (more on that in a minute), and I threw the ARC schedule out the window. This was something I had never done before. I’ve always tried to keep to a schedule as best I can, but I was falling behind, bigtime. Losing my passion was making me read slower, not want to read, etc. I knew I had to try something different, so that’s what I decided to do.

While we are on the topic of reading (and this is also important to the issue at hand), editing has really fucked with my speed reading. I used to be able to read a book a day if I wanted to. But now I have to read over every word, and sometimes I even catch myself calling out commas in my head. And then, I’ve also had attention span issues due to my anxiety so I find it hard to focus on one thing for more than a half hour at a time. I find myself getting distracted and doing other things–mostly going on Twitter and/or playing Facebook games. Which is fun and all, but it sucks that I can’t stick to one thing the way I used to.

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But mood reading has really helped that, actually. Reading what I want when I want has helped develop my love for reading again, and it has also improved my ability to maintain interest. I still read a lot of ARCs, I just read most of them when I want to, instead of the month they are being published. I rotate between a book of my choice off my TBR, something off my Kindle (whether it’s an E-ARC or something I bought, it doesn’t matter), and finally a paper ARC. I don’t ALWAYS stick to this but I try to as well as I can. Right now I am reading Going Clear and Hexed by Michelle Krys (this is an old e-ARC I am getting rid of), and shortly I will be starting A Court of Thorns and Roses because I have a paper ARC of this and those take priority. I picked out Going Clear to read myself, and Hexed was actually chosen by Random.org because I like doing that sometimes too. Why? Because I can do what I want! 😀

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It’s important to note that I generally do NOT pick my books in advance like I used to because I like to be surprised now. I used to pick like a stack of 6 and I would read those and then pick another 6 but if I do that now, I find myself not wanting to read those books when I finally get to them. So I pick when I get there now, but I did pick ACOTAR out because I know it’s the next paper ARC I should read. Plus I really want to after everything I have heard about it from bloggers I trust.

Speaking of bloggers I trust, I know that a lot of them are mood reading this year like I am. And then I know that some of them have ALWAYS been mood readers and I know people judged them for that. I think a lot of bloggers think that the bigger bloggers get all these books they never read, and some of that might be true, but now that I have been blogging for over 4 years now, I get why that happens.

I’m not what I would consider a big blogger, I still don’t have contacts with all the publishers, and I don’t get very many ARCs, but after blogging for so many years it can get SO TEDIOUS to read ARC after ARC and it’s so easy to lose passion for reading. At the same time, I remember how envious I used to be as a newbie blogger that all these books weren’t getting read. It’s just something that happens in this industry and nobody is at fault for it. Heck, there are some bloggers who haven’t been blogging for years and they STILL get stacks of ARCs. I think empathy and understanding can go a very long way in the YA community.

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So this kinda ended up being less of a discussion and more of a post where I got some long overdue feelings out. But that’s good, right? Now I want to know what YOU think about mood reading? Have you been doing it this year? Are you in favor of it, or do you think it’s something you could never do?

All opinions are welcome, just keep them civil, please. 🙂

kara

12 responses to “Mood Reading

  1. I was also really successful with mood reading (no surprise, I’m a total mood reader) near the beginning of this year when I was in a mega slump. I ended up back on a schedule and I’ve managed to read 13 review books IN A ROW. I don’t know if that’s a big deal for you, but it’s like World Record stuff for me. lol I’m feeling the need to divert and read some random reads so I’m using a few bingo squares as an excuse for that. 😀
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday – Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny LawsonMy Profile

  2. “Mood Reading” is totally legit. I’m kind of doing it right now… there’s a stack of ARCs awaiting my attention, but real life WAY stressful right now and I’m either bored by what I’ve read so far or in tears at every other page… not really a good set-up for fair reviews, is it? So I’ve been re-reading some old favs instead!
    looloolooweez recently posted…GIANT GIVEAWAYMy Profile

  3. Mood reading… what in tarnation!? Just kidding. I’m pretty much doing the same thing this year. I vowed to slow down on the ARCs and take time to read my personal TBR books. I have accumulated so many books since blogging that I never made time for and it’s time to read them. I don’t pull anything aside, all I do is when I want to read something I go to my shelves or look at my list on GR and select one. I definitely feel a lot less stressed. I also mood review as well when it comes to my personal reads. If I feel like I’ve got something worthwhile to say then I write a review. Otherwise, I just enjoy the book and move on to the next. 😉
    Kristin recently posted…Review: Once Burned by Jeaniene FrostMy Profile

  4. As long as you’re enjoying what you’re doing and what your blogging, then that should be what matters Kara, enjoy what you’re doing, love the hobby you started, and just go with it. I’m starting to slow up on e-arcs and such now because I just can’t, it’s all fun and games at first, but it piles on the stress and my library had loads I want to read and yes, if I’m desperate for an e-arc, I might request it, but now, I’m chilling, and it’s good that you are too lovely!<3
    Amanda @ Beautiful Bookish Butterflies recently posted…Co Review – Red QueenMy Profile

  5. Hey Kara!!

    I have to admit that I have always mood read, and it is the only way I can seem to make it this far. I can’t force myself to read a book I don’t feel like at the moment. I suppose that is why I have backed off of ARCs recently, because I feel that my taste is too flaky to devote the needed attention to a review copy.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Blog Tour: This Song Will Save Your LifeMy Profile

    • Yeah. My taste is super flaky right now. I was all about contemporaries but now I don’t really want to read them. Now all I want to read is MG and fantasies. Then it will switch up again. So requesting ARCs is hard when I don’t want to read the book by the time I finally get to it.

    • Oh gosh yes! I did that for a year too and it just killed my will to read. I was good on a schedule for a while because it helped structure things for my anxiety, but now not so much. I am definitely trying to do it like you do now.

  6. I am a big moodreader as well and always have been, but it’s still hard not to get stressed sometimes when you have lot of deadline books. My plan for this year was to only accept one deadline book each month, although that didn’t work out either. So while I am accepting some books with deadlines I only accept them if I know I want to read them as soon as I get my hands on them anyway. Just like you I also still accept books from netgalley, but I read them whenever I want, but that’s something I already did before this year as well.

    It’s nice not stressing about deadlines. If you are a moodreader you should do do that. I mention it in my review policy so publishers and authors know what to expect and I can read however I like. It’s really nice. I am glad moodreading has made you love reading again. Great post!
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #121My Profile

    • I KNOW. You are right. I have a ton of deadline books right now and all I want to do is read what I want do I think I will just read them out of order or something? They’ll all still get read, right? You are doing it the right way!

      And yes, I think I am going to have to do an alter to my review policy soon.

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