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?
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.
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! 😀
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.
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. 🙂