The Pros and Cons of Mood Reading

If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you probably know I’m a huge mood reader. I don’t like too much structure, deadlines, and don’t like to force anything, so being a mood reader works for me. However, there’s a downside it. So, let’s discuss the pros and cons of mood reading.


Being a mood reader means I read what I want when I want. There’s no pressure to stick to a TBR and I tend to enjoy the books I pick up more. It also means there’s less of chance to DNF (did not finish) books because it’s actually a genre or trope I want to read.

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Mood reading gives me the chance to try new genres and new books. I tend to read a lot of fantasy, but when I let my mood dictate what I read, it’s pretty broad. I can jump from sci-fi to chick lit to literary fiction to race theory to Green Eggs and Ham in one week because of my mood.

This kind of goes back to enjoying more books. As a mood reader, I know what I want and I can avoid genres that I’m not feeling. So many books came out this spring, but because I know what I’m not in the mood for, I haven’t purchased many new releases. You’re welcome, bank account.


Being a mood reader means I always abandon my TBR. I abandon my TBR so often that I stopped making a monthly TBR because I can’t stick to a schedule. I envy those of you who can. Because my mood dictates what books I pick up, I cycle through a bunch of books before I find one that interests me, which means I can’t keep a consistent review schedule. My mood reading is the reason I decided, after I finished Circe, that I wouldn’t request ARCs.

I can go days or weeks without reading a book because I can’t decide what I’m in the mood for. Am I in the mood for romance? Fantasy? Standalone? Series? Nonfiction? I don’t know. I can’t decide. Most times, this leads to browsing for books online or in bookstores and my unread TBR stares at me with judgy eyes when I bring new books home. Of course, I make some promises to my TBR to do better. I don’t. It’s a vicious cycle.

I’m sorry, book. It’s not you, it’s me. Even when I’m excited about a book or series, I could put it down and never pick it up again because I don’t feel like reading it. This kind of goes back to my reasons I’m the worst at series post. I will abandon a series even if I really enjoyed the first book. Ask The Illuminae Files about me.

Can you imagine waiting almost three months for a book to become available and returning it unread? This happened to me in February and March. I waited months for Homegoing, The Diviners, and The Final Empire. Returned them unread.

Tell me about your reading habits! Are you a mood reader? What are the pros and cons? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

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37 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of Mood Reading

  1. I usually have like 10 books from the library for this very reason. I’ve been trying extra hard to stay to my list, of course I just have 7 books going at once.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I’m half a mood-reader? I love lists and see my monthly TBR’s as challenges but I’m also a mood-reader. I’ve learned to create TBR’s with a variety of genres on it. That way I [most of the time] have plenty of options to choose from, depending on my mood. I found that works for me, haha.
    And I do have to keep “somewhat” of a schedule if I want to read my eARC’s on time, so there’s that.

    If I really don’t know what I’m in the mood for, I usually reread some blurbs of books I own. Or pick a few books in different genres and read the first chapter. Sometimes I’m five chapters in before I know it and problem fixed. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to try reading the blurb and first chapter of books I already own when I don’t know what I want to read. Figuring out what to read tends to be the hardest part of being a mood reader and this is how I easily fall into reading slumps. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. i never even kid myself with a set TBR 😀
    library is a no-no… i would die of the stress that would cause…
    i don’t have many reading slumps and i think it’s cuz i’m a mood reader, so i don’t feel forced to read anything and no book is one “i have to get through this month”. Ok, netgalley books are like that, but i shamelessly abandoned a few of them when i didn’t like them.

    i think my downfall is the mood-buying. Like if there’s a kindle sale, i’m capable of buying 20 books in one sitting purely because “this looks like something i’d read” and then i might not read it for years after 😀

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    1. Hahaha! I mood buy too! I’m never in a buying slump. I have a almost 30 books on my shelf that I haven’t read because of this. I want to get to them this year, but they’re not books I’m in the mood for anymore.

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  4. I’m definitely a mood reader!! When I’m in the right headspace to read a book, I devour it in an afternoon. When I’m not, I have to fight myself tooth and nail to get to the bottom of the page. I’m the same way with writing: I tend to wait around for the muse to hit me and THEN I write. Love this post!!

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  5. Amazing post! From reading this I’ve just kind of had the realization that I’m more of a mood reader. I try to do TBRs but they just never seem to go the way I want to. I ALWAYS read totally different books that what I said I would read.

    “Most times, this leads to browsing for books online or in bookstores and my unread TBR stares at me with judgy eyes when I bring new books home” I RELATE TO THIS SENTENCE SO HARD. Reading slumps are a major obstacle for me when reading and also being a book blogger.

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  6. Loved this post! I completely relate to absolutely all of these because I’ve definitely done all of this at some point or another. I actually haven’t read the rest of the Illuminae series either, despite loving the first book and owning a signed copy of the second one. Still, I feel like I’m only partly a mood reader. I sometimes have to force myself to read ARCs and library books but in the end I’m glad for it because it keeps me reading.

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    1. Yeah, I feel like I have to force myself with library books and I don’t request ARCs because of that. I think it’s good to have those things to keep us accountable though!


  7. I relate to every line of your post !!!
    February and March were my worst months too… and probably the current one as well.. I have returned many many Library books unread 😔😔😔
    Thankfully, I’ve never made a monthly TBR… so that’s one less thing to be worried about… but my Netgalley TBR is always glaring at me because I never manage to read the arcs on time … 😭😭😭
    Loved reading your post… makes me less anxious to know there are other readers like me !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading! I’m happy that this post was relatable! It’s a struggle being a mood reader. Hahaha! Good luck with your Netgalley TBR. I decided to stop requesting books because I can’t stick to a schedule. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tat netgalley TBR isn’t going anywhere 🙄🙄🙄 I just have to try…
        Happy reading to you too 😊😊😊


  8. I’m a huge mood reader, and I absolutely agree on all these points. But the one about returning library books unread is a new one I haven’t considered! I don’t read library books, but I do think that being a mood reader will contribute to that sucky feeling of having waited for a book to become available, only to return them unread. Great post! 🙂


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