Books

Scheduled Reading vs Mood Reading

Scheduled vs Mood ReadingSince I started blogging in 2015, my reading habits have changed drastically. I’ve gone through phases of scheduled reading, mood reading, and reading slumps but I’ve never really thought about whether I prefer to schedule my reading or to just go with whatever my mood dictates. Until now.

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KindredScheduled reading comes in many different forms including choosing which specific books you’ll read in a month or how long you’ll read for each day. Personally, I don’t schedule an amount of time to read per day because I’m useless at sticking to that. Sometimes, I really don’t feel like spending my evening reading and I’d prefer to watch youtube videos or play video games. Sometimes, I’ll read for the entire day. I am really a mood reader when it comes to this.

However, I have tried another type of scheduled reading: monthly TBRs. A lot of bloggers make monthly TBRs and some, like me, only have one book on said TBR while others have many, many more. I personally like this form of ‘scheduled’ reading because it’s not too restrictive and it’s usually influenced by what you feel like reading.

I do another type of scheduled reading every single March. This isn’t really restrictive either but during March I only read books by women because it’s Women’s History Month. I ensure that I read one book per week in March too so it’s definitely my most ‘scheduled’ and ‘restricted’ reading month of the year.

Melmoth the WandererOther people schedule their reading down to the day. For example, I might say that I’m going to start reading The House of Mirth on the 15th of February 2020 and finish it on the 18th of February 2020. I used to do this when I had a lot of reading to do for my university modules and I still do it for ARCs sometimes but I personally couldn’t schedule my reading like this all the time. It’s fine when I’m trying to read a 700+ page Gothic novel for my degree but it’s too restrictive for everyday reading and I’d get really frustrated by it.

Scheduled reading can be really useful and if you prefer to schedule your reading then I can understand why.

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Letting my mood dictate my reading habits, without any form of schedule, usually reads to a reading slump. If I don’t set myself at least one book to read per month then my brain will just shut down and I won’t read anything. This is due to an awful mix of depression and procrastination. That first book of the month helps me focus on something but after that first book of the month, I do go with the flow and let my mood decide what I’m reading. I’m really not sure why I have to do this every month but it may Circe Millerjust be a habit now and I have yet to break it.

Last year, I gravitated towards Agatha Christie novels or retellings of mythology. I always read a lot of classic novels too, both because I have a Classic Club list to finish and because they’re the books that I enjoy the most. I do wonder what I’ll reach for this year but, if January is anything to go by, it’ll probably be more Agatha Christie and more classic literature.


Do you have a reading schedule or do you just go with the flow?

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19 thoughts on “Scheduled Reading vs Mood Reading

  1. I had to do a lot of scheduled reading back in the days when I was reviewing for Crime Fiction Lover and other sites. But now I am really enjoying my mood-based, meandering type of reading, where one topic leads to the next, one author to another discovery…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to do more mood reading as well. I have started trying to read about 100 pages a day. Doesn’t matter if I complete 100 or not as long as I’m reading some I’m happy and being able to check the box on the read 100 pages on my planner everyday helps keep me motivated.

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  3. I used to go with the flow, but now I have to have some kind of structure, even if I don’t always stick to it. So far, this year I’ve pretty much been keeping to it, even if loosely. For myself, I still have to some flexibility built into the structure, if that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A mix between structured and flexible reading is the best of both worlds and it seems to work for so many readers! I’m glad you have a system that works for you.

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  4. I’m a total mood reader. I’ve been a voracious reader since about 1974, so I read for a LONG TIME before I discovered blogging and the concept of reading challenges and other types of planned reading (besides school assignments of course!). I like the idea of reading challenges, but I only do well when they’re something I do anyway, like Library Love or Goodreads. I get fidgety and resentful if I feel like I HAVE to read something, even if it’s something I started out wanting to read. I’m not proud of that–it’s pretty childish–but I also don’t beat myself up about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think it’s childish at all! When we feel forced into reading something it becomes less enjoyable and more of a chore. No one wants that.

      If mood reading works best for you then stick to it 😊

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  5. Hallo, Hallo Amy,

    This is a subject would be an interesting one to dissect and that is why I wanted to swing round to read what you had to say about it because I personally vacillate between being a mood reader and having to read on a schedule as most of us who are book bloggers have deadlines we most meet and work against in order to accept books for review consideration.

    When it comes to monthly TBRs mine seem to rotate in/out of being able to be kept. I sometimes change my mind midway through a week or other times, I am just not connecting to a book until the review is meant to go live on my blog. It just depends. Seasons have a way of impacting my reading life as well – as there are certain months I love reading certain genres – such as Witchy, Paranormal, Suspense & Thrillers from September to October; though I read them year round as well!

    I’ve been in the Classics Club for awhile now myself. Half my issues are finding audiobooks for the Classics I want to be reading as the books I already own are packed away at the moment; I only have a few I can reach on my shelves. I think when I can finally get my fuller library situated I can read more Classics amongst my contemporary wanderings (newer releases) than I can right now. However, I was smitten with Mythological retellings when a bookish friend of mine (Louise @ Foxes and Fairytales) hosted #Mythothon for the first time!

    This lead me to finding Emerald Dodge and her novel “Sea of Lost Souls” last year – I reviewed it during #WyrdAndWonder – you can find it on my blog. It was one of the most creatively spun tales I’ve read in a really long time and its hard to pin down due to the breadth of what she wrote inside it! If you love Mythos I think you’d enjoy it.

    Wherever your bookish wanderings take you, I hope you have continued joy in finding the stories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seasonal reading is such an interesting concept! I definitely find myself wanting to read more thrillers and paranormal books in Autumn but I’ve never made a schedule for that type of reading. I may try it this year.

      I’d love to take part in more readathons or reading challenges too but I think the Classics Club and the Japanese Literature Challenge are enough for me at the moment 🙂 I’ll definitely check out the Sea of Lost Souls and your review though.

      Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sort of. I do have a spreadsheet of what I plan to review and it has about twenty weeks scheduled on it. But I change it regularly, sometimes even days before the review should be posted. I don’t hold myself to anything on that sheet.

    Liked by 1 person

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