I don’t think I’ve ever been what I would call an “adventurous” reader: someone who reads widely in genre, age, length, era–mixing it up with every new book they choose. I tend to go in waves–a pile of MG books, a stack of fantasy, a single author for as many weeks as they have books for me. When I go to the library or a bookstore, I’m looking for more of the same, and I can be disappointed and frustrated when I can’t find the book that will keep my current wave going.
This happened yesterday. I’ve been reading a ton of YA fantasy, and I wanted more. I went to the bookstore and pulled book after book off the YA shelves, reading a page or two in each, putting them back. Nothing caught me; nothing looked as good. I ended up getting two books off the grown-up shelves that have some potential: Erika Johansen’s Queen of the Tearling and Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library.
Then I came home and, of course, started in on the ebook sample of a history book, zero fantasy involved–The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport. Because book moods are, if anything, random and unpredictable.
Still, I think they come in various types–here are some I’m very familiar with:
- When you discover an author you existing you didn’t know about and binge-read all their books, only to catch up with the author and find out you now have a year to wait for the next in the series. Examples: Patricia Briggs , Sarah J Maas.
- When something bad happens, and you need the perfect book to cope with it. Example, starting a reread of Kristen Cashore’s Bitterblue on November 9, 2016.
- When you have been reading sweet, cozy, comfort books, and your brain wants to stretch its legs. Example: Amanda Gefter’s Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn
- When life is relatively settled and quiet, and you are ready to take on something powerful and, in all probability, painful. Examples: Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak or Wintergirls.
- When you are think you are just dipping into the next book by a favorite author, unprepared but ready for them to blow you out of the water with the places they take their latest book. And you unknowing turn page one on what will soon be your favorite book by the writer. Example: Jeanne Birdsall’s The Penderwicks in Spring.
- When you look around and ahead and can see that life is good enough to read something during which you know the grief-tears will flow freely. Examples: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Terry Pratchett’s The Shepherd’s Crown.
- When you want something British. Examples: T.S. Easton’s Boys Don’t Knit in Public and M.G. Leonard’s Beetle Boy.
- When you’re thinking, okay, yes, it’s time for book written specifically for grownups. Examples: Joshilyn Jackson’s Between, Georgia and Fredrik Backman’s Britt-Marie was Here.
Any moods (and examples) I’ve missed? Feel free to drop them in a comment.