Books · Library · Lifestyle

Planned Reading vs. Mood Reading

books on brown wooden shelf
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Hello bookworms!

Over the years my reading styles and tastes have changed quite a bit.

I’ve noticed that these days…

  • I’m less likely to force myself to read a book I’m not enjoying
  • I take advantage of the resources at my local public library more frequently
  • I’ve started reading more e-books than ever before

What hasn’t been constant is the way I go about choosing which books to read. Sometimes I like to have a plan as to what I will read next, and other times I don’t. Anyone else like that? I’ve been thinking about planned reading and mood reading and which works best for me.

Planned Reading

The good thing about planned reading is that you always know what you’re going to read next. You can make arrangements to request and check out books at your library in advance, or to buy books and have them shipped to you according to your reading schedule. The downsides are that you may find yourself waiting on a library hold or waiting for a book to ship or be in stock. You also might feel as though you have to force yourself to finish every book, even the ones you don’t like, just because you planned to. For many Type A personalities, this can be a hard thing to do, especially when you don’t want to admit that you aren’t enjoying a certain book!

Mood Reading

With mood reading, you will truly never run out of reading material. There is always something available out there, whether in physical or digital form. But, being impulsive can get out of hand if you find yourself switching books daily as you try to find the “right” book. You might even become a book hoarder (although is that really a bad thing? πŸ˜‰ ) if you start amassing books but never reading them because you are always switching to something else.


Last year I did a lot of planned reading. Every month I set a TBR list for myself to follow. It really threw me off when I wanted to DNF a book but felt like I had to finish it, not just for myself but because I had put the expectation out into the world that I would read that book and I felt compelled to do so. Reading is supposed to be fun and frankly, planned reading is not fun.

Right now, I tend to always have a vague idea of what I want to read next. But whatever I end up choosing is still relatively up in the air until the moment I start reading. I am definitely more of a mood reader these days than I have been in the past. I don’t think that is related to current events, either, although I know many of us are experiencing similar changes in habits during this time.

What side to you lean towards most?

4 thoughts on “Planned Reading vs. Mood Reading

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