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Mood Change

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I checked in at the Booking Through Thursday blog, which is the host for a weekly book meme or blogging prompt. Here is this week’s prompt:

Does your current mood affect your reading? Affect your choices? I know there are plenty of books I enjoy, but only if I’m in a particular kind of mood–or books that can lift me out of a bad mood without fail. Surely I’m not alone?

My reading taste is independent of my mood, but the change of mood does affect my choices. Lately I have been on a binge of non-fiction–it all began when I was on vacation after some a-ok, not so special fiction. The media also fueled a craving for non-fiction as Argo and Downton Abbey puncture every social small talk. In response to that, I picked up Argo, Below Stairs, and the book that inspired the TV show based on the true story of Countess of Carnarvon, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey.

I read anyone who has a good story to tell, wanting to get as much fictional life as I can. What I don’t like are potboilers. Many bestsellers and pulp fiction belong to this category. What ultimately kills a book for me is its flabbiness, unconvincing details, authorial windbag wisdom, and poor style—especially clipped sentences. I say this because a lighter book doesn’t mean the writing is bad. “Lighter” to me is comic realism: Story is more important, with a friendly looseness to the prose. Serious topics are touched on but the overall tone is good-humored.

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2 Responses

  1. I think I need to do a better job of analyzing my mood before I pick something up (but sometimes I HAVE to read the books I’m reading so…). Because my mood can make or break my opinion of a book. If I am feeling rather foul, a goofy book will do nothing but piss me off. And if I am sad, then a book of dysfunction will just pull me right off the edge and I’ll have to curl up and sleep off the depression. I know that none of this is fair, but I guess that is the nature of being a woman! Ha!

  2. There are certain authors, like Saramago, that I have to be in the mood for. It’s not directly related to my mood. It’s more related to how well I think I can concentrate.

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