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Booking Through Autumn

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Question: Autumn is starting (here in the US, anyway), and kids are heading back to school–does the changing season change your reading habits? Less time? More? Are you just in the mood for different kinds of books than you were over the summer?

Seasonal change usually does not impose shifting of my reading habits. Mood and craving do. I draw from the pile of books sitting on my night-stand, books that bloggers have recommended and reviewed and ones that I have come across at the bookstore. Always plowing through my TBR pile. I did post a fall reading list a while ago but most of the books aren’t seasonal, they are books that pique me at the moment. I try to maintain the balance by rotating books from my favorites genres: historical fiction, literary fiction, classics, gay literature, and comfort reads. I do notice that with kids going back to school in the fall, my reviews on bedrock classics that are read in schools, like A Separate Peace and Pride and Prejudice, get more traffic. I might read over a hot apple cider rather than coffee as the cool air settles in among the yellow and red hues of the trees. Or, maybe it’s ingrained in our mind that we should read less of the beachy books and focus on serious literature as we snap back to the school’s biological clock?

In the end, it all goes back to books—how interesting, how intriguing, and how appealing they are.

25 Responses

  1. I think that I don’t choose “fall” books, but I choose less frothy ones than I read during the summer months.

  2. “I might read over a hot apple cider rather than coffee as the cool air settles in among the yellow and red hues of the trees.”

    I am now officially in the autumn mood.



  3. Books and season. They simply don’t gel with me. Like you cravings matter.

    BTW, I have been reading a lot of short stories. Do check those out whenever you have time.

    I also read Awake by Tobias Wolffe.

  4. Like you said–it all goes back to the books, not the season! You said you’d like to have a pool to sit by and read. I thought you might like to check out where I spend a great deal of time reading. Right here. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  5. I agree with you – the books on my TBR list or wish list dictate what I will read. The cooler weather seasons simply improve my mood. I love the briskness in the air! And drinking hot tea, etc.

  6. If I had answered this week’s question, I think mine would pretty much be in line with yours, Matt. The seasons influence my reading much less than my mood. I can’t even really say that the seasons increase or decrease my reading. Once the weather cools, I will definitely be drinking more hot tea and hot chocolate though.

  7. “I might read over a hot apple cider rather than coffee as the cool air settles in among the yellow and red hues of the trees.”

    You know, I just love everything about autumn! I wish we’ve four seasons here. *sigh*

  8. Sally:
    I can understand summer, “beach” reads; but what is “fall” book really? Does fall books exist? Just a thought.

  9. Karen:
    I just felt that fall has silently descended as I had to shut the window before I went to bed. I love the crispness in the air.

  10. gautami:
    I’ll definitely seek out Tobias Wolff’s other works. My TBR pile dictates what I read, not the season. 🙂

  11. Cathy:
    Books that what intrigue and interest at the first place, so I’ll always be reading them regardless of the time and season and location. Although I try to bring lighter reads on vacation. Thanks for the link to your summer reading spot! 🙂

  12. Lisa:
    That’s the whole purpose of maintaining a TBR pile–sack books as we go along and save them for later. 🙂

  13. Wendy:
    I stick with my favorite genres most of the time except when I’m on a roll of an author or on a binge of a specific subject. Three years ago I was reading everything I could find on Tibet; last year I was on a binge of Agatha Christie! 🙂

  14. Melody:
    Fall lasts for maybe 2 weeks here. I want more of each season. 🙂

  15. I think I tend to want to read more Victorian Lit when its chilly out, but otherwise I probably don’t read specific books to match a season (though am enjoying reading ghost stories right now). I do sometimes read a book set somewhere really hot when it’s icy cold out (and vice versa) though! 🙂

  16. Not really. My reading is more affected by changing interest than anything else. When I became involved in the D&D world Eberron, I picked up all books based off the gameworld to get a “feel” how to run it properly for my players.

  17. I see what you mean about falling back to more literary reading as the school year starts- when I go to bookstores they always put out their displays of classics around now, which always tempts me 🙂

  18. I tend to read more serious books in the summer, since it’s too hot to be outside.

    However, when I evacuate for hurricanes, I lose the momentum for a couple of weeks.

  19. Hey, email me when you get the chance. I have a question for you!

  20. Danielle:
    That’s what armchair travel books are for, taking me away from my reality. 🙂 I also enjoy Victorian and Edwardian literature.

  21. Joel:
    Ah yes, my mood and interest dictate what I read. I could be reading lots of books on a single subject, like Tibet, Dalai Lama, conscience…,etc.

  22. Marie:
    Yes and my reviews of the classics get more hits during this time of the year. 🙂

  23. Isabel:
    I find heat very enervating and discouraging. If I’m not in an AC room, guess I won’t be able to concentrate on doing anything.

    Okay, I’ll shoot you an e-mail, or you can e-mail me at

  24. I’ve found myself drawn to gothic books in September and October. (I’m preparing to finally read The Historian and The Thirteenth Tale after I finish Blindness.)

    Perhaps it’s because the temperature drops and the shadows get longer, but I find myself drawn to more introspective books, too, especially in November and December.

  25. Jef:
    I’ve been reading many ARCs, with Toni Morrison’s being the latest. Just opened Finding Nouf, a novel set in Saudi Arabia that reveals how closely managed and secluded societies of women are.

    I hope you’ll review Blindness. I want to know what you think. 🙂

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