Lola’s Ramblings: A moodreader participating in reading challenges

Posted June 4, 2015 by Lola in Challenges, Lola's Ramblings / 28 Comments


Lola’s Rambings is a feature on Lola’s Review where I talk about me. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like blog tours, book blitzes, cover reveals or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are are personal discussions of a certain topic. Sometimes about book related topics and sometimes about non-book related topics. This feature was previously known as About Me. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Design.

I consider myself a moodreader, I prefer to read whatever I am in the mood for and let my mood quide whichever book I pick up. At first I always believed that being a moodreader didn’t go well with doing reading challenges and up till 2015 I hardly ever participated in them as I though they weren’t for me. In 2014 I participated in the Coyer reading challenge, sci-fi month and Blog Ahead and I found I enjoyed them. Starting 2015 I signed-up for a bunch of reading challenge and even though I am a mood reader they work for me. I thought it was interesting to look more into this and why I like reading challenges even though I am a mood reader.

Why does being a mood reader go well together with reading challenges?

  • WinterCoyerNarrowing down the options. What I like about the cobmination of reading challenges and moodreading is that the reading challenges provide that tiny bit of direction. It narrows down the options to choose from and thus making it easier to choose what to read next. Normally as I am a moodreader I have the full range of books I own and haven’t read to choose from. Now I simply take a look at my current reading challenges and let that guide what to read next. For example when I particpated in Winter Coyer that limited down the options to e-books only. And if that wasn’t limited enough I could always combine it with another challenge. So for me Reading Challenges make sure I can still mood read, but they narrow down the options. I usually pariticapte in readign challenges that still leave enough freedom to choose which book to read, but narrow the options down.
  • Still moodreading. Even though the reading challenges narrow down my options, I am still mood reading, I just have less options to choose from. There was one challenge that I did fail and that’s the Reading Assignment Challenge where you picked 12 books to read one every month. My problem with this is that 12 books and gettign less every month is narrowing it down too much. But with most reading challenge there is till enough room to choose exactly which book to read and enough options to mood read and participate in the reading challenge.
  • New-Release-ChallengeChoose your reading challenges wisely. I mostly participate in broad reading chalenges, like Winter Coyer which limits books that count to e-copies that are free or nearly free, but that still leaves me with all my review books and cheap boosk, so there still are enough options and I can still let me mood quide me to choose a book from all those options. Or Summer Coyer whcih basically means I can read whatever I want and count it for the challenge.
  • Set low or reasonable goals. When I sign-up for a reading challenge I set my goals low enough that I know I can reach those goals without too much effort or more precisely without having to give up my mood reading ways to achieve them. I set my goals on that number that it’s still a bit of a challenge, but not too high that I will stress out over it and have to force myself to read books for that challenge. For example the 2015 New Releases Challenge, I know I read a lot of new releases and I know I read about 50 books in a year, so I set my goal on 10, which means 1 in 5 books I read will be a new release, that sounds reasonable and doable in combination with my other challenges and it’s still challenging, but I don’t really have to do much different then I do normally as I already read around this amount of new releases. But I still get the fun of participating in the challenge, but my goal isn’t too high to stress me out and forces me to stop mood reading. I actually already reached my goal of 10 books for this challenge as I udnerestimated how many new releases I read.
  • Particpate in challenges in a way that fits with mood reading. With this I mean that you know which books you normally read and can use that knowlegde to participate in challenges in a way that works well with your natural ways of reading. For example I didn’t read any historical romances in the past few years, so when I decided to give the genre a try I set my goal on 3 books as I know I usually don’t read those books and even 3 is challenging enough. While for Summer Coyer I know that every book I read counts, so I set my goal on 12 books, as the challenge runs slightly longer than 2 months and I read about 5 books each month. So I set goals based on what I normally read and if I read more then the goal that’s nice, but it isn’t necessary.

What do I think of reading challenges?

In general I enjoy reading challenges, they allow me to connect with other book bloggers and it’s fun to keep track of how many books you read for the challenge. I like setting goals and then seeing if I make them, but I don’t put my goals so high that they stress me out and I think that’s the key to enjoy reading challenges, to know how high you can set your goals. I even went with some really low goals for a few as I know I won’t enjoy the challenges if I set my goals too high. I like setting goals just on that line that I probably will reach them, but maybe not if I don’t put in some effort. I also like the twitter parties and challenges that come with it. So far I am happy I decided to give reading challenges a try as they work together well with my mood reading ways and I enjoy doing them and interacting with other bloggers who participate.

Are you a mood reader? Do you like participating in reading challenges and why?


28 responses to “Lola’s Ramblings: A moodreader participating in reading challenges

  1. I am a HUGE mood reader, and that’s actually why I *don’t* participate in too many challenges. My mood reading is extremely on high alert and I need to have a really HUGE pile of books to choose from. Sometimes my mood reading even makes me stop smack-dab in the middle of a book and pick something else up, which will not go well with reading challenges at all. D: It’s awesome how you’ve managed to balance the two, though. (Personally I do set low goals when I join challenges–being a mood reader is tough!)
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah OcklerMy Profile

    • While I am a moodreader I do force myself to finish a book or either DNF it and I like the structure and narrowed chooses that reading challenges bring me. The reading challenges do have to be broad, I failed one reading challenge as I had to read one book a month from a list I picked before, which were books I wanted to read at that moment. I think it really depends on whcih challenges you join and how high or actually low you set your goals.

  2. I am both a moodreader and challenge junkie so I enjoyed your analysis of your reading behavior for both. That is an excellent set of points, but the first really struck me b/c yes, it does help narrow down the choice.

    I, too, am careful about which challenges I sign up for. I might sign up for several, but most allow for a book being acceptable for several challenges. I rarely read a book that doesn’t meet at least two challenges. Like you, most of my challenges are open enough to include several book options. I also focus on doing challenges that match what I already have on the shelf or buy b/c its a favorite author/series.

    In other words, I might be moody about what I want to read next, but I’m a careful planner. Haha!
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Once Pure by Cecy Robson #ReviewMy Profile

    • Indeed that’s one of the things I like about reading challenge, they can help me narrow down the choices and still moodread. I am really liking participating in challenges, so I am glad I found a way to participate in them and not feel stressed.

      And indeed for most challenges books can count for multiple challenges which is handy. I often pick challenges either that fit what I already own or what I want to read or read more. Just like you I am a careful planner ;).

  3. I’ve become more and more of mood reader this year – I used to be able to just set a schedule and read accordinfly, but this year that led me into some serious funks. So at the moment I’m reading whatever I’m in the mood for. But, like you, my challenges are flexible enough (with the exception of #2015HW) that I’m still completing my challenges as I pick whatever I want to read.
    Berls recently posted…Insurgent by Veronica Roth| My TBR List ReviewMy Profile

    • I have doen the whole scheduling and reading thing, but eventually it starts feeling too much like I have to read a certain book and it jsut doesn’t work for me. I try to balance it a bit, by still meeting deadlines and readign review copies, but not accetping too many deadline books to feel the pressure. I totally failed the 2015HW challenge because it wasn’t flexible enough, I picked books I wanted to read when I started the challenge, but I couldn’t fit them in my monthly schedule without feeling pressured. I failed two months and then gave up. Most other challenges are flexible enough though that I just moodread and still have enough boosk to count for the challenges.
      Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: A moodreader participating in reading challengesMy Profile

  4. I am definitely a mood reader too, I only participated in one reading challenge a year ago (COYER too) and failed miserably! These tips are great because being a mood reader, I was convinced that me and reading challenges will never get along. It’s true about setting low and reasonable goals though. As much as it sounds awesome and challenging to set a high reading goal for yourself, more often than not it just becomes too stressful because you’re forcing yourself to read a book you’re not in the mood to. Awesome tips Lola! Thank you 🙂
    Amir @ Not So Literary! recently posted…DNF Review: The Murk by Robert LettrickMy Profile

    • I actualy love Coyer, both summer and winter as they are so flexible. I always thought reading challenges weren’t for me either, but this year I found a way to combine them and I am happy I did as I do enjoy participating in reading challenges. Setting low and reasonable goals is very important, I used to aim too high with for example the goodreads challenge and that stressed me out. Now I set it at a level I know I can reach. I agree while setting high goals sound interesting and challenging, I think setting low or reasonable goals works better and you can always read more than your goal. For example with the new release challenge I am already over my goal and I didn’t have to do any effort for it, just read the books I want.

  5. I definitely think there are some challenges out there that help with mood readers, like you said, to narrow down choices. I can’t participate in challenges that are specific, but anything that just challenges me to read more or read things from my TBR shelf, etc, I can totally participate in. I’m glad you’ve found some challenges that work for you. 🙂
    Jenni Elyse recently posted…Getting to Know You: ActressesMy Profile

    • There are quite some challenges out there you can still participate in even as a moodreader. I like the broader challenges or the specific ones, but then with a low goal. I am also happy I found some challenges that work for me 🙂

  6. I would love to be more of a mood reader, and I am now more than I have been in the last few years. My reading is usually based on what needs to be reviewed that I have ARCS of in the next few weeks, but I have learned when I hit a slump to stop and pick up a few books that I want to read and that reenergizes me. I used to sign up for a bunch of challenges but failed to keep track of them all. I only do a couple of broad based challenges. Like the audiobook challenge and then I usually do a ARC challenge to help knock them out of my stack. Blogging is enough work without adding to it by keeping up with all the challenges.
    Heidi recently posted…Review: Terminal (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #4) by J.L. BryanMy Profile

    • While I often read books that need to be read, I have to be able to read what I want as well, else I don’t enjoy them as much. Reading what you want can really reenergize you. I like keeping up with the challenges and having another way to feature or list the books I read. The broad challenges are certainly the easiest to keep up with.

  7. I am definitely a mood reader now that I have less time to read. Before I was writing, and I had loads of time to read, I participated in challenges and read books in book clubs, etc. I had to give all of that up once I started writing though. Now I divide my reading time between: reading my own work, reading the work of colleagues to provide feedback, and reading what I want to. So now, when I have time to actually read what I want, I go with my mood 🙂
    S. J. Pajonas recently posted…Nogiku Series Sale Ends Tomorrow!My Profile

    • It’s easier to follow a schedule when you read a lot, now that I have less time to read I find moodreading even more important. The reading challenges provide me with a fun to interact with other bloggers and I enjoy challenging myself and see if I meet my goals, although it isn’t too challenging as I set my goals low enough. So I don’t want to give them up, but I am carefull when deciding which ones to participate in.

    • Yay for another challenge lover and moodreader :). I was always afraid challenges wouldn’t work with moodreading, but I am happy to be able to combine them. Starting at the lowest level and picking challenges with lots of options help. I was considering also joining your new to me challenge, but I already joined quite some and I thought it would be too much effort to keep track of that one as I read a lot of new to me books, genres, authors etc.
      Lola recently posted…Lola’s Kitchen: Sugar Cookies RecipeMy Profile

        • I actually do remember to add them to my recap posts, but forget to add the tags to each reviews. I have tags for each challenge, but I think more then half of my reveiws don’t have the tag for the challenge, while I do neatly update my recap posts. I forget the link ups now and then, but that’s because most of my challenges don’t have link-ups.

  8. I’m a moodreader, not gonna lie. I either wanna read TONS of books and totally splurge to the point my eyes are threatening to pop outta my head or not read at all. It really all depends on the book though;) I try to sign-up for challenges and accomplish them but I normally forget.LOL. There’s been so many challenges specially on GR I’ve joined and totally blanked about till someone asked my progress. Great topic Lola!:D
    Lanie recently posted…Coolest Covers: June ReleasesMy Profile

    • I only join the total amount of books read challenge on Goodreads. And one of the reasons I add my challenges to my sidebar is because else I might forget about them. After I have written my review, I usually think of for which challenges they count and add them towards the appropriate recap post.

    • Thanks :). I like challenges, although it did take me awhile to get used to remembering challenges and adding my books to my recap posts. At first I only did the goodreads one as that one’s easy to keep track of.

  9. I would say I am a hybrid mood reader. In theory, I am a mood-reader because I tend to follow a pattern of: action/paranormal/fantasy novel ->romance ->drama/realistic -> romance repeat. I have to balance out the hard-hitting, fast paced novels with lighter romance/dramatic novels so I don’t burn out.

    However, I say I am a hybrid because lately I find I don’t have a lot of choice in what I read: it’s mostly whatever books I get in from my holds at the library. So while I want to read these books (I mean, I put them on hold for a reason) I find that I don’t get to complete my book-specific challenges. You know, the challenges where you create a set list of books to read within a time span (ex bingos, etc). I’ve really been struggling with those lately. I have a plan to help me reduce the number of library books I get at one time but it’s going to take some time.

    So I prefer the more “open” challenges. Like sequel challenges or read as many YA books as you can–they are much more flexible for my current reading style though I hope to change that in the future!
    SERIESous Book Reviews recently posted…Single Sundays: Ugly Love by Colleen HooverMy Profile

    • Oh that’s interesting I never heard of someone who’s mood followed a pattern like that. Althugh I do like to balance out different type of books, there are also times when i can read a few romance books right after eahc other.

      It’s also not like I can always mood read, but I do like to consider myself a mood reader as I can’t follow a set list of books I need to read. I do have some reviews books with deadlines and manage to read the books in time usually.

      I never have participated in bingo’s as they are too specific, I can probably read a few books for the bingo, but not enough to actually get a bingo. I also prefer the more open challenges.

  10. I worry when I do challenges because I am a mood reader, but also insanely competitive with myself, so I NEED to finish the challenge or whatever. I think that is why I only do a couple of them, and like you said, I do those that are flexible so that I can pick and choose whatever I want to (or have to, with review books haha) read! Great topic!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Review & Giveaway: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie OakesMy Profile

    • I often use review books for my challenges as well, I think most of the new release challenge books I read where review book. I also used to worry about challenges at first as I really thought it wouldn’t work with me being a moodreader, so I am happy to have found a middle road where I can do both. I am not to competitive, but it’s still nice to finish my challenges.

  11. Hahaha, yeah, I have weird reading tendencies. I definitely have favourite genres that I read a lot of within a time period (like right now I’m reading a lot of High Fantasy YA). But I find that after I read one type of book I’m in the “mood” to read a different type which is why I follow that pattern most of the time.

    Yes, I tried a Bingo this past spring and it didn’t totally work for me. I had pre-planned all my books which was fun to do but not really practical for me thanks to my library holds. So next time I’m either going to do it for a longer period of time (maybe find a card that is for a year instead) or not only pick one book for each square so I have some more flexibility.
    SERIESous Book Reviews recently posted…Fresh Fridays: Days Like This (Landslide Series) by Danielle EllisonMy Profile

    • I do think it’s a good idea to follow a pattern as sometimes I am not keeping track of the genres and reading too many of the same genre in a row can really burn me out for that genre. Or even with the same age category sometimes.

      It is fun to plan the books for something like bingo or a scavenger hunt, but then it might not work out for various reasons. The Coyer summer challenge has a scavenger hunt, but you don’t have to read them all, which is fun. A bingo card for a year sounds doable, as then you have more than enough time to fit those books in.

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