When the Mood is Right

This is actually one reason... no wait... it's two reasons why I am reluctant to call a book bad. Repeatedly I've tried, and each time find myself in that vicious spin cycle trying to define bad. It's like standing before a mural with the ridiculously loud price tag thinking... now that's got to be the most unsightly creation I've ever seen. And I know for a fact it's not just me. Even babies in strollers pushed up to this differential visual will point at the monstrosity and shriek, "ill!" And of course too, this hasn't failed either. A scholar will walk right up to me and in this deep burgeoning voice, will explicitly explain how something so unquestionably differential, is so deceitfully beautiful. And true to the unscholar, I'll go along with all of this, nodding my head up and down, running a few more laps through my thoughts deciding the scholar has to be right. Bad really shouldn't even be a word in the dictionary.

My second reason is a lot less stressful. Not too long ago I found out I am a mood reader. What this means is, my reading preferences shift from mood to mood.

Brooding rainy afternoons, with a good hot cup of tea and dark lighting, I've been known to enjoy real whiny, purple proses that otherwise gnaw my nose hairs loose if there's too much sunlight out. I prefer matching sunlight with fun and upbeat.

Just like something echoing the background...you know...a Homer Simpson/South Park type dressing for some reason allows me to overlook mural-size gaffes. This happened once. It took me rereading the story at the vampire hour of captivity, when my eyes are at its widest, to wonder if I'd been reading the same book.

...and then there are those days when my mood is a little dank. You know... stuffy, parched, funky, and kind of foul. The rare occasions when I'm not feeling the follies, and specifically looking for clean, crisp, to the point, no nonsense writing. I was in one of these moods one day while I just so happened, happened to be holding a heavy book. A couple of hundred pages as sheer to the point as a no nonsense story could get and the first thing I say is, "I can't read this now." Sometimes heavy is too heavy, plus, it was raining this day. But then one second too long, and before I knew it, I was standing out in the rain crying and reading this heavy book.

Now, I've gone through the trouble to write all this out so that the next time you come upon a book where you find yourself about to describe it as bad, you might recall this post and be cautioned to remember, it might not be the book. It could very well be your mood.


  1. I don't know if I agree. There are some books that are badly written. I've found books that are hard to get lost in because I've had other things going on but once I get back to it, I'm of a sound and patient mind when I pick it up again.

    As far as mood reading, I may wanna read something along the lines of history for awhile, then women's fiction or whatever genres that are the norm for me but I'm clear about what's a good read. I don't allow my distractions to override that.

  2. Yeah...generically speaking I think we all see good from bad...

  3. Oh, this is so tr4ue. I'm a mood reader also, and I have to say, some books I've reread seemed...well...not so good the second time around. Must have been feeling extra bitchy that day!

  4. Too funny Laura, though so true. I might not have ever picked up on it had not I done like you, only in the reverse, rereading this one in one of my (non-bitchy;-) moods to find it a very enjoyable book. LOL!

  5. Lovely, thoughtful post - and thanks for leaving the trail on my blog so I could find you. I think of books as I think of people: some you love, some you can get along quite well without. It's all to do with finding the match for your personality and age and outlook. To take a musical analogy: you wouldn't expect an elderly person who loves classical music to like the same albums as a teenage Jay-Z fan. Neither is bad music, just not to another's taste. What's never acceptable is to equate "I didn't like this" with "so therefore it's terrible".

  6. Deborah, thanks for your thoughtful comment. You pointed it out perfectly, the Jay-Z/classical music from one type of audience to the next. Yes, "I didn't like this" does not equate to "so therefore it's terrible".

    And thanks for stopping by.


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