Sometimes, I read a book, and it makes me stabby. You know, the kind of book that you simply cannot fathom how it was able to make it all the way to you without someone yelling “Stop the insanity!”. Or the book that you love so much for reasons, but it’s just amazing, okay?

This post is zero percent about that type of book. This is about what, to me, is the most mystifying type of book there is: The “Why don’t I like you more” puzzlers. You know, the books that everyone has loved, and you feel like you should probably love too. Because there is no reason that you don’t love it. I am rambling.

This thought process started over a book you might have heard of, released this year. Six of Crows? I have heard a few people here or there reading it. Kidding, of course, everyone and their mom has read and loved it.


You know, just this bad boy. The lovely quote art print is from Evie’s Society6 Shop, and it’s amazing.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked the book. I just didn’t feel any overwhelming feelings about it. Or another book that I read around the same time. And when I was writing reviews/rating stuff, I realized something: That was a really rough couple of weeks for me, personally. I was in a bad way. I was bummed out and weepy and overwhelmed. And I found myself just not that into the book. And as the reviews poured in, I started to wonder if I was black sheeping again.

But I also knew that I loved the characters, and was curious about what was going to happen, and adored the writing. So what was my problem? That is when it hit me. It wasn’t the book at all. It was me. Or more accurately, my funk. Would I have enjoyed any book at that time? I thought about it and came to a conclusion: Probably not. ezgif-1187122814


It got me thinking: could this be true of any book I have read? What if I had read The Hunger Games when I was in the worst mood ever? Or wouldn’t it have mattered if it really was the best book you’ve ever read? Obviously, my plan is twofold:

  1. To ask you. Tell me, has this happened to you? Is this normal? 
  2. To re-read Six of Crows and then decide: Book, Me, or a combination of both?

So, a quiz! Even though you likely already know where you fall, I like making random quizzes with stupid gifs, mmmkay?

So, what do you think? Do you think you feel differently about books depending on the kind of mindset you’re in?

Posted December 17, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Discussion, Discussion Challenge / 45 Comments


45 responses to “Does Your Mood Affect Your Rating?

  1. It definitely does. Sometimes I still make myself read a book even though I don’t feel like it, and when I do, I find it hard for me to decipher what I really feel while reading. “Wait, am I supposed to cry over this?” “What on earth just happened?” “I think I need to re-read that paragraph again…” Those thoughts linger on my mind and it eventually makes it hard for me to honestly review the book.

  2. You definitely aren’t alone and I’m glad you posted this because I thought I was aone on this. My mood has affected various books I’ve read that many loved or at least liked (obviously there are a lot that I just really didn’t like without a mood). To pick an example, Everything Everything. Just yesterday, a few bloggers and I were talking about the book and they still hadnt read it so they started and one of them immediately said “this book is great”. Now, this blogger and I most of the time have the same likes so for her to say that made me question my rating and made me realize that I was in a huge funk when I read this book so now the question is, what do I do? I read the book for review and already shared my review on the blog so do I just not read it again or I do and what if it changes my views on it and I like it but review is already posted? This happened to a few other books and it sucks because I know that I should separate personal/professional but having a deadline to review a book sucks because it ends up forcing me to read a book and in the end, I could not like it.

    • Yes, exactlY! It is so hard, because those are your absolute honest thoughts from when you read and wrote it. BUT what if you do like it better? I think in that case, your best bet would just be to add a little edit to your existing review. But my hunch is that our views wouldn’t change a TON. Like, a book might go up say, a star. But it isn’t going to be the difference from a 1 star to a 5 star just because of a funk. So in the end, I don’t think it’s that damaging to write a review even if it’s during a tough time.

  3. I don’t think my mood affects my rating of a book, but I do believe that books can sway my mood. For example, if a sad thing is happening or something about the book bothers me, I’ll feel those emotions. However, it doesn’t change my ratings. I find that I’ll only ever rate the book based on how bad or good it is.

  4. I totally agree with you… I have been under a lot of stress this past week and I was reading Their Fractured Light at the same time. It took me a week to finish it, because everything was kinda bad and I didn’t even want to read. I also enjoyed the first half of the book a lot less because of the mood I was into. Sometimes, it also pushes me to DNF a book, when I am the real problem, not the book…

  5. Sam

    My mood, sometimes, makes me DNF a book. I remember reading Rooms by Lauren Oliver, who I love. I was sort of in a dark mood, and the book was pulling me deeper into it. So, I DNFed. It was not bad, I just needed something a little lighter

    • Yes, I agree! Sometimes I simply cannot handle a certain type of book at the time, so I will put it aside. And even when I say I will go back to it, I rarely do hahah. I love Lauren Oliver too, but I have heard mixed things about Rooms, so I have been putting it off!

  6. I am sure my mood affects how I feel about books. I think it is hard for it not too. ALso it affects my reviews. Sometimes I am just not in the mood to expand hence some bullet points. It is what it is. BTW I love your quizzes. They always make me happy. My favorite answer from this one was “Bitch, I’m crying NOW.” 🙂

  7. YES!! This EXACT thing hasn’t happened to me several times… most recently while reading Six of Crows, ironically. I had been sent the ARC from a bloggy friend to read, and I just stopped around page 90. I wasn’t in the right mood to fully appreciate it. I was exhausted at the time and reading just to finish it to send it back… But I wasn’t truly enjoying it. So I emailed her and sent it back. I felt TERRIBLE!! I have since bought a copy and do intend to read it…but I want to make sure I’m in the RIGHT MOOD to read and fully enjoy it.

    I’ve said many times in reviews that I may have not been “in the mood” and that’s why I didn’t like a specific book, and I always feel bad about that. Like I’m not being fair to the book/author. Being a book blogger is TOUGH!! Lol. I have reread books when that’s occurred. That’s also why I DNF so maybe, or mark them as to-be-cont. If I think it’s a mood thing and my rating won’t be 100% fair, I put it down and come back to it later. This year alone I picked up three books I had previously marked as DNF and thoroughly enjoyed them! It’s totally okay for us to be mood readers. It’s okay to put down a book when you’re not feeling it. I think maybe some books connect with you so much that your mood as zero affect on its rating. But I do believe more often than not our mood, along with our past or present conditions, influence how we feel about a book.

    Such a great discussion! Thanks for sharing, Shannon! 🙂

  8. Bitch, I’m crying right now – I died with that. I don’t know why I found that to be super hilarious, but I did so thanks for that 😛

    This discussion is amazing and I completely agree with you. This has happened with me so many times. I think it just happened with me and This Is Where It Ends. I was just not blown away with that one but I have heard so many good things and it totally sounds like a book I would love. Another thing I do is DNF and I half the time it’s due to my mood. Like do I really really hate this book enough to completely ignore it for the rest of eternity or am I just a bad seed today? I’m probably a bad seed 😛

    I mean hell, of course, there are going to be bad books…I read some all the time, but I think it happens, more often than I’d like, that my mood dictates everything. Grrr.

  9. I got diagnosed with “It Depends,” which is quite accurate for me! Sometimes I’ll read a great book and hate it, and then pick it up a year later and love everything about it. Books can also be the remedy to my bad/glum mood, and I’ve had a few stories that I always go back to whenever I’m feeling down; their like my comfort food that’s always on hand!
    I loved this post and great quiz! ;-D

  10. My mood most definitely affects my rating! Sometimes I read books that I end up feeling extremely meh about and I know that if I’d been in a different mood I probably would have fangirled my pants off. It is tempting to reread those books but I think a long period of time between the reads is necessary or I’d just remember the negative feelings I had the first time :/ Great post, Shannon!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

  11. Oh definitely my moods affect how I feel about a book. Sometimes, for whatever reason, I’m not feeling a particular book. And that’s okay. I also think it can go in the other direction. When a certain book is just super special because of the mood you’re in.

  12. Ugh this is such a timely post because this has been happening to me SO MUCH LATELY. I had a few books I didn’t click with and I think the bitterness just spilled into the rest of my books from this month (except for a few). I’m not a fan of instalove in general, but I can get by it if the rest of the book evens it out. But, I’ve read quite a few instalovey stories recently that my tolerance is just straight up G O N E. Because of my ugh-instalove mood, the rest of those books have been pushed to MEH territory… even if I liked everything else in the book. I don’t know how to snap this! I don’t feel like I’m in a reading funk because I’ve been WANTING to read.. its just that I’m bitter about the books I’m reading and more critical than usual? I need to be wowed or something.

  13. I think your mood definitely changes how you review or feel about a novel, movie, show, etc. etc. Though if you’re having a tough time in your life, nothing seems that amazing, let’s be real. I’ve been in that spot before and I can tell you that hardly anything seems fun for that little bit. I think if you feel that way when you initially want to write reviews for it, I would reread it again when you’re in a better spot to see if that’s the case.

  14. I’m a mood reader, so, if I’m not in the right book mood, it can affect my rating.

    Emotional moods though? Nah, it doesn’t make a difference. I found some of the most amazing books ever while going through my roughest patch this year. The only exception is that I will surely hate anything too easy and sappy and perfect if I’m in a rough patch because real life isn’t like that, and seriously, character, you’re crying because he had to reschedule or because of some imaginary problem in your head? I HAVE REAL PROBLEMS! Lol though, to be fair, those kinds of books just aren’t my thing even when life is great.

  15. I think mood can definitely affect how you feel about the book. When I’m not in a reading mood I tend to burn through books I either don’t finish or end up skimming. I have to admit I don’t usually regret that or wish I could go back though. The only book I truly regretted not loving is All Fall Down by Ally Carter which, after two reading attempts (so far) I’ve pretty much concluded is just not the book for me. Alas!

  16. Lol, I got “Moody Mary,” so in other words, YES, I COMPLETELY RELATE TO THIS. In fact, this very thing happened to me while reading Six of Crows, one of my most highly anticipated books of the year. I was even worse than you, though, in that I couldn’t bring myself to care about the characters at all. The very end grabbed my attention slightly, but at this point I don’t remember anything that happened. It was super disappointing. I don’t think I can convince myself to read it again – maybe we should both just read the summary on Recaptains and then the sequel when it comes out? =P
    I think it is pretty normal. For me, it usually happens that I read a book at just the RIGHT time, and love it more than I otherwise would, but definitely happens the other way, too, where I’m apathetic or cranky about everything, including what I read.

  17. I’ve noticed that I tend to hate books that I was assigned to read. If I had chosen to read the book on my own, I might have liked it, but since I was forced to read it, I hate it. My feelings about having to write an essay totally impact how I feel about the book.

  18. Yes, I truly believe that our feelings affect our reading. I actually started reading The Hunger Games and gasp! DNF’d it a chapter in. Why? Because I was just not feeling it! I wanted more romance so I read a different book. I picked up The Hunger Games again last year and WAS HOOKED! I mean, I could not stop until I read all 3 that I think I read all 3 in one week. 🙂

    Take heart, your feelings toward Six of Crows may change when you reread it again. Hope you feel better after that rough couple of weeks! *hugs*

  19. Like, I think I do??? But not overly??? GAH IT’S HARD. I feel like no matter what’s going on in my life, I do separate that from what I’m reading. BUT. I do distinctly remember being in a horrifically bad mood once and picking up a book and just HATING everything about it. So I’m sure the mood was to blame. XD And like once I was on holidays and it was very stressful so I locked myself in my room and just ate a book in one sitting. I LOVE that book. Such fond memories because it was a distraction from a stressful time…but if I reread it, would I like it as much!?!? IT IS A MSYTERY TBH.

    As for Six of Crows…well I loved it. xD But it wasn’t the 5-star read everyone else seems to give it! I thought it was too rambly, tbh, and I hated how there were so many characters and it didn’t specifically focus on anyone. I like more focus/direction in books I read. *nods* But I did love the stealy-ness. XD OF COURSE I DID. OMG ME AND MY BLACK HEART.

  20. It depends (which is both what I would’ve said before I took the quiz and was my results). I feel like if I’m in a really crabby mood I just don’t read so it hardly ever affects my rating. I also give out a lot of 3-3.5 star ratings so most of those books are books I liked, but had problems with. I can’t think of any books this year I read and my mood affected my rating.

  21. This is such an interesting question Shannon. I think if I’m agitated / angry / sad, I’m more likely to spot the flaws in a book than if I was just reading through it pleasantly. There definitely is some correlation there. xD Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous discussion! ♥

  22. I have often thought about this. For me, it’s not typically that I’m in a sad or bad mood – actually, I think I enjoy books just as much when I’m in those moods because I kind of escape into my little book world and pretend that all the “realness” is not happening. I’m pretty good at avoidance (it’s my specialty) and book avoidance is the best kind. BUT I have definitely noticed this when there are times that I’m super busy or just generally distracted. I like to read books in one day – sometimes one to two sittings. So if THINGS are going on and I can’t do that, a lot of times I find myself not enjoying the book as much because I just get pulled out of it. I usually try to say that in my reviews. The fact is that we’re all human and we have human emotions that affect us when we go through life – including our reading – so it’s kind of impossible not to let them affect our ratings. I always say, reviews are subjective and there’s nothing we can do about that. As for that crying thing. Always. On. The. Brink. (Seriously, it could happen at any moment.)

  23. Love this post! I am back on forth on this. I dont’ think my mood affects my rating but I think my mood can affect what TYPE of book to read. There are times when I’ve had the hardest week and I was able to ESCAPE into a book and it helps! 🙂

  24. I think mood affects EVERYTHING: what book I read, whether I absolutely adore it or not (whether I have the patience to stick around, and what I put into my review. That being said, if a book is FANTASTIC, I don’t think there is much that will change that. It’s a little like how a fabulous book can bring me out of a reading slump 🙂 Thanks for the great post!

  25. My mood completely affects the way I read. If I don’t feel like reading a certain book, I won’t. I end up switching books sometimes because I’m not in the mood, or I juggle two books because I’m not in the mood. I’m not really sure if it does affect my ratings, though. I don’t think it does? I’ve never really noticed if it has. I’ve only noticed my mood affecting my reading choices.

  26. I think if you read the Hunger Games during a time like this, YOU WOULD STILL BE BLOWN AWAY. Just kidding I have no idea. I think the books that are amazing can affect your enjoyment regardless of whatever mood you’re in. But of course, there are some books that must be read during a specific mood. So I guess it depends on you as a reader, and the book itself? WHO KNOWS. DO AN EXPERIMENT.

  27. You should absolutely reread Six of Crows, but well, I know you don’t have time for that. Also mood TOTALLY affects me! Sometimes it really is the book, of course. Sometimes there are some terrible ones that make me so stabby about everything. But then there are times when I’m in a funk, or wiped out emotionally, or just having a really fucking bad day, and then I start nit-picking the book. I start raging at something that probably would normally have gotten a roll of the eyes or a simple “ugh, you’re a dick” comment. So when that happens, I don’t read. Because I don’t like subjecting books to that type of mood. And I’d much rather at least ENJOY the process of reading. I just took the quiz and got “It depends” so yeah, totally accurate here. It definitely depends on more than just mood!

  28. I believe this is why I have a short backlog of reviews that need to be written. I’ve been suffering health-wise for a few months and I finished up some books recently, but haven’t written reviews. I’m concerned that my poor attitude and exhaustion will affect my review even if I did enjoy the book. 🙂

  29. What a super fun quiz Shannon! I had so much fun, I got It Depends. But YESS To your Q4, this happens to me all the time, when I’m just looking at words but not really absorbing what’s on the page. So glad it’s not just me!

  30. I can definitely relate to this post. I’m a mood reader in general so I will never force myself to read a book if I’m not invested in it. I’ve been reading the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series this month. I read the first book in the spring I decided to re-read it and I found that I enjoyed it a lot more the second time round and I found that this was because I wasn’t as stressed. The first time I read it I was in the middle of writing my dissertation and trying to balance all my university work and because my mind was so preoccupied I couldn’t get lost in the book like I did the second time. That’s why I never try to force myself to read a book.

  31. For me yes, If I am in a bad mood and I read about some clueless character(mainly women) I just get disgusted and start making snarky comments!! When I am in a good mood these same clueless women I just deal with and plug through to the end, so I can say I finished that book. Interesting post.

  32. Great post Shannon! yes! definitely! I’m having the worse book slump ever and I have only finished two books is almost three months! I wouldn’t want to review any of the many DNFs I had these last three months because I know it is me 🙁

Leave a Reply