Today’s post is on a subject very relevant to my life and is prompted by Musing Mondays.

Musing Mondays, comes from Should Be Reading.

This week’s musing considers

How often do you read a book, just because you’re in the mood to read it? (not because you’re obligated to for a book club, or a challenge, or for review)

I always read for pleasure. Ever since I graduated from college, I have simply chosen books for pleasure. Ironically though, I find myself desiring to read the classic literature pieces that I was never assigned in college. And, with the exception of Wordsworth or Coleridge, I rarely felt like I was forced to read in college. I tended to enjoy everything I read and enjoyed collecting syllabi from classes I couldn’t fit into my schedule so that I could read the assigned reading on my own time. Sick, isn’t it?

However, I have been debating reading outside of my mood in recent weeks. As soon as I started blogging, I knew I could receive ARCs from publishers if I would just review them. I have hesitated on applying for ARCs for this simple reason: I don’t read what I don’t want to read. I refuse! So everyone was saying “You’ve gotta read the Da Vinci Code!” I didn’t just pick it up. I waited out the hype and checked it out on my own time. It turned out, I couldn’t get past the first chapter of the Da Vinci Code.

I don’t consider reading challenges to be forced reading. I participate in a reading challenge on GoodReads that has so much flexibility that I’m often debating many multiples of potential books, all of different genres, for one single task. Usually, this reading challenge just forces me to do what I want to do: read more books, try more genres, get out of my comfort zone. I do have to read a Crime novel for the Fall Challenge, which is outside of my preferred genres, but I see this as an opportunity to either A. fall in love with a new author or B. gain more evidence on why I don’t like this genre. My cup simply sits at the midway point- not half-full or half-empty.

In the end, I have decided to not seek out ARCs. The moment I feel forced to read is the moment that I stop reading. And reading is my favorite thing to do. Reading should always be as pleasureable as the warm fuzzies I feel when I hear this old favorite from childhood:

Why does this song make me feel so good?!?

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