SERIESous Discussion: Do I Follow A Reading Pattern?


SERIESous Discussions: Every once and awhile I will post my random ramblings about a bookish or blogging topic. Feel free to join in by making a comment below or linking back!


I consider myself to be a mood reader. But does my reading follow a pattern as a result? Or do I simply answer the whims of my current mood when it comes to my next read?

Approximately 3 years ago, I wrote a discussion post about how I went from reading one book at a time to reading two to three at a time. I’d say that’s still very true to this day: I always have one eBook/physical book on the go AND an audiobook I listen to. And when I was analyzing the sudden switch, one of the reasons I mentioned was my mood reading tendencies:

I’ve always had a bit of a pattern when it comes to reading. Say I just finished a YA fantasy novel, I usually pick up a New Adult romance right after. And after that, I pick up another non-contemporary novel and alternate back and forth. Other times, I read multiple books in that genre because I’m just in a genre-binge phase.

But sometimes, it depends on the type of novel I’ve just finished. For example, if I just finished a dark romance, I usually read 2 “lighter” romances right after to bring me back to a more happier place. Sometimes I’ll even start that lighter book while I read the darker one just to balance out my mood and give me something else to think about. That’s how I often find myself with multiple physical books on the go.

~SERIESous Book Reviews – SERIESous Discussion: How I Became a Two-Timing Book Reader

Now that I keep track of the books I read in an Excel Document, I wanted to see if my hypothesis was correct:

Do I follow a pattern when it comes to the genres that I read?

To gather the facts, I looked at the first 50 books that I read in 2020 and classified them by “Age” (Young Adult, New Adult, Adult) and by “Genre” (Non-contemporary, Contemporary, Nonfiction, Historical Fiction). For me, non-contemporary is a broad term to encompass Science Fiction, Supernatural, Paranormal and Fantasy; Contemporary means Romances or Coming of Age stories; Historical Fiction is usually only Regency Romances for me.

I then assigned these classifications a numbered value in order to create graphs to visually see what my reading patterns are. So I created one graph based on the “Age” of the books and another based on the specific “genre” of the book. Here are my results:

Reading Pattern Based on Target Audience Age

Age Breakdown: 38% YA | 18% NA | 44% Adult

I have to say, this graph really surprised me! I honestly thought I would see more back and forth oscillation between the YA and NA/Adult ranges. I don’t read a lot of YA contemporary but that’s usually all I read from the Adult and New Adult genres. I assumed that I alternated between contemporary and non-contemporary reads, and this graph shows that isn’t really the case. I tend to read 2-3 books of an age range before changing it up.

I was also shocked to see that I read more Adult reads than anything else. When I look back at the titles, I think that is from my audiobook listening and the fact that my library has more contemporary audiobooks than non-contemporary. I find I can read romance audiobooks much faster than scifi or fantasy — not only because they tend to be shorter books, but also because I can put them on while I do chores and not have to devote 100% of my brain to keep track of the story.

Reading Pattern Based on Genre Type

Genre Breakdown: 6% DNF’d | 32% Non-Contemporary | 54% Contemporary | 4% NonFiction | 6% Historical Fiction

There’s a lot going on in this graph and I apologize for that. I struggled with a way to format the chart to encompass what I needed it to show.

Again, I was surprised by these results. I really don’t alternate genres after every single book I read. This graph suggests in most cases, I read two books of the same genre before switching to another and then repeat. It’s a really interesting pattern and it helped cement something to me about my reading habits which I will discuss below…

What About DNF’d Titles?

I did include the some of the titles I DNF’d in my first 50 reads of 2020. I wanted to see if I could tell anything from the genres I read before and after I DNF’d a title.

One title was an Adult Contemporary romance. I read a NA Contemporary romance before it but switched to an Adult Historical Romance after I DNF’d it. Another title I DNF’d was a YA Non-Contemporary. I read a YA non-contemporary before it and read a NA contemporary after it.

There really isn’t a specific pattern here, but it’s obvious that when I DNF a title, to avoid a reading slump, I switch genres completely to try something else.

Conclusion:

As is often the case when I do these investigative posts about my reading habits, my assumptions are proven wrong.

I assumed that I alternated back and forth between contemporary and non-contemporary titles when I read but that isn’t correct. I often read multiples of each genre before switching back and repeating the pattern. So yes, I alternate between the genres but it isn’t a book-by-book case.

I also learned that I read more Adult novels than I expected. I’m getting older now and I think that is being reflected in my reading. I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to be a teenager to read and enjoy “YA” novels but I do think there are certain stories that appeal to readers based on their ages. I’ve also struggled with reading in the last year and I find that adult contemporary romances are quicker reads that allow me to focus for a shorter amount of time and so I gravitate towards them, especially for audiobooks.

But my biggest conclusion: I am definitely a mood reader. I listen to my reading whims and pick books that I’m interested in reading right now. So if that means I read 3 contemporary romances in a row, that’s what I do. There really isn’t a pattern to my reading — it’s all just dependent on my mood.

Do you have a pattern to your reading? Are you a mood reader?

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