Friday, February 9, 2018

Weres Wanna Know: How does your environment affect your reading choices? (Thoughts on Mood Reading and #MeToo)

We’re probably all mood readers to one degree or another. Maybe you want to get in the mood for winter by reading all the snowbound romances. Or you might want to read them in the middle of summer to take your mind off the heat. Maybe you moved away and want to read a book set in your hometown. Or you’ve just been through a break up and want to binge feel good rom-coms.

The mood that strikes me most often is review book burnout. I just don’t want to think about what I’m reading that much. I don’t want to take notes and I definitely don’t want to write more than two sentences on Goodreads when I’ve finished. Sometimes when that happens I pick up a light hearted contemp romance from Alice Clayton, Emma Chase or Lauren Blakeley. And sometimes I go dark with someone like Annika Martin or Skye Warren. But most of the time, my go to slump buster is shifter PNR.

I was in one of those moods in November where I just wanted to read all shifters all the time. But I found that against the backdrop of #metoo, shifters just didn’t work for me. I could no longer abide an alpha male who threw the heroine over his shoulder and dragged her back to his lair to mate. I’m not saying that all shifter romances are like that, but I picked up three in a row that were. And I’m not OK with that.

I have a feeling that I’m not the only one, that as a society we’re becoming more aware of the issue. And I hope that it’s a permanent shift. I for one am going to keep calling out the problem when I see it. You might have noticed more comments about consent in my reviews lately.

At the same time, I’m afraid that some of my old favorite books may now be problematic. Did I just accept that behavior as a shifter trope and overlook it? I’m not sure. I can’t think of a specific example. I’ve always had problems with overly controlling alpha males and have written about them in reviews. So maybe I’ve been aware it was an issue but didn’t have the tools to express it. I’m not going to stop reading PNR, I just might approach it differently than I did a year ago.

What’s going on in our lives and our surroundings is bound to impact our book choices. However, I can’t think of anything in my life that’s caused a shift in perspective like the #metoo movement.

How has your mood or your environment impacted your reading choices?

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