24th April, 2021

Bookish Stuff: There is a right Place and time for everything - or is there?

This is a question that has popped up in my mind again and again over the past few years: Is there really a right place or right time for everything? And does this apply to reading books as well?

I am a mood reader so planning my reading ahead of time is always a bit difficult. I'm a member of two reading groups/book clubs and I manage okay when it comes to reading a specific book within a particular timeframe (maybe because that is also part of my job), but normally I can't outline a full reading list for a specific month or, to put it differently, I could but I would never be able to check these books off the list one by one. A new publication I haven't heard about might get in the way or a spontaneous book haul or... whatever. 

At the same time, I find myself drawn to certain genres at certain times, one example being the months of October and November when I tend to drift towards horror even more than usual. And that's alright, because it fits with my mood. These are books I feel like reading at this particular time. On the other hand, there are books that have a specific season or even month in the title. I can't explain it (and probably it's a common phenomenon that everybody knows) but these always make me feel like I need to read them at the time that is indicated in the title. Which sometimes stresses me out. Am I weird, or this really a feeling all readers are familiar with?

Let me give you an example: I have had Elizabeth von Arnim's The Enchanted April on my TBR cart for at least five years, and I always felt like I should read this novel in... you guessed it ... April. Now, the last few years I've stood in front of this book several times, mostly in spring but by then it had already been May and for whatever reason I thought "Oh no, too late again!!! I'll read this next year then." Okay, this DOES sound bonkers but it's just the way I felt. So I was very proud when, this year, I finally managed to start the book "in time". And I'm loving it, metaphorically hitting myself for not having read it earlier.

Another example is Emily Henry's Beach Read. Somehow I feel like I should read this particular novel ... on a beach holiday. It's definitely not a book I'd ever read, say, during Christmas time. So in case we can travel as planned again this summer, I'm going to take this book to Ibiza with me. 

So the question remains, why do we(?) sometimes think that there is a right place and time for a particular book? I assume it might be connected to actually being a mood reader, meaning that we may look for literature that fits our current environment and mindset. But what about those books that are very consciously targeting the reader to read them at a specific time? Just take Christmas novels as an example or Allie Esiri's current book series of seasonal poetry. Are these not taking some sort of economic advantage of the reader's above mentioned desires? What about you? Do you have books that you read at a specific point in time or in a particular place? I'm curious so please feel free to share in the comments!

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