this holiday-themed book.
If I had written this post in September, I may have opened with a description of leathery leaves, crisp apples, and the coursing anticipation that accompanies the arrival of autumn. I would have listed the atmospheric books I was reading to get myself in the mood for fall and the horror novels on my pre-Halloween reading list.
If I had written this post in June, I would have complained about 90-degree heat and angry red mosquito bites that make me want to crawl out of my own skin. But I would have consoled myself with thoughts of lighthearted novels featuring summer camps, road trips, and adorable romances.
Why? Because I am very much a seasonal reader, a firm believer that certain books are meant to be read during certain months.
I have no rational explanation for this dearly-held belief system. In fact, until now, I never truly thought about why the calendar dictates my reading choices so strictly or when I started caring that my reading matched the season. It was as if I inherently knew that gorgeously written ghost stories were for October and clever rom-coms were for July.
Now that I have stopped to ponder the reasons for my reading habits, I suppose the best answer can be summed up into one word: mood. Just as some feel the desire to travel to the beach during the summer, I feel a compulsion to read about the beach. The weather puts me in the mood to read a certain type of that book, and the more beach reads I consume, the more I fall into the feeling of summer.
My seasonal reading has created its share of problems over the years. I have been known to place a book on hold at the library and proceed to check its status five times a day, telling myself it needs to get to me before the time to read it expires.
Second Chance Summer last December, its sunny setting sliced through the icy Indiana winter, creating a shimmering escape that made the story exceptionally memorable. When I read The Vanishing Season, a story set against an expanse of pure white snow, it took the edge off of the encroaching June heat that I was already beginning to resent.
In all likelihood, I will always be a seasonal reader—I do not think my reading habits will change, and I do not think I want them to. But if there is one thing being a seasonal reader has taught me, it is to be willing to try something out of the ordinary. This December, I challenge you to challenge your reading habits—whether that means reading one novel straight through if you tend to flit between titles, reading a fantasy if you are exclusively a contemporary fan, or reading a summer story if you like to keep books confined to particular months. No matter how deeply set in your ways you may be, switching things up can refresh and rejuvenate—and even change your reading habits for 2015.
Let's discuss: are you a seasonal reader? If so, when and why did you become a seasonal reader? Either way, do your reading compulsions ever create complications for you? And have you ever tried reading out of your comfort zone?