Jo Talks Books: Does The Season Affect What You Read?

Hey everyone! I had a different topic planned for my first (and perhaps only, we’ll see how busy I am!) discussion post of December, but the topic I have chosen is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, so I thought I’d rather talk about that. The topic I’ve chosen to talk about is Seasonal Reading, whether the season affects what you read. I used to think that the season didn’t at all affect what I read, that my reading tastes didn’t change based on the season and whilst I think that is still mostly true, I have noticed that my reading habits do change somewhat based on the season. Not the genre I read, no matter what the season, my preferred genre always remains fantasy, but definitely the size and number of books I read changes based on the season.

I’ve seen a lot of people who say that they read bigger books in the autumn and winter time and shorter books over the summer and also that they tend to read less over the summer, but I’m the exact opposite. I definitely read more in the summer, likely because I have more free time, given that I don’t have Uni. Aside from Summer 2015, which was a disastrous summer for reading for me because I was working all the time, every other year that I can remember, I’ve definitely read more books over the summer than at any other time. I read thirteen books over the summer this year, that’s almost half of my reading total for the entire year. The books I read usually tend to be 400-500 pages or longer whereas I usually average 300-400 pages or shorter at Uni. It’s simply because I just have more time over the summer and I’m more likely to just sit and read, whereas at Uni I have a million distractions, work, Netflix and honestly, I’m usually just so tired, reading doesn’t seem appealing. My one exception to tending to read longer books (well longer for me anyway, I don’t usually read over 600 page books), is Sarah J Maas, I will read whatever huge tome she decides to publish, and since I could never wait until the next summer to read a TOG book, I usually read those in Autumn/Winter.

I’m not a big beach reader, the usual “summer reads” are not my kind of thing, so I don’t automatically reach for the nearest chick flick as soon as the weather gets warmer. Having said that, because I tend to sit and read for longer periods of time during the summer, I do choose books that I think will be engaging to read, and ones that I won’t want to dip in and out of. I usually read at least one crime novel over the summer as they’re great to read on the beach and even though I didn’t read at the beach this year (I did go, but only once and very briefly), I still did read some mystery/thriller/crime books over the summer. I don’t tend to read these at any other time during the year, so they definitely do seem to be a seasonal thing. And despite usually not reading based on the seasons, I have timed some of my reads this year based on the season, for instance, I read The Accident Season at the end of October as it’s based around Halloween and that seemed like a good time to read it, Snow Like Ashes was a November/December read since it seemed perfect for that time of year and I’m reading The Night Circus at the moment because something about it screamed “December” to me, so perhaps I am becoming more of a seasonal reader! I don’t go for Christmas books as soon as it gets cold though, or contemporaries as soon as it gets warm, I’m mostly a year round fantasy reader! Plus I have read “out of season” books before, The Sword of Summer was set in winter, despite having summer in the title. Last year I read two books, The Winter Horses, and Between Shades of Grey that were both very wintery reads, in April. I’d say my reading is definitely more affected by my mood than the season, I’ll read what I feel like, despite the seasonal setting of the book.

There are also authors that I associate with certain seasons, mostly autumn. Rick Riordan’s books, I always used to read in Autumn, up until this year, where I read The Sword of Summer (no I did not pick it to read in summer just because it has a summer title, length was the deciding factor in that one!) and The Hidden Oracle over the summer. However, it has become a tradition of mine to read a Rick Riordan book over Autumn (as that’s when his new book always used to be released, before he started writing two a year), this year it was The Hammer of Thor. Sarah J Maas has always been an Autumn/Winter author to me since the new Throne of Glass has been published in September each year, although I actually read the first three books in March 2014 & 15 respectively, but still, she is an author that I always relate to Autumn/Winter. I also tend to relate the Skulduggery Pleasant books to Autumn/Winter, since aside from the 3rd & 4th ones, that’s when I read all of them.

A lot of my reading habits this year have been determined not by the season but by Uni. I read a lot more during the months when I wasn’t at Uni (ie during Summer, I have always read more when I wasn’t at school though). Aside from Summer, I read a lot more when travelling to and from places (since I love to read on public transport, I know some people can’t do it, but I love reading on trains!) especially when travelling home, as it’s now a five hour journey! To this end, October was my most successful month whilst at Uni, as I did a lot of travelling during in October, so I ended up reading a lot more than I did other months whilst I was at Uni.

I’ve seen that people prefer to read books with darker themes during winter and lighter themes during summer, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true for me. Whilst I did read some light, fun books over the summer, I did also read books with darker themes, such Asking For It, Graceling, Look Who’s Back (a satire but with dark themes), the Demon Road books (which have humour but are dark in terms of content) etc, I think I just prefer darker books on the whole to be honest anyway, and I’ve read some fun light stuff during the autumn as well as some darker stuff, so this particular reading habit doesn’t seem to be something that I’ve taken up. I did have a long period of reading intense books during October, but that was just how my reading choices happened to pan out and not necessarily because it was Autumn. I also don’t necessarily restrict my paranormal choices to October, I’ll read paranormal books throughout the year.

So overall, whilst I would definitely say that the seasons have an affect on the length of books that I read and how much I read, I wouldn’t necessarily say that the seasons affect what I choose to read (aside from the whole crime novels in summer thing) that much, there have been occasions this year where the season has affected what I want to read and there are certain authors I tend to read at certain times of year, but for the most part, the season doesn’t tend to affect what I choose to read, there are other, more important factors, that affect what I choose to read.

I don’t know when or if I’ll have another December discussion post for you,  I have friends coming to visit next week and then of course, it’s Christmas, but there’s always a chance so keep an eye out in case another Jo Talks post comes your way. In the meantime however, I will have a book review of my latest read Snow Like Ashes for you very soon and a new Top Ten Tuesday post for you guys tomorrow.


10 thoughts on “Jo Talks Books: Does The Season Affect What You Read?

  1. Bookmark Chronicles December 12, 2016 / 4:36 pm

    This is so interesting and something I never thought about honestly. But no. For me I don’t care about the season I just read what’s recommended at the time so I guess it doesn’t really affect my friends either!

    • iloveheartlandx December 12, 2016 / 4:40 pm

      Thanks! Yeah I’m not really that big on the season either, I’ll just read what I feel like reading and if that means I read a wintery book in Summer then so be it!

  2. SERIESous Book Reviews December 12, 2016 / 11:39 pm

    Not usually. I don’t read Christmas books near Christmas or summer books in the summer. I’m a mood reader so I just pick up whatever genre suits me at the time.

    Like you, I tend to read more in the summer just because school’s out. I do think though that I am more open to reading YA contemporaries (a genre I don’t particularly enjoy) in the summer simply because I have the time and will take a chance. I also binge read more series just because I can.

    • iloveheartlandx December 13, 2016 / 3:15 pm

      Yeah I have to admit I’m pretty similar. I’m not a total mood reader, I usually do semi-plan what I want to read in a given year, but most of the time, I’ll be reading whatever I feel like, no matter what the season. Yeah I’ve always been that way, honestly I reckon I always will be because it’s just habit now, summer means lots of reading! I read very few contemporaries anyway, so I couldn’t say if the seasons change that, though as I said in my post, I tend to read more crime novels in the summer. I will also definitely do more series binging during the summer too, like you, just because I can and have the time to.

  3. Rain @ Ivyclad Ideas December 13, 2016 / 4:29 pm

    I read what I have to during term time, and what I want to during the holidays. I usually get through either a full novel or a stack of manga books on Christmas day, and at least one or two more before new year, so I do probably read more at Christmas than at summer.

    • iloveheartlandx December 13, 2016 / 4:33 pm

      Interesting! I probably don’t read as much at Christmas as during summer because we do a lot of family stuff over Christmas. I probably should do more reading for my course, but my personal reading usually does take precedence!

  4. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews December 15, 2016 / 5:14 am

    Where I live in Australia we don’t really have a “winter” or at least not a proper one so I don’t really get seasonally affected. I can understand why it would affect people who live in places were there is such a prominent change in the weather though. I can read any type of book whenever though!

    • iloveheartlandx December 15, 2016 / 6:10 pm

      I wish I’d thought of that when I was writing, it’s an interesting angle to this discussion! Yes same here, I’m quite happy to read any type of book whatever the season 🙂

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