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How To Set the Mood for Reading Every Genre

Adiba Jaigirdar

Staff Writer

Adiba Jaigirdar is an Irish-Bangladeshi writer, poet, and teacher. She resides in Dublin, Ireland and has an MA in postcolonial studies. She is currently working on her own postcolonial novel and hopes that someday it will see the light of day outside of her computer screen. Twitter: @adiba_j

Reading doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. It’s one of those things that you can do anywhere at any time, and that’s part of the beauty of it. But there are times when you just want to be totally immersed in what you’re reading. When you want to set the exact right mood for the exact right kind of mood. Here are some tips on how you can set the right mood for reading a few different genres.

A photo of someone reading in the bath with candles and flower petals
Photo by Monstera from Pexels


Reading romance leaves you with those warm, fuzzy feelings. So it’s important to replicate that when you’re setting the mood for reading it. You can read in a bubble bath with your favourite scents. Or you can change into your most comfortable pyjamas, light some scented candles and bundle up in bed, comfortable, cozy, and ready to read. Along with your romance book, make sure you have some chocolates to snack on and a drink. Maybe a glass of wine or some nice, warm tea.


When it comes to reading horror, it’s all about that quickening of your heart. You want to be on your tenterhooks as you turn the pages, filled with suspense, and ready for the story to take you by surprise in the ways it scares you. With a horror novel, you really want to sink into it, so the best way to read it is when you have time to yourself. When there’s nobody at home and you can just get lost. And for maximum terror, you should also probably read when the sun is setting outside or maybe even in the middle of the night. Of course, if you can’t find a time and place to be secluded and get lost in your book, music can also help you get into the mood for horror. I’m a big fan of instrumental music to help me really get into my reading, so you could put on some creepy, suspenseful background music as you read.


Historical fiction can be a complicated genre to set the mood for, depending on what period of history you’re reading about. But you can never go wrong with trying out a few things from the time period of the book you’re reading. You can dress up fancy in some period clothing if you’re really trying to get into the mood. Put on a vintage dress and accessories. Maybe even prepare some food and drink that goes along with your book. You can even set the tone with some popular music from the era.

Cozy Mystery

To read a cozy mystery, you, of course, have to get cozy. These are the perfect books to read snuggled up in bed, or on your couch. Turn on the fireplace to warm you up as you turn the pages trying to find the answer to the mystery. They also go well with all kinds of warm foods and drinks, especially when so many cozy mysteries are all about food. Fix yourself your favourite warm meal or some decadent desserts, and pair it all with a warm beverage. Some herbal or fruit teas. Then, sit back, relax, and get lost in the perfect cozy mystery.

joeel56 reading time
Photo by Nicole Wolf on Unsplash


Fantasy, to me, is all about escaping into a new world for a few hours. You’re entering imaginary worlds that only exist within the pages of the book you’re reading. To really get lost inside these worlds, you definitely want to carve out your reading time. You also want to ensure that you’re somewhere comfortable, ready to be transported. Try lying down in bed with your blankets tucked in. Or sitting in a comfortable position on your couch, ready to leave your reality behind. If you’re someone who likes to read with music in the background, fantasy is definitely a genre that music goes along well with. Reading something adventurous? Put on some epic instrumental music in the background. Something whimsical? You can never go wrong with the soundtrack to a Studio Ghibli movie.

Whatever genre you’re reading, setting the mood before you read can definitely help you get the most enjoyment out of your reading time. Need some more help with setting the mood? Make sure you check out these bookish candles and literary teas!