About two months ago, I experienced a brief period of internal ... strife. It had to do with what I was writing, or, more accurately, what I wanted to be writing. Completely accurately, what I wanted to be writing wasn't what I was writing at the time.
If you're still reading this post, I have a lot of admiration for you.
It matched my mood perfectly. Something about those books just fit, and I gobbled them up. Perhaps you're wondering why I hadn't read them up to now (like the rest of the world), and all I can say is that I just didn't feel particularly motivated to do so. But that week, I think that unsettled, tense, mentally explosive sort of mood I was in shifted me into a space where they were the perfect books at the perfect time.
Mood congruence is a fascinating phenomenon. There's been TONS of research on it. Basically, if you're in a good mood, you think good things are more likely to happen and bad things are less likely. You're more likely to remember happy things. And if someone presents you with a list of words, you're more likely to recall adjectives that are positive. The opposite is true if you're in a bad mood (and especially if you're depressed).
What about mood congruent reading? When you're down, do you graviate toward darker fare? When you're feeling sunny, do you steer clear of drama and go for comedy? Or do you do the opposite? Have you ever saved a book for when you were in a different mood? Have you ever been drawn to a book because of your mood?
And--if you're just finishing NaNoWriMo, congratulations! Either way, skip on over to Deb Salisbury's Sisterhood of the Traveling blog post about why she didn't--I think she presents some pretty good reasons, definitely worth thinking about.