Challenge: 50 Books discussion

Friday Questions > Question #22: Method of Madness

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message 1: by Danine (new)

Danine (dulcemea) How do you choose what 50 books you will read? Do you have a prepared list are your book choices spur of the moment?

message 2: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (snookies) | 23 comments I have a stack of books that I need to get through, but I also insert books on a whim. Today I grabbed Encylopedia of an Ordinary Life at B&N (which I never do — I'm a frugal library or an Amazon girl, maybe) and will probably finish it tomorrow.

I have grand dreams of finishing the 1,000 Book lists, but I somehow doubt I'll every be disciplined enough to disregard books that pique my interest.

message 3: by Danine (last edited Jan 02, 2009 11:35PM) (new)

Danine (dulcemea) My thought process goes something like "oooooo I'm gonna read that one and this one and that one too!" I get so excited about what's out there to read I make a list which is really a list of good intention.

Most of my decisions are spur of the moment. I love going into my personal library and choosing something off of the shelf that I've been meaning to read for years.

I also had a scary thought recently. Maybe I shouldn't purchase any books this year at all and read the books I have. I could do it but I don't know if I could actually go through with it. What dark thoughts plague my mind!

message 4: by Natasha (new)

Natasha (natashareads) After reading a book, I decide what kind of book I am in the mood for now (classics, non-fiction, etc.). So basically, one book at a time :-)


message 5: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesliecs) Sometimes I plan one book ahead of the one I'm reading, but never more than that. I don't really have a method. If I need a book to read then I scan my shelves to see if any of my unreads catch my eye. If I really don't feel like reading anything I own, then I make a trip to the library. If I haven't read my book club book yet, then the decision is made a little easier.

message 6: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 487 comments I usually go one book at a time depending on my mood.

message 7: by Molly (new)

Molly | 330 comments I can't figure out what I want to wear the next day much less what I want to read in advance! I always have a book or two in mind but it really is dictated by what is available at the library when I go since I rarely buy books. Usually my next choice is in direct correlation to what I just finished - I like to alternate styles. I love that Goodreads gives me a spot to keep track of everything I want to read so that when I am in need of my next book I can easily scan through my to read shelf and pick a few out.

message 8: by Caroline (new)

Caroline I often considered just trying to read from my personal library, too. But to do that, I wouldn't be able to set foot in the public library or a bookstore all year!

message 9: by Vilde (new)

Vilde (vildea) I'm currently typing up a list of all the unread books I own (which are quite a few) so that I can pick and choose among them (I've got unread books of practically any genre anyways). Although if I come over new books that interest me, that's fine too, but at the moment I've banned myself from buying more books until I'm just a bit more "current" (my Goodreads "to-read" list is awfully short in comparision to the list I'm writing now).

Typically though, I just choose whatever genre I feel like reading, sometimes it's a classic and at other times it is a young adult novel, sometimes it's in Norwegian... Whatever I want to read right then really.

message 10: by Angie (new)

Angie (angiebowen) I've tried planning ahead but it never works out. If I try to force a book that I'm not in the mood for I'll never finish it. So now I choose spur of the moment depending on my mood.

message 11: by Christine (new)

Christine | 13 comments I've started using Goodreaeds to help me put together a list of books to read. I've been giving higher consideration to the books my friends have rated as 4 or 5 stars. I am trying to get a variety of books on the list -- mystery, scifi, fantasy, non-fiction -- so that I don't have to look far when a mood strikes me.

message 12: by Victoria (new)

Victoria I usually don't plan ahead unless I'm reading a series. I have a huge pile of books that I already own, but I can't stop buying books. It doesn't help that I work at a bookstore.

message 13: by Liz B (new)

Liz B (lizb) | 104 comments I have a LOT of books that I own but haven't read. I'm looking at the shelf right now...conservative estimate is 100. The problem is I love used bookstores and used book sales, so I end up picking up 10 books here, 15 books there, barely spending any money.

It would make sense if I read those first, wouldn't it! I do grab one off the shelf every now and then, but mostly lately I've been reading new YA fiction. I just went to a conference, so it got me all excited about the new books that are out there. And that's the way it works for me usually--I go through phases. About 2 years ago I went through a Georgette Heyer phase, so I now have about 10 of her books on my bought-but-haven't-read shelf. It's the same with lots of other authors...

message 14: by Leshawn (new)

Leshawn | 460 comments I also have a lot of books that I own but haven't read yet. I tend to choose what I'll read next based on my mood after finishing a book. I try to finish library books before they are due but I'm not doing as well with that as I would like. I keep thinking to myself "You can borrow it again when you are in the mood" and that defeats any initiative I may have. I am planning to read some on the books I've purchased lately in 2009.
I also will stop my plan if a friend wants to read a book together. I love having someone with whom I can read a book.

message 15: by Tia (new)

Tia (proceedcyclone) | 41 comments Because of my ever growing list of books that I've bought and never opened (my boyfriend really likes thrift stores and I fall victim to those "Buy Two, Get One Free" deals at Borders and Barnes and Noble while I'm already in the middle of a book) and the also ever growing list of books that I want to read but haven't gotten my hands on, I compiled a list of 50 of them, with priority given to those I've thought the most about and those that I've already put money into.

Though there's definite time constraints on this this year (work, school), I'm a little worried that constraining myself to a list will make my progress slower than if I just picked up something that piques my interest at the time being rather than picking up something I "have" to read, especially considering I've abandoned a lot of these books previously. We'll just have to wait and see. Right now I'm actually excited about quite a number of the books on my shelves at home and had trouble picking just one. Let's hope that by the time I finish this particular one, I'll still be just as excited about the others.

message 16: by Melissa (new)

Melissa McClintock (melissableuz) | 6 comments I have been using Goodreads incoordination with my online library requests/searches to figure out what I am reading.
This is a much better way as otherwise I get excited and check out too many & lost track and have overdue fines, lol.
Outside of goodreads, this year I chose some books from "Oregon reads" promotional.
I also do searches at the library site, online.
I have certain authors I will always read for fun.
The other books are specialty areas I am interested in/studying on my own.
Finally, I try to find a new book or author regularly to "stretch myself" and not get into a "reading rut."

message 17: by Amy (last edited Jan 05, 2009 11:41AM) (new)

Amy | 11 comments I am going to base the beginning of my list on books that I have already purchased and haven't yet gotten around to reading yet.
I did get a GC to the bookshop for christmas, so some NEW books are going to be in order. I can't wait to pick up a few new ones.
Plus I have a little "books to read" journal that I make notes in and will pick some from that list as well.

message 18: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 45 comments I usually start off each month w/ books that I am reading for book clubs or challenges and then fit in various other ones when I can. I am constantly buying new books so there is no way that I could plan out a whole years worth ahead of time.

message 19: by Shelly (new)

Shelly (mercy20) I close my eyes, turn in a circle three times and point at my shelf.

Seriously though... I tend to just pick and choose based on mood and availability. I have a couple of books on hold at the library so when they come in they get priority over anything else that might be on the go at the moment (hence why I'm still listed as 'reading' Night of Many Dreams).

message 20: by Alycia (new)

Alycia (alyciac) I rarely plan anything to do with reading. It just sort of ... happens. Generally I will pick up 5 or 6 books on my weekly library run. Out of those I'll read any from a series or author that I'm currently in the midst of first. After that it's just random ... the fattest one, the one with the prettiest cover, the one that I forgot and is now overdue.

message 21: by Lauren (new)

Lauren I have a large and ever growing TBR pile. I usually choose one from the pile, whatever appeals to me at the moment. Or other times I start with the book that has been in the pil the longest and read that way. It depends on my mood.

message 22: by Mary (new)

Mary (twowordsnohyphen) I have a theory that the right books find you. Maybe through a bookswap with a friend, or on a recommendation, but I think there's a right time for every book. The voice may speak to me at any time, in a book store, in a friend's house...suddenly my inner nerd cries out, and I know I must have it.

But I think it's part of some literary inter-connected life force. I shit you not. For example: whenever I lend out a Kerouac book, I get one from an unexpected place. I lent a friend On the Road, and there was a random copy of The Portable Jack Kerouac lying in a classroom that my teacher said had been there for ages, and I could have. OR! The second time I loaned out On the Road, I found a copy of Visions of Gerard at a used book sale (in the travel section no less!) and bought it for a quarter.

I think there's a paraliterary world out there.

Kat (A Journey In Reading) (ajourneyinreading) No method to the madness... I just pick up something that I think might be interesting and go from there. I do have a list of TBR books that I carry around with me, that way if I am at a bookstore and I see something I can get it.

message 24: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1934 comments Mod
Mary Rose -

That's very deep, and (in a bookgeek way) very beautiful :)

message 25: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie | 30 comments I'm in a different situation than usual this year. While there is never method to the madness (I just read whatever I feel like at the moment) this year I'm in Japan with no access to a public library with a decent supply of English-language books. So I have a much narrower supply of books to choose from. It's basically what I can borrow from my fellow English speakers in my area, what I can find on the 500 yen ($5) shelf at my favorite bookstore in Kyoto, what I get for Christmas/birthdays from my family and friends, and what I can buy cheaply off Amazon Japan.

On the one hand, I actually read everything I buy because I can't turn to the larger selection of a library. On the other, I can't get everything that strikes my fancy. But it does look like there will be a lot more classic books on my reading list this year because that's what's cheapest and most easily available over here.

message 26: by Mary (new)

Mary (twowordsnohyphen) Bonnie wrote: "I'm in a different situation than usual this year. While there is never method to the madness (I just read whatever I feel like at the moment) this year I'm in Japan with no access to a public libr..."

Same boat. Except I'm sailing in Korea. But I was actually able to find a small library at an International Club in my city (which is surprising because I live in a smaller city in South Korea), I've also found two book stores that have a well...meager selection of books to be honest, but hey it's books nonetheless.

I hear you about reading lots of classics.

Have you heard of bookswaps? There are a few websites that alert you to when someone "dropped" a book in a public place, and you can pick it up. Or you can arrange to swap with a person from some of the websites. It works pretty well if you're in a bigger city.

message 27: by Aprile (new)

Aprile (aprileb) My list consists of about 65 books currently. I am a book snob and usually won't give a different genre a chance, so I got my friends to suggest their favourite books, so that is most of my list. Then there are some books from my personal collection that I haven't read yet, and finally, books I want to read :)

message 28: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 1 comments As can be evidenced by my to read list. I am a hoarder. I have a wish list at and I read the NY times review, my only book related subscription. I browse voraciously at all forms of book stores. I belong to a book club so that takes in one book a month and the rest is a combination of twirl and point and that which has not made it to the shelf and catches my eye. When I still can not make up my mind, I will often refer to and see who is waiting and wanting a particular title and read it so it goes to a new home.

message 29: by Ms. J (new)

Ms. J Johnson | 121 comments I usually don't have a plan, but last year I was afraid I wouldn't make my 50 toward the end because I just couldn't find any books that I wanted to read. I usually reread favorites until something new comes up that I want to read. Anyway, I finally did find enough to make my 50, but this time I decided I wouldn't sign up unless I had a list of close to 50 books I wanted to read. As it turns out, I've got a list of maybe 100 or more - I can't remember what it was at last count. Plus, I asked for a lot of them for Christmas presents so they're sitting on my shelf ready for me to read. I got most of the books on my list from looking for people on Goodreads who read similar books to what I do and seeing what they're reading. I've almost read my 50 for this year already, but that's because I took some time off work. Now that I'm back at work, my reading will slow down. I'd like to see how close I can get to 100, but I really doubt I'll make it all the way to 100. But, to answer your question, last year it was a spur of the moment thing - this year I did make a list...

message 30: by Fictionaljuliet (new)

Fictionaljuliet | 2 comments I saw this group and thought, "ah, motivation to finally read all those books on my shelves that I have not read!" so that I can stop feeling guilty when I do go and buy more books. Plus I have the ereader (Stanza) on iPhone and there are so many free classics on there that I have not read. So between those two things I'm hoping to hit my 50 books. For now, I'll probably finish the few books that I'm in mid-read, then move onto whatever is on my shelf.

message 31: by ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (last edited Feb 01, 2009 09:32AM) (new)

ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) Danine wrote: "How do you choose what 50 books you will read? Do you have a prepared list are your book choices spur of the moment?"

I do a bit of both. I'm a real anorak (ie nerd) and keep a list of books in my purse by favorite authors. When I find used books somewhere, I check them against my list to see if I own it or not so I don't buy duplicates. I have enough though that I recently realized I'd read less than half of what I have. So in my list, I started checking off which ones I've read. So I'd like to read a few more books by favorite authors I already have instead of rereading some favorites they've written.

But I also read on spur of the moment on what appeals to me. I saw the complete four season set of brit tv series "P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster" DVDs at the library. I'm checking them out and enjoying them, so am now checking out the actual P.G. Wodehouse stories. However, with 25 short stories and 12 novels, I won't get through them all as the library only has about 5.

If I start a series of something, then I like to finish the series when possible. And I try to throw in at least a few classics every year to go along with my romance and mystery novels. Since I can read a romance novel in about 5-6 hours, I also try to have a non-fiction book on the go that I can read a bit at a time while in the car waiting for the kids to get out of school, etc. Right now that's a Jermey Clarkson book. I'm also reading the companion book to the James Bond movies, and watching each movie since I have it after reading the chapter on each one.

My to-read list on Goodreads isn't really accurate. All books must be checked off as Read, Currently-Reading, or To-Read. If I can't remember if I read it or not, and I'm not currently reading it, then it's marked as to-read. That's the hazard of uploading and entering your home library into Goodreads. lol

message 32: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra (alexandrans) | 73 comments Well, what I do is whenever I'm at the library, bookstore, on goodreads, etc. and I see a book that I want to read, I add it to my list of to-read books, and then I usually pick the book I read next from that list. If it's on the list though, it's fair game - I don't pick them in any particular order, just whatever I feel like reading at that time (fantasy, historical fiction, etc.).

There always has to be an exception to the rule however, and if I've previously started a series or have just finished a book with a sequel, then I usually like to finish those up, and...well I hate to say get it out of the way since I enjoy reading so much, but I can't seem to think of a better term at the moment.

message 33: by Gloria Clark (new)

Gloria Clark | 104 comments I ad anything i've ever hd the slightest interest in reading to my to-read list and wde through those via the library. I WAS buying all my books untill I came across a series where I was missing two from the four and they were out of print. Lo and hebold i discovered the wonderful neighbourhood library, and well, it really all went downhill from there. Well, in terms of doing ANYTHING else besides reading, anyway.

message 34: by Tara (new)

Tara (tara3117) | 22 comments I almost always use friends' recommendations. I have a really hard time going into a book store, picking up a book, reading the back, and deciding if it's worth the money. I can usually only do that with a tried and true author.

message 35: by Eva (new)

Eva I started with the books I was given for Christmas. After that, I just went through my goodreads to-read list, requested a bunch of them from the Toronto Public Library, and I'll read them as they come in. My to-read list mostly consists of books I want to read but never got around to, books I think I 'should' read and books that have been recommended to me. Right now I'm on an Agatha Christie kick.

message 36: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (stigard) I usually don't have any rhyme or reason to what I pick to read, but this thread has inspired me to go around my house and collect all the books I've meant to read but never have. I'll add them to my TBR list!

TheReadingKnitter/ Kasey (thereadingknitter) I have a list of authors who I want to read all of their books. So when I go to the library I get one of each of their books and then a few off of my TBR list.

message 38: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (rachelehm) i keep a list of books i want to read (from recommendations, descriptions of them on here, etc) in my planner and when i go to the library i look up three or four and i just get whichever ones they have then.

i have about 10 books in my personal library i haven't read yet though.

message 39: by Laurie (new)

Laurie (laurie0303) | 60 comments Danine wrote: "How do you choose what 50 books you will read? Do you have a prepared list are your book choices spur of the moment?"
- The TBR list here on GoodReads is a great help. Generally, I read whatever is chosen for my book club, then just look at my TBR list and compare it to what I already own. I'm trying to make it through the ones I own and have not read first.

message 40: by Kristi (new)

Kristi | 606 comments I try and mix it up by reading something 'heavy' then something 'light'. But if there is a book I think about regularly but am not reading currently I will pick it up. I am milatant about reading 50 books a year but not about what the books are. :)

message 41: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments I choose partially based on what last I read. I then stand in front of my bookcase full of unread volumes and choose two. Put them next to the bed (This is where I do 80% of my reading) and pick them up alternatively until one grabs me, then I finish it and go after the other one. It's more of letting my unconscious choose than me doing it purposefully.

message 42: by Pollopicu (new)

Pollopicu I choose which classic I'm going to read next by comparing my lists to other goodreaders' lists.

message 43: by Tim (new)

Tim Weakley | 396 comments folks can be so organized. I have to confess that with my ADD if I go into a bookstore I walk out with books. When it comes to choosing the next book to read I am about as easily swayed. I think that this year has been the most organized I have ever been about reading, and the idea of "choosing" a book to read ahead of time instead of grabbing what was closest to hand has been a new and rewarding one for me. I was very happy to stumble upon this site!

message 44: by Arlene (last edited Dec 01, 2009 06:01AM) (new)

Arlene | 388 comments I have always been a "book-a-holic". I used to get books every month from the Mystery Book club but I have stopped buying them recently. I have a book shelf in my bedroom with many of those books on it that haven't been read yet. [see my Goodreads ID photo:] I walk down the book shelf when ever I go to Sam's or Safeway to see if there are any new books I can afford and want. There are several authors and series that I just buy the next book in line (although I hope I can find it at a discount). I love browsing at a library book sale. I worked one year for a school book fair company and I got a lot of YA books with my employee discount that year. I borrow books from my quilt club library. I trade and borrow books from my friends. (We had an informal book club called "The Bingo Ladies and Jay" when a club I belonged to was doing bingo every week.) I now work at an airport and all of the gate agents, ramp agents and airline crews usually have books to read on breaks or during slow times during the schedule. They leave books in the break room and sometime passengers even give us books. I subscribe to Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock short story mystery magazines and always have one in my bag for those minutes I may have to wait in a line. When my Mom died, I brought home most of her library including a set, "The World's Popular Classics". My husband is also an avid reader, but often he reads non-fiction that I am not interested in. Once in a while we do read the same books. My younger daughter got me onto Goodreads and we often share books [although this year she is in the Peace Corps in Albania so that is harder right now - I have sent her some books:] And now I am also sharing books with my almost 12-year old granddaughter. I like my Goodreads list because it is helping me keep track of what I am reading, what I have on my shelves and what I would like to read.
So with all that, I just pick a book that I have that tickles my fancy at the time and read it. Sometimes I will go for all the unread books by a particular author and get on a kick. I recently joined the Goodreads group "Pick a Shelf" and that is helping me focus on a theme each month. Basically, I don't usually know what I am going to be reading next and that's half the fun. My friends and family will tell you that I am always reading.

message 45: by Connie (new)

Connie Faull | 611 comments A couple of years ago I put all the books and ebooks I own on a table in Word. Originally, I put them in the order that I had purchased them, ideally wanting to read the oldest books first. However, my list is constantly changing. I've tried putting books in order of reading a classic, then a non-fiction, then a current best-seller (fiction). But some times I may not be in the mood to read the next book on the list so I don't feel obligated. I read a couple of hard books this year and took a couple of English classes and I got a little burned out. The only way I got myself back into reading was to just read some really mindless, easy James Patterson type books that I knew would keep my interest but would be easy to read.

I also read a lot of book reviews and get updates about new books that are out so I also get books from the library to read on top of the books I already own. Right now I had to add about 8 books that I got from the library into my list, so I know exactly what books I am reading from now until the end of the year. (Hopefully I can get through all 11).

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