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books, books, and more books! > How do you decide what to read next?

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message 1: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I've noticed that whenever I finish a book, I take a few days to figure out what to read next, despite my having said, "I want to read X (and sometimes there's an A, B, C, and D in there at some point) when I'm done with Y."

I know that some people have a list that says what's to be read next. But what I'm wondering about it all of the other methods to pick the next book. How do you keep from wasting a couple of days deciding? And for those of you who do follow a list, how do you make yourself stick to it? Do you just start and eventually you love it or does your list really not work (it's OK. I won't spoil your secret).


message 2: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
i generally am always reading something for one of my book clubs..so i pick that book next...or..when i'm almost done with the book i'm reading next..i just look through my shelf and just see which one i feel like reading more..generally it is one that somebody on this group raved about..i don't really do a strict list because i won't always feel like following it.


message 3: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) I usually pick what I am in the mood for.


message 4: by Justine (new)

Justine (paperbackheart) I make lists as a guideline. But I get so many books in from PBS or will buy a new one or check one out from the library that I end up reading whatever the "newest" book is. I do not recommend this. Now I don't want to read any of the books I already have because I've put them off for so long.


message 5: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) I also tend to make a pile on my desk... an exact order of what I want to read . The pile is usually 4-8 books.


message 6: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (xtoloveistolivex) | 534 comments I usually just read whatever category of book I feel like reading next. Or I just grab one off the huge stack. Right now, I'm taking it shelf by shelf to read all the books I have but haven't read yet.


message 7: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
ooh i need to do that kelsey..i keep adding new books to the shelf and never reading any of them because, like justine, i read whatever is the "newest"..ahh i need to stop. lol


message 8: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Wilkerson (misslaurenwilk) | 425 comments I usually just go to my bookshelves and pick one. Haha. That's what I did with The Heretic's Daughter & it turned out to be one of my faves!


message 9: by Janet (new)

Janet Kelsey- I am the same way. I just pick a category I want to or just choose one. Haha. I don't really have a system.


message 10: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I like the idea of going shelf by shelf. But I put all of my American, British, French, and Russian authors on their own shelves, plus the poetry, non-fiction, little books (mass market ones), and books that would get me kicked out of the English department on their own shelves. I think I'd get tired of reading one particular group and I don't want to go ABC. I should get a random number generator and assign each book a number. I really need to take inventory.


message 11: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (xtoloveistolivex) | 534 comments I'm a freak, so I alphabetize my books by author's last name, like at work. It bothers me too much to have it any other way. It's like I was brain washed or something.


message 12: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
haha mine are all like that too Kelsey.


message 13: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Yeah, within the subgroups, everything is by author's last name. Except the biographies are done by the subject of them.


message 14: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (mouser083) | 109 comments I read whatever is next on the shelf. All my books are placed alphabetically by author's last name. I'm literally OCD about organization, so I have to have my shelves like this for me to stay sane. =)


message 15: by Anna (new)

Anna Shumaker (annashu) I'm usually reading 3 or so books at a time in differed places throughout my house and each place kinda has a theme so when I finish one I just read whatever within that theme. For example, I read easy kinda chick-lit in bed and I'm almost done with Boleyn Inheritance so when I'm done I'll choose something equally fluffy. It seems strange but it keeps me from getting stuck in ruts. My shelves have no order what so ever.


message 16: by R (new)

R (feste) I have a list, but it's more a pool of potential reads rather than a strict to-read list. I just follow my mood. If my interest in a certain genre/theme/topic is piqued after reading a book, I'll go with similar books. But if sometimes I feel a bit worn out after a tough read I might pick something completely different.

Basically, in so many words, I pick by impulse!


message 17: by Tahleen (new)

Tahleen If I have a book that I need to read for a book group, I'll try to read that one. Unless it doesn't capture my complete attention; then I just start another one and continue the book club one on the side. And the cycle goes on. Sometimes I'm reading 4 or 5 books at the same time, ha. So whenever my mood changes I have another book to go to that I've already started (and some I never finish...).


message 18: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (vorvesm) | 132 comments I have a pretty big stack of never-finished, Tahleen lol. I usually pick by impulse too. I'll find a couple that I want to read and then I'll read the first little bit of one of them and if I'm feeling it I'll continue lol, but if I'm not, I try another one.


message 19: by Mykee (last edited Feb 01, 2009 12:31AM) (new)

Mykee  Tan  (chineseveganboy) | 28 comments I always panic buy for books whenever I get a chance so I always have a lot of books to choose from on my shelf. I usually go for whatever my schedule allows me to read. I mean, if things start to get hectic in the University, I go for one of my shorter novels. If I don't have much to do, I go for the longer, more mentally challenging books. Generally, I'm always reading one of my books everyday.


message 20: by Megan (new)

Megan I have so many to-read books, and I know I can't force myself to read them in a particular order, but I never know what I'm in the mood for. My solution to wasting days wondering what-next is a little odd. I grab anywhere from three to ten books settle into my reading nook and just start all of them. One will usually interest me more than the others once I've started. It works pretty well, but also means I'm usually in the middle of at least five books at any given time.


message 21: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Megan, I do the exact same thing... And then when I finally get around to finishing those started ones, I can't remember what happened and/or feel obligated to start over. There are several books I've read the first 5 chapters of, like, 3 times... and they still aren't done!!


message 22: by Bree (new)

Bree (breezybaby) | 144 comments i generally do group reads first..or a book i own..but i really just random about it..i can never decide and will start a few before i pick which one i really want to read.


message 23: by Anna (new)

Anna Shumaker (annashu) I also try to read that I'm borrowing first


Lauren (strangled)  (laurenstrangled) | 3 comments I usually have 5-10 books 'to-read' on hand at any time, and I go through them when I first bring them home (I almost only borrow books, rarely buy) just to get a general idea for each book... what the layout is like, how light or heavy a read it is, how many pages, read the inside and back covers... and from there, in the same sitting, I choose the one I want to read next. And by the time I'm done with the first book, I usually have an idea of what I want the next book to be... it depends a lot on my mood at the moment, how busy I am / am not, what kind of mood the last book put me into... and since I already have the books there & know what they're like, it makes it very easy to just close one & pick up the next one. I hate reading more than one book at a time, maybe this is part of it....


message 25: by Lianne (new)

Lianne (eclecticreading) | 71 comments I have a TBR pile that I keep track of and that I try to tackle through when I can but it really depends on my mood. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a short and light read, sometimes I'm in the mood for some classics, sometimes I'm in the mood for fantasy. It really depends, lol.


message 26: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (xtoloveistolivex) | 534 comments Li: that's how I justify my ridiculous amount of book purchases. I've got to have a variety of books from each category so I have a lot to choose from, right? ;)


message 27: by Molly (new)

Molly (slinkyxo) | 153 comments Before I just used to pick a random book..but now I decide by what group reads there are and now I'll be using the challenges for my summer reading. With the group reads I'm always trying to read at least one or both if I want to..but always one..even if neither of them appeal to me. I think its a good opportunity to expand my reading horizons.


message 28: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
That's basically what I have been trying to do as well Molly. It's hard though because sometimes I really start to want to read another book that is not either a group read or a challenge book..so I try to let myself be flexible if I am dying to read a book!


message 29: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I've gotten to the point where I'm going to read what I want, even if it doesn't fit for the challenges. If I deny myself what I really want to read, I have a harder time getting through whatever I do make myself read.


message 30: by Liz (new)

Liz I usually have a certain number of books I want to read picked out, esepecially if it's spring break or summer vacation. Last summer when I moved I could only take about 5 books with me (granted one of them was Middlemarch and I was working four hours a week, so that took time) and they were all totallly different genres. By the time I finished Middlemarch, I had already planned the order for all of the other books in my head and stuck to it beacuse it let me balance light and serious reading.
I'm not always like that though, on the 14th I'm going to the Lake District for a week and I'll probably bring 2-4 books and I'm already trying to decide what they'll be! Hopefully I'll tackle one or two before then.


message 31: by Angie (new)

Angie (angabel) Books call to me, usually. Sometimes I already own the books and they get sick of sitting on the shelves and finally are like, "HELLO collectin' dust here" or sometimes they call from the shelves of a bookshelf. Sometimes books I've read before wake up from their slumber and beg me to read them again.

And sometimes I read thin books because I get tired of seeing my books-read-this-year stuck at the same number, and I'm currently plowing through a really difficult book. It equals out in the end.


message 32: by Liz (new)

Liz Angabel, I know what you mean. When I'm going somewhere and can only bring so many of my unread books, I often devise an order in my head to balance the light/serious academic/fluffy.


message 33: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
haha Angabel..that made me laugh! But I know what you mean..my books call to me after a while too!


message 34: by Lee (last edited Jun 10, 2009 07:23PM) (new)

Lee I annoy my friends sometimes when I try to decide what to read next.

I have a (to me) large reading list. 14 books (down from 33, I'd say I'm doing pretty well!). So I number them and ask my friends to pick a number. What ever number they pick, I read. Usually I'll ask about four or five of my friends, so after I ask them, I have a nice list to read. And once done with those books, I ask them again.

They think it's funny. I think it's fun because I never know what I'm going to read next!


message 35: by Emily (last edited Jun 10, 2009 07:40PM) (new)

Emily  O (readingwhilefemale) | 487 comments I have my to-read list here, and there are books on it that I want to read soon, and books that I want to read eventually some day, or that I feel like I should read to be a well educated person. So, I choose the books I want to read sooner rather than later, and I see which ones I can get immediately from the library. Then I read them in order of how pleasurable I think they will be, or just how interesting they sound. I read the easy ones first to get them out of the way. Then I see what's next on my list and see if I can get them from the library yet, and the cycle repeats.


message 36: by Tahleen (new)

Tahleen Lee, I might have to try that!


message 37: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Sometimes I just know what I'm going to read next. Other times, I have to make a huge deal out of it and poll a million or so people to get a recommendation.


Michelle (In Libris Veritas) (shadowrose) I have a book buying addiction, to the major severity of having semi-breakdowns when I run out of books. So when it comes time to find something to read I usually just grab because I already have in mind what to read next before I finish the previous book. If I do on the off chance run out then I come to a dilemma. It'll take me at most a day or two to figure it out.


message 39: by Anna (new)

Anna Shumaker (annashu) I think I'm the same way Michelle. When I notice that I'm getting low on books I get really antsy and easily aggravated (my mom compares it to PMS), so I have to keep my shelves well stocked. Hopefully now that I have a Kindle I won't ever have the problem


message 40: by Angie (new)

Angie (angabel) I just discovered what I'll be reading next. Persepolis. If you don't know why, you should find out. :(


Michelle (In Libris Veritas) (shadowrose) It's good to know I'm not alone on that aspect. My mom hates it because he shelfs sudden become emptied out on my floor. I never read any of them but it makes me feel better somewhat. X3
I want a Kindle but I think I'll miss the feel of paper when I'm reading.


message 42: by Lady Pestilence (new)

Lady Pestilence (nozomiviridae) I am so bad at choosing a book to read next. Sometimes I pace about my bookshelves trying to choose, and I say to myself, "well, a book I own but haven't read yet is the way to go!" but I don't feel like it.

If it's really that bad, I just choose a book at random and jump into it and hopefully I just get taken along on the ride.


message 43: by Cat (new)

Cat (catsand) I have a ton of books I've bought but haven't read so I just pick through those and read a little bit until one sticks with my mood/state of mind at the time.


message 44: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Nozomi, I know that you mean. I'll approach my books, but it's like I'm looking at a closet full of clothes, but I can't find anything to wear.

Cat, That's what I usually do. What's really frustrating is when I get about halfway through a book with no problems, but suddenly something else becomes more interesting. I have so many half-read books! Some I feel fine with picking up where I left off, some I feel like I need to start over. Grr!


message 45: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Ahh I feel like lately I can never decide what to read next. I keep going back and forth between books.


message 46: by Drew (new)

Drew Hamilton (drewhamilton) Hmm, I plan out my reading list very carefully several books ahead and right about 90% of the way through whatever my current read is I buy a new book and blow off my list. Then I get to a point where I can't decide what book to buy and just yank one of the new unread ones off the shelf. Perfect way to handle it for the scatterbrained like myself.


message 47: by Jen (new)

Jen (wishesandwanderlust) | 696 comments I try to plan out ahead of time what I want to read next...but it usually ends up changing at least once! But I think a lot of it depends on my mood.


message 48: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I'm pretty much the same way as Drew. Except even pulling something off the shelf doesn't mean I'll actually finish. A friend and I picked out 4 books to read together over the break. I'm interested to see how this actually goes.


message 49: by Jen (new)

Jen (wishesandwanderlust) | 696 comments Lately I've been having the hardest time deciding what book to read next. I think I have too many unread books that I've been getting overwhelmed with picking the 'right' one.


message 50: by Daisy (new)

Daisy | 686 comments I used to have a hard time with this as well, so many books waiting on my shelf.. It's been easier the last couple of months: I have so many egalleys waiting on me that I want to read before they are published that I just pick whichever has the closest publishing date. And the challenges for this group help when I'm not sure, I pick whatever I have on that list.


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