How Do You Choose Your Next Book?

I just finished a novel by a Canadian author and while I was still reading that book, I was thinking of what I might want to read next. Every day I picked a title and put it under the book I was reading on my nightstand. The books kept on changing. Some candidates returned more than once and after a while I realized, they all had a common theme: 18th/19th century France. So either I was going to read a historical French novel (Chantal Thomas’ Les Adieux à la reineFarewell my Queen) or a French classic (Maupassant’s Bel-Ami fr. Bel-Ami engl.). Funny enough both books have just been made into movies.

This made me wonder, how other people choose the books they are going to read next. I’m a mood reader and on top of that my moods change quite fast that’s why I never really know what I’m going to read until I finally start it. Before I do so however, I will have begun at least 5 – 10 books, reading first pages and first paragraphs. The only thing that is likely is that the book following the one I just finished will be very different. I will hardly ever read a crime novel after having finished one or a French classic after having come to the end of another French classic. It can happen but it is rare.

Unfortunately my system is faulty. Because I often give in to momentary moods, instead of waiting for an underlying theme to emerge, by the time I’m in the middle of a novel, it’s not always exactly what I wanted anymore. That’s when novellas and short stories come in handy. I’ll put the novel aside and read the one or the other shorter piece in between.

Last November I did something which proved to be really good. I made a list of all the novels, I felt like reading during the month, especially those which kept on returning, and in December I started to read from that list and whenever I finished a book, I picked the next one from my list. It worked really well and I didn’t pick one dud.

So, that’s me, usually, not able to tell you before I started it, what book I’m going to read next. And unfortunately forgetting those I felt like reading unless I make a note. The only exception of course is my readalong and some of the readalongs of others.

I have seen on other blogs that some people make a list for the whole year and stick to it. They will not necessarily read in order but they will pick books from the list. Others love an author so much that they will read their way through his or her books. Some have a small pile they read and then they make another small pile. Someone reads all the books from one editor. I know there are bloggers who only buy a book after having finished one, so the trip to the book shop will determine the next choice. Others will go to the library, bring home a huge amount of books, dip into them and finally settle for a very few.

While I don’t review them very often,when it comes to non-fiction I’m much more systematic. One book will lead to the next and most of them are connected.

As you can see, there is no end to the possibilities. I’m really curious to find out how you do it. Do you follow a plan or a list? Do you pick randomly? Do you stick to a genre?

How do you choose your next book?

382 thoughts on “How Do You Choose Your Next Book?

  1. I keep a long, running list of books I intend to read someday, starting with the books I own, and when I’m reading to start a new book, I just scan down the list until I find something that seems right. I usually also have a small stack of books that suit my mood out from the library, just in case they seem more appropriate than anything on my shelves. Sometimes I’ll read a whole string of similar books; sometimes I’ll switch around a lot.

    We’ve done a couple of theme months on my blog, and in those cases, I just select books in the genre of focus. If I have any review copies, they stay on the top of my stack, although if I’m not in the mood for those particular books, I select something else. So I have a system, but it’s a loose one.

    • This does sound like a very good system. It’s a bit like what i did in November/December last year. It worked well. To pick up a book just because at that very instance in appeals, may not be the best way, at east, it’s not anymore for me. I need to write a list again, just jot down all the urges.

    • I rely a lot on recommendations. I have stacks of books in my apartment that I haven’t conqurered yet. There are so many books, so I try to find the ones that would interest me.

      I belong to several book clubs. I usually enjoy the selections and like hearing other people’s views. I also read reviews at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Hub City Bookshop. The Hub City Bookshop is a non-profit books store in my community. The people who work in the bookstore give thoughtful reviews. Reading is ove of my favorite pastimes, and I am somewhat selective about what i read.

      • I gave up on book stores because I live in a German speking country but most of the books I read are either in English or French.
        I like hearing what people say about books. Sometimes I read newspapaer reviews if I look for something more literary but when I look for some gripping crime I’m more interested ina reader’s opinion.

  2. The books “choose me” in a sense, I don’t have any plan to my reading. My wife usually has 6 to 8 books going and I’ll sometimes “steal” one of hers. Book reviews (both in print and on-line) will lead to other choices, although not as often as you might think. Browsing in bookstores leads to many, although there aren’t as many opportunities for that to occur as bookstores here in the US are fast becoming an endangered species!

    • It’s often the best when a book “chooses” us. Yes, book reviews will also lead me to new books but my biggest problem is that I have to order almost all the English books as there are hardly any English book shops. If I’m in the mood to read something I have to wait almots 10 days until it arrives and by that time… But the German book shops are excellent I must say. We have anything here.

  3. Such an interesting question! I usually start by browsing my shelves and thumbing through a few of the many books quietly ripening there. But though all the unread ones on my shelves are books I do want to read, it’s funny, isn’t it, how mood or impulse can make them all seem not quite right? Sometimes when I’ve just read something that I really liked or was very intensely involved in, I find it useful to read a “filler” book — something familiar or not too challenging, a quick read of some kind from the library or an old favorite from my mystery bookcase! — and that kind of resets my preferences and keeps me from endlessly adding more books to those crowded shelves… The other main influence on me is definitely reading about a book from bloggers or (less often) reviewers I trust and find interesting.

    • I was really wondering how others did it. That’s such a nice way of putting it ” a few of the many books quietly ripening”. I feel like some of my book do exactly that. I have another strange habit, I go over my book shelves, find nothing and the I buy a book in a book shop, come home and all of a sudden some titles in the shelves are far more interesting.
      It’s also interesting what you write about the “filler” book. I have realized that when I was realy awed by a book, Idon’t want anything as good just yet. I want to savour it but still read somethign new.

  4. I’m a ‘mood’ reader for the most part, but if I have review copy then of course, I try to get that read. Sometimes I will watch a film and think that I need to seek out the source material, so that’s a directional pointer too.

    I just finished a collection by Mérimée that got me really interested in Stendhal, so he’ll be coming up soon. I read his The Red and the Black, but it might be some non-fiction Stendhal.

    I think reading lists are admirable, and I have a couple of personal reading projects (Balzac and Geoff Nicholson), but I would never stick to a list going down line by line. I know myself too well to think I’d stick to it–although it’s great that other people commit to that and carry it through. I want more flexibility.

    Like you, I like a change of pace and am unlikely to read two crime novels in a row. Although it could happen if they are totally different.

    • Oh I admire people with lists but I just cannot stick to them. But the loose lists that some people mentioned, they work well. But they are more to keep in mind what I wanted to read. I get distracete by new books too easily. Not sure how Mérimée led to Stendhal. I don’t get along with him at all (Stendhal). But maybe he is better in non-fiction. I found Le Rouge et le Noir so awfully dry.
      To a certain extent you are an organized reader, reading all of Zola, then Balzac. It’s what Lizzy calls “completist reading” of one author. I like that as well.

  5. I don’t have much of a system myself. Generally I don’t read two books of the same genre, or two from the same publisher, in a row; and I try to mix up new and old books. But that’s about as far as I go. I sometimes think about planning my reading more, but then I like the flexibility of leaving it open.

    Sometimes, though, I do find that I can’t decide on anything – usually when I’ve only got a certain amount of time, and thinking which books I can fit in.

    • I sometimes have an awfully hard time to decide. That’s when the lists might come in handy.
      Like you, two books of the same genre is very rare for me.
      I saw two bloggers who read everything by one publisher, one does the whole Virago catalogue, the other Persephone. I like the idea but it’s not for me.

  6. Hmm. All of the above I think! 🙂 Actually, I don’t think I could make a master list and stick with it. I usually make a list of a dozen books at the end of the year that I want to read in the next year, but then I find I rarely will have read all those books (actually maybe I’ve never completed one of those lists…but it’s a fun exercise). I am very much a mood reader, too, and always have several books on the go at once–a mystery, a novel, a nonfiction and something from the library (odds and ends like diaries or my readalong books). I often have an idea of what I want to choose next when I am getting close to finishing one of these books and might even have the exact book lined up, but not always. Then some story or genre (like last week when I really wanted a good espionage novel set in the 30s—never found it, but started reading a Mary Stewart instead–the one I will take on vacation, and it has worked out well in the end) will come to mind and I want *that* book above all others. Sometimes I give in and will read it and sometimes not. Often library books or readalong books will dictate what I pick up next. But like you my mood changes so easily and quickly. I will have to try your method of writing down titles and see which ones keep coming up–I like the sound of that. I’ve noticed that my vacation list of books keeps changing–I thought I had it narrowed down to the three I would take, but only one seems to have remained from my initial list (the Mary Stewart) and now I have a couple of others I think I will take that were completely different from the first group–since the weather has changed so has my mood–funny that. Anyway, sorry, this is a long answer to a short question. Can you tell it’s a question all readers have spent lots of time thinking about? 🙂

    • I think it’s entirely fascinating to see how everyone does it.
      The book lists for holidays tend to be the worst. I can totally understand. It seesm so very crucial. It denpends on how long a trip is but I always take a literary book, a genre novel and a non-fiction book. On the trip I’ll end up reading the genre novel and at the the hotel the other two.
      My mood chnages with the weather a lot. It already starts to smell a bit of autumn here, which will put me in the mood for some ghost stories and such.
      I realized that I do occasionally read a ctime novel and something else in parallel but would totally not see the point of reading two crime novels.
      I will really start to make some lists again. I do like a bit of a structure when reading, not genre wise but theme and topic wise.
      From the answers you can certainly deduce that we all read a lot. I wonder how people choose who read only a very few books per year.
      You beginning of the year list is something I do too. It’s a bit like a reading project but I hardly stick to them.

  7. As soon as I’ve written down a list, I tend to go off the books on it! But I always have a vague, general plan for my reading, based on variety (never the same kind of book twice), the blog (make sure I have enough interesting books as I don’t review everything I read) and my mood. Having a big list I can pick and choose from often works well for me, too. But most of all I hate reading to be too determined, and often don’t enjoy books so much when my reading is obligatory. I have to space out my review copies, in other words!

    • I totally agree with your last comments. I hardly if ever accept review copies for the same reasons.
      I did choose for the blog once or twice, come to think of it.
      For some weird list the long list works better than just looking at my piles…

  8. My answer won’t help you: I don’t know.
    I can’t tell you how long it will take me to read all Thomas Hardy, finish my EU book tour or In Search of Lost Time. I don’t plan anything except for the book club reading & occasional participation to readalongs.

    PS : I came across the word “copinaute” on the French bloggosphere. I think it’s a wonderful word.

  9. Great question! I think that I am a bit odd. First, I kind of have a system/formula/algorithm thing. A few of the rules: Every other book is fiction or philosophy, every other fiction book is a new book from a writer that I have already read, every other philosophy work is Eastern, every other history book is American Revolutionary War era, on and on with the guidelines.

    After putting all this thought into it, more often then not, I do not follow these rules! I often do end up, kind of following a broad pattern based upon them. If I absolutely cannot decide then I fall back upon my system. Sometimes a just grab a book and start reading on a whim.

    I do keep a TBR written down so as not to lose track. There have been books on my list for over a decade.

    • That’s an interesting system. Now that you mention it I remember I wanted to do such a rotation as well but then forgot about it. I should try it, at least for a month.
      I find I return too often and too easily to British and American books and leave out some interesting literature form other countries all them time.

  10. Oh, Caroline, I must respond!

    I, too, am unequivocally a mood reader. A book has to feel “right” to my psyche as well as my intellect. After decades of being an omniverous reader–reading all kinds of nonfiction and fiction–I now see the wisdom of this style of selecting books. And I believe my psyche benefits from this approach.

    I do the same with food, with hikes, with movies, with projects, with travel. What does my soul call out for at this moment? The heart and brain know what they need.

    Sometimes (and oftentimes since I broke my leg), I don’t know what to read. So I sample many books before deciding which to feast on next.

    I must add that for the first time in months, I was so consumed by my interest in Appelfeld’s A Story of a Life that despite beautiful weather, I could not tear myself away from the reading couch until late morning, which is extremely unusual for me at this time of year.

    What a gem!!! I’m going to mention my enthusiasm for it when I post my next blog entry, not giving anything away, saving my thoughts for the readalong, but in the hopes of enticing more readers to try it and join the group on August 31st.

    Thank you for directing me to it!

    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

    • I know exsctyl what you mean, when you say it must feel “right”. Fory the psyche and the mind. I often decide only with one in mind and that is mostly a disappointment. I think rushing to the next one makes you unaware of what you really “need”.
      I’m so pleased the Applefeld proves to be such a find. I mentioned your enthusiasm on the post because Litlove isn’t decided. One can tire of Holocaust memors but I think it would be a book for her as it is so much more.
      I’m looking forward to read your next impressions. And to finally get to it myself. I’ve only sampled it so far.

  11. I keep a list of books I’d like to read someday. I rely on my library system, have a full “holds” list and grab the desired books as they come available. During my weekly trips to my local branch I often add interesting books from the shelves as I find them. Then I bring home a pile of books and choose what I’ll read next from that pile.
    I do visit local used bookstores and occasionally bring home a book that is on my list or that catches my interest.

    I’ve gotten really good at putting a book down if it doesn’t click with me.
    I’ve spent the summer reading by whim and plan on creating a winter reading list. We’ll see if I actually stick to it!

    • That’s such a good approach as well. Changing between by whim and by lists.
      I shhould really try to learn to put down books that do not work. It’s hard for me.
      I used to have a list of “books I want to read one day”. It is useful when you go to used book stores and such.

  12. I generally choose books based on whatever mood I’m in. Library books get first priority because I have to give them back, followed by ARCS. I tend to alternate between physical books and e-books, because I don’t like carrying more than one physical book in my purse at any given time.

    Oddly enough, some of the books I’m most excited to read are the ones that I don’t get to for months. No idea why.

    • That’s an interesting twist to the discussion.
      I’m usually best when I can hardly wait for a book to arrive and immediately start it. You seem to let the anticipation build up.
      I wouldn’t do go with libraray books. I think I would never finish, just because I would have to read the before a ceratin time.

      • The library here used to have a used booksale in the lobby, but they remodeled and got rid of it… I loved it though, because I could buy cheap books that I wouldn’t have to bring back. I’ve gone to the library much less since they got rid of it because I’m not particularly good at deadlines.

        • The initial idea for danielle’es Lost in the Stacks book was that she wanted to circulate books nobody asked for anymore as they have a policy which discards books when they are no longer in circulation and sinces it’s a university libraray, the books are State Property and they are not allowed to sell or even give them away. That’s so incredible.
          I’m bad with dealines as well but I love used book sales.

          • I wish I could do that with some of my favorite books from childhood. There’s one in particular, I don’t remember the author, but it was called “Gracie” and was about migrant farm workers. It was out of print and from the 60s or earlier, and it’s probably completely disappeared by now. I tried to find it on Worldcat unsuccessfully.

  13. Reach blindly into the towering piles by one’s bed? I’m not sure how I choose books, but I am sure that ever since I started excepting reviews my own personal choice has been severely diminished. Now I’m reading for me, and I find the literature most satisfying seems to be classics. I also like reading along with fellow book blogging friends, and here is when I say I’m sorry for dropping the ball on Black Rain. It became too distressing to me especially on the heels of my son saying he’s joining the Marines. Violence and war? Not friends of a mother, to be sure. But, I digress, and I hope you understand.

    • Oh, yes, I do understand. I would be devastated. I totally understand that you didn’t feel like finishing it. I hope he will chnage his mind again.
      But your comment about reaching blindly into the towering piles made me laugh.
      I’m less good with readalongs. For some weird reason, with the exception of my own, I’m over critical with them.

  14. I live in a small town in a non-English speaking country. There are no book stores or libraries within 300 mms of my house. The closest bookstore is a three hour train ride north. There is a healthy amount of books that trickle down to my town and circulate among the English-speaking readers and I have a Kindle, but I am never given much choice in the matter and my bookshelves rarely have more than 7-8 books on them at one time. In a way, the books choose me.

    • That’s a totally different starting point. And here we are complaining about not being able to make up our minds about what to read from our overstuffed book shelves.
      In a way I think, to be chose by a book, having it pre-picked because there aren’t amany at hand can be interesting. I experienced this on holidays when I stayed at someone’s place and picked from theri shleves. I discovered a few books which are still dear to me. those finds are almost magical.

    • I know how you feel…there was time when books are the ones choosing me…but I am glad that I found more secondhand bookstores selling books I want to read.

  15. Interesting question. I’m an impulse reader. I go to the bookshop, I see something interesting, I buy it. I’m also part of a book club, (have you heard of bookcrossing?) that meets once a month, where people come to exchange or just give away books. Some pretty interesting titles come up and I like it because sometimes I get books I wouldn’t normally buy on my own.
    With all these books and so many choices, I still find myself craving for a Victorian novel or a horror story every now and then. I just love them.

    • I think I’ve heard of bookcrossing. I’m not sure this exists in Switzerland though. I’m bad with pbooks people give me or want to lend… They end up on a pile gathering dust.
      I’m an impulse reader but these days, more tan usually I’m in the mood for dark fantasy. I’m in the middle of Songs of Love and Death. Some stories are quiet good.

      • Enjoy the book, I loved most of the stories in it. Can you pick a favourite? Looking forward to your thoughts on it.

        I know what you mean about borrowing books from other people. Unless it’s a book I really want to read, it takes me a couple of months to return them. Bookcrossing is amazing. I love taking books with me on my travels and releasing them or just giving them to people. You go to the website, get a number for your book, write it in, then whoever finds it puts in the code on the site and you can see where your book has been. It’s quite exciting. You can check on the main website to see if there’s a club going on in your area. I’ve met some pretty amazing people that way too, and some books that I will always love.

        • I’m reading Demon Lover right now, so I’m only about 170 pages in. I like them a lot. They are all so different, it’s a great genre mix.
          I love the idea of this bookcrossing. Thanks for telling me, I’ll have to look it up. How great that would be, to see your book travel…

  16. Completely different from you I am a “genre” binger. If I read one cozy I will read several afterwards until I get enough of the whole thing and then move on to something different.
    Other than that totally depending on my mood. I look at my books and then grab something that catches my eye.

  17. This past year I had a list of books I wanted to read for different challenges and that worked out pretty well for me. I think this next year I plan on doing the same thing but focus less on challenges and more on books that I’ve really wanted to read over the past few years. I have so many books on my shelves and I keep saying, “Oh yeah, I wanted to read that.” So over the next few months I want to compile a list of all my books, including non-fiction to read. I like to have one fiction and one non-fiction going. Right now, I’m reading Bleak House and an autobiography on Johnny Cash. That way, whatever mood I’m in I’ll have it covered to a certain degree.

    • I always read fiction and non-fiction in parallel. It’s so different.
      You are far more organized than me, I think not only when it’s for a challenge. I felt you rather picked the challenege after you had your personal project going any way.
      I had to read to many book in my life, especially when I worked for an editor, all this speed reading to hand in evaluations on time… I’m not sure I’d ever want to do that again.

  18. This is a fun topic, Caroline!
    I would never be like these people:

    I have seen on other blogs that some people make a list for the whole year and stick to it.

    I am terrible at keeping scheduled read. The only book that always in the yearly read is One Piece, a (now) 62 volume manga which I read every year since the day I fell in love with their world…it was about 10 years ago.

    other than One Piece, I read by mood. When I finished reading, I scanned my shelf and see which one I want to read. If all looked bored (at that moment) I ended up picking whatever Stephen King’s book I haven’t read from my shelf 😉

    • I’m glad, I asked. The answers are all so interesting.
      I had a feeling you were more structured but that’s maybe because you return to authors you like more often than I do.
      You’re the only one I know who re-reads the same book every year.
      It annoys me sometimes, that I buy something and the moment I have it, I want to read something esle. No wonder my piles grow. 🙂

      • My piles also growing like you 😉
        I bought when I see something good but then the authors I like call me to read their books instead 😉

        It’s hard to not going back to authors that never disappointed me so far, reading from authors I know nothing about is a gambling and there was moment where I didn’t feel like gambling…I hope you know what I meant.

        Hahaha…I love their world too much and not visiting that world in a year felt like something is missing. Have I told you that I have reread The Lord Of The Rings 4 times? and there is a possibility I will read it again next year…I missed the middle earth. This year i want to reread the hobbit.

  19. I am definitely a mood reader too, Caroline, and I like to switch countries and genres as well.
    I do have a loose list, but it’s so I don’t forget books I want to read one day. Sticking to a list would drive me mad.
    If the first sentence or two doesn’t grab me, I’m on to the next book on the shelf. Some have been sitting there for years, but I’ll get to them.

  20. I’d love to see a photo of your nightstand. Maybe it looks as messy as mine with stacks of books as high as they will go without toppling?? Only book-lovers understand.

    Fun post.

    • Thanks Lori, yes, it’s huge, huge, huge. a safety hazard for the cats.
      I put my original photo back in… In one of the tidiest shelves…
      I agree, only book lovers understand.

  21. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! I have a literary bucket list — books I always mean to get around to reading. I keep the list near me so that when I’m at the library and can’t think of what to get, I’ll look at the list and get some of those.

    I like reading a variety, not a particular genre. It depends on my mood.

    • Thanks, I didn’t even realize it at first. I was wondering where all these book lovers came from.
      I really I should try doing lists again. It is useful. That way I might buy the books I wanted to buy and not all the others. Or I would end up buying those too.

  22. I keep a list of books I need to buy, or I buy books on an impulse if I’m in a store and I see a good book I know I’ll like. But I have very little time to read nowadays so when I finish a book the next one is usually the one with the theme that appeals the most to me at the time 🙂 Now I have about 25 books waiting to be read, and 10 more that I still need to buy

    • Not enough time factors in as well, I’m afraid. I sometimes rather read a shorter book because I don’t like being “stuck” with the same for weeks and weeks.

  23. I buy what looks interesting and keep them in a stack, grabbing a book as I need one. Sometimes none of them trips my trigger and I go to my shelves and find something to reread. I had a few to many dark novels and have been rather slow to get through my ‘never been read’ stack. While looking at books on Goodreads, I came across titles that I read years ago and didn’t remember until I saw them there. Now I want to go and find some of those old titles to reread. I also like to try things my friends are reading.

    • I wish I was a rereader but somehow it doesn’t appeal to me. The idea that is as those few times I did re-read I often liked the book even more.
      It can be triredsome not to know what one wants to read and dipping in and out of books.

  24. I am a mood reader as well, which is why I read several books at the same time – not simultaneously though. A while ago, I made a list of the books i was reading back then – http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-joy-of-reading-many-books-at-the-same-time/ – and actually I never got around to reading some of those and read others instead, I always have a few fiction and a few non-fiction books next to my bed, on my desk and in my backpack at the same time.

    • I read several non-fiction books at the same time but very rarely fiction. Or if I do then a book of short fiction, a more litearay book and one genre novel. That works well too.
      But I do enjoy immersing myself in a novel for a while and not change too fast.

  25. I make a small pile. I adore my piles. Whenever I see them, I get all excited and anticipate what I will get to read. I don’t have a certain genre I stick to. I like making trips to old book shops and there’s this HUGE flea market in my city. Don’t get me wrong; when I say flea market, I just use it as a term.
    It’s one of the most AMAZING places I’ve ever been. Gold mine for books.
    In these summer holidays I had around 35 books to read!
    Whenever I make a trip there, I grab whatever looks appetizing and super interesting at the best bargains, because you get really great bargains.
    (I only read fiction)And then I go through the pile either mood-wise OR I save the best for last. Or at least what I think will be the best.

  26. It’s funny. While I was reading your post, I realized that the way I read and choose a book is the way I live my life. I am an ENFP, and I get very distracted very easily. I’m also very emotionally driven. So, if I’m angry at myself for some behavior, I might choose a book on that subject. However, often I read something in the book that makes me less angry and I’ll toss it. I feel a bit crazy about it but maybe that’s just the way my brain is wired. 😉

    • What I’m amazed about is that I really needed to write this post yesterday as I found it interesting to observe myself, my little rituals and everything it needs to finally settle for a book. I had never really paid much aittention. And I guess it’s true, it does refelct the way we live. I have a hard time making decisions. 🙂

  27. Wow I’ve never given it much thought, but after reading this I realized how elaborate my reading schedule is. I keep one book in my purse for the commute, one in the bathroom, one by the couch, and one by my bed. I read a few pages of each one when I have the time, and the one that I can’t put down I’ll turn into my main book. I still read the other books when I’m on my commute or in bed, but it takes much longer to finish them. I don’t think I’ve ever read just one book at a time!

  28. I actually have a list of my so called ‘must reads’. But often if I finish reading a good book by a particular author, I will stick to that author for a while, and read some more of his stuff. It happened to me a while back – I had this craze about Leo Tolstoy. I read Anna Karenina and fell in love with his writing. I then read War and Peace. Afterwards, I still decided to stick to the same genre, and read the following books, Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky and Doctor Zhivago by Pasternak. Yep, I guess you can conclude that I like sticking to a genre. However, I think I am done with the Russians for now 😉

    • When I used to have more time I loved that too. Trying to read s much by one author. Nowadays I can hardly finish a long classic. It’s a shame. I read at least one Russian author per year though.

  29. Actually, before I got my Kindle I would just go to the bookstore and look around a bit, see if something caught my eye or if one of the clerks would suggest a good read (I’m talking WH Smith, B&N). And it usually paid off.

    Nowadays, even though I try to be a little more selective, avoiding books such as The Kite Runner (which is excellent, but so depressing I was scared to try anything else for a while and had to turn to Harry Potter just to get rid of the memory of it), I still buy my books on impulse and just buy one as soon as the previous one is finished.

    No method used. No lists.

    • It would far wiser if I applied your sytem instead of greedily buying too many books and then not be able to make up my mind.
      Those must be good book clerks. I used to have one like that but they need to know you to be able to suggest something good.

  30. I read a lot of library books but books I found interesting in the library, I sometimes end up just taking them back because they don’t seem as interesting anymore. If I do have library books, I’ll read that stack but if I’m reading from my own collection, I’ll try and figure out what I fancy. If I’ve read a particularly deep, heavy novel then I’ll read some lighter fiction to give myself a ‘break’ as it were. Book selecting is quite hard sometimes and like you, I find myself picking a new one up half way through reading another. I also usually have at least 2/3 on the go at once.

    • Why does that happen so often? the book which looked so good all of a sudden loses all its appeal.
      I’m really not good with reading in a too strctured way that why I hardly get libraray books.
      I always try to read something lighter after something too heavy as well. I need to balance out my reading.

  31. Oh gosh how do I choose…. I mostly go by my favorite authors first. Amazon has been a big help with finding out what I’ll read next because the bottom of the webpage will always list recommendations of other books and authors. If they seem interesting after reading the back cover or one of the inside pages, then I would buy the book or check it out at the library if they have it.
    I read almost everything from comics to fiction. Plus like your picture my collection is huge and overflowing. I’ve got a lot on bookshelves and the rest stored away in a few of those plastic storage tubs. 😀

    • This is by far one of te tidiest shelves. 🙂 I have huge piles and stacks on the floors… everywhere. It’s a bit… too much.
      I often hear people moan about those amazon suggestions but i was often lucky. i find the manage to show books and authors which are similar.
      I like to look at them. I also find it handy that it generates thos bottom lists under the wish list. That’s how shelves end up looking crammed.

  32. slightly more random. I live in a van so have very little room for books {we have a generous bookshelf considering but there are cookbooks and manuals on there too} so my book choices are usually finds in charity shops/bookstalls/shops as we travel around where I find the book to be read next. Once read they get passed on.
    I like to mix it up a bit, like you. Go from one genre to a different one generally. I once read a lot of Agatha Christie, one after the other and the pattern became obvious and I could often figure out the murderer!
    I love picking from the classics shelf, those books are aways amazing and varied. I’ve gone from Conrads Heart of Darkness to Graham Greens Our Man in Havana then Dickens David Copperfield. Brilliant.

    • Yes, you can’t go wrong with classics. I’m not much into historical fiction. When I feel like experinecing another era, I try to find a book that ahs been written then.
      Living in a van sounds sort of romantic. It would limit the the amount of books but it’s nice not to own too much. I really have to let go of some things.

      • Our travelling life is brilliant for reading. We don’t have a tv in the van. We see plenty of tv when we’re housesitting but being on the road is all about the books. I love the search too, hunting the next good read! We once drove across Australia trying to find Sue Graftons alphabet crime series in alphabetical order in charity shops, campsite offices and bookshops so we could read them in order. It was great fun!
        I’d rather read books written in the time, you get a feel for the language of the time too, and little details a modern author may not consider.
        Well done for the Freshly Pressed!

        • Thanks! I didn’t expect I would enjoy it so much but I’m a bit like a kid right now. So many presents under the Christmas tree. 🙂
          Your travelling life sounds exciting. I love your Sue Grafton story. I can imagine it was fun.
          Not having a TV is a great way to read more. I’m relatively good at not watching too much and have weeks withouth. Readings weeks.

  33. Mostly I read from my shelves, stocked with books from sales and collected from family members. Sometimes I just browse the shelves at the library or book shop, usually picking up authors I am familiar with or titles I’ve been hearing about all over the place. I find your difficulty reading several books in a row of a similar genres very familiar. I think that’s why several Victorian novels by authors I usually love, lay languishing on lower shelves half read and having no gumption to read them.

    • They would totally languish here as well. I can’t read similar books at the same time. It steals the flavour, sort of.
      I have a tendency to always want to discover new authors. That way I do pick duds. But I like to explore.

  34. i have a very random approach. I choose from the many books piled around in the basement (and other places in the house). I read book from my book club. I read books given to me or recommended by friends. I am also a mood reader so a true chronological list wouldn’t work.

  35. I usually pick up a book which I want to read randomly though I know which genres I like (classics – some favourite authors such as Dostojevsky, Sartre, Camus, Exupery, Hemingway; then also like travel books, some fantasy, historical ones,, etc.)
    However, I feel really very down because I dont read as quickly as I would like to. I also buy too many books (I am a sort of bookaholic) and then I dont have time to read them so there are some on my shelf which I bought even 5 years ago and they are still there untouched.
    And of course the problem of finishing a book when I start to read…
    Though your post inspired me and maybe I make up a list of books I want to read thorugh a year..
    or do you have any other advice to help with my book-related problems?
    I am all ears. 😉
    Btw, now I am reading Jack Kerouac – On the Road.

    • I haven’t read On the Road yet, can you belive it. It’s been sitting on my shleves for… 5 years at least. I’m a bookaholic as well. But I’m getting better. I buy far less since a few weeks and am proud of it.
      I’m a book finisher. Evene when I don’t really like it – unless it’s badly written – I will finish. I think not having enough time or not reading fast enough factors in.

  36. I seem to do the same thing you do. I actually buy books that I want to read and add them to my kindle. Then, when I’m in the right mood, I pick a book. I also tend to read books from a certain genre one right after the other for a while, then move on to something else. I’m actually reading a book now that I’m finding hard to get into – I’m about a third of the way through it. There isn’t anything wrong with the book, but I’m just not finding it enthralling and riveting I guess. It’s not pulling me into it like I like books to do.

    • I had a similar experience this week. the book was really good, I “knew it” but idn’t “feel” it. it was a bit sad. I just didn’t connect.
      I find the kindle is a good way for me. That way I can ead what I really wnat to read right away.

  37. Great question! Thanks for sharing your “system” – I also enjoyed hearing from others in the comments. I have an entire bookshelf in my home that contains my “to read” list – I’m a book hoarder and always have dozens of unread books to choose from at any given time. How I narrow it down is primarily mood-based. I generally alternate fiction and non-fiction, although sometimes (like now) I might have one of each on the go. I also am likely to follow something heavy and intense with something lighthearted and fun. And I very very rarely will read multiple books by the same author in a row (unless it’s a series). Sometimes the choice is made for me such as borrowed books – I try to read those first as a courtesy to get them back to their owners as quickly as possible. Also, I’m pretty fanatical about reading books before I see the movies, so if something is being made into a film that goes to the top of the list.

    I’ve enjoyed skimming through your previous entries and am so glad “Freshly Pressed” introduced me to your site.

    Cheers!

    • This is so nice of you, Janet, thanks.
      I think it’s so interesting to hear about everyone’s approach. I’m going to try out some of the other ways.
      Oh, I’m a book horder too. I don’t eally borrow a lot of books as I would have to put myslef under pressure.
      I have squeezed in a few reads to be able to watch a movie. I really do not like reading the book afterwards.

  38. I have a massive TBR list maintained on the website, Goodreads. When it’s time to read a new book, I browse through the list and choose something. Sometimes I get in a “zone” and read several in one genre back-to-back. Other times, a recent recommendation will trump books that have been on my list for a long time. Overall, I try to maintain a good balance in genre over the course of each year, and if I’m reading multiple titles at once I will do one fiction and one non-fiction or inspirational. Never two fiction titles simultaneously.

    • That’s pretty similar to how I’m doing it only I’m not on Goodreads although I know some people think it’s great for managing.
      While I don’t stick to a list, I have my plans and when I do not read accodring to them at all, I’m a bit disappointed with myself. This year I’d like to read a poetry collection and a book by an African author.

  39. I try to make myself read books I would never think of. One way I do this is with themes or topics. So one year I read books that were turned into musicals, another year it was films. I decided that every 5th book would be one from this topic.
    I also have tried the reading one book from an author in alphabetical order example Austen, Bronte, etc.
    Most recently I have listed all books I am interested in reading on Good Reads and sorted them by average rating and working my way through them that way.
    Hope that helps

  40. I’m usually a mood reader but I also keep a list of the books I would like to read… Every time I find something interesting I write it down and as soon as I have some written I make an order on the internet(I love reading English books in their own language but here in Italy we don’t have many bookshops that sell English books so I must rely on the Internet!), and wait for them to arrive then I put them in my bookshelf so I can chose every time the one that suits my mood best at the moment of the choice!

    • I’m alos not living in an English speaking country that why I place large book orders. And that’s a main problem. by the time they arrive I am not that much in the mood anymore and must wait fro the mood to return.

  41. Boy, you put out the invitation and did you ever receive the responses! My reading is driven by (1) titles that I see referred to elsewhere, in an article or another book, that pique my interest, mostly non-fiction; (2) mood reading, which is primarily fiction but not always; (3) books I feel obliged to read, mainly classics; and (4) particular authors whose other work I have liked.

    • Yes, that’s very true, indeed. There really are a lot of reponses. Seems the question hit a nerve somehow.
      I do own a pile with books I feel obliged to read and really wnat to stick to them. At least read every great classic of all the major countries and some more…
      I still haven’t read a Thomas Hardy or anything longer by Dickens. How sad is that?
      Book blogging has proven to be a major inspiration.

  42. The only time I read in a consistent pattern is when I’m doing research on some literary issue or other. The rest of the time, I skip around, or start several novels at once and finish them off, reading out of each a little at a time. I don’t know if this makes me a “mood reader” or not (I do know I’m a “moody reader”–if I don’t have time to read each day, I get just plain crabby!). But if you’re interested, there’s a longish short story/novella/short novel that I just wrote an article on today, called “The Stepdaughter,” by Caroline Blackwood (you can get an idea of what it’s about on my website post for today, at http://creativeshadows.wordpress.com, or you can just go for the 1976 reviews on it published by The Times and The Guardian, if you prefer the work of professional reviewers). At any rate, keep devouring literature–we need good literary blogs, even though there are already a lot out there. Congrats on Freshly Pressed status!

    • Thanks and for the links as well. No I don’t prefer “professional reviewers” I feel the major differnece is that they are paid while most book bloggers are not. I find there are great literary blogs out there. I’m very interested in your review but today I’m busy with the freshly pressed thingy whichcame as aeally nice surprise. But I’ll visit!

  43. I always say the book speaks to me, go to a book store or library and from there I just wait, and just pick a book. But, this year I made a list of authors not books see where that takes me. Also is hard to pick just one. Good post!

  44. I just stumbled upon your blog through “Freshly Pressed” – and this particular post struck an instant chord, because whenever I start reading a new book, I’m already thinking ahead to what I’m going to read next and, in fact, I usually change my mind several times during the course of reading one book, about its “successor”. Since books (especially Hebrew books) are expensive here in Israel, I tend to buy several at a time when the leading bookstore chains have special offers – such as 3 for the price of 2 or “Buy 1, Get 1 Free” and so on. Thus, I have a whole pile of books waiting to be read, as I buy them faster than I can read them. I now have very little space left in my study/library for new books, so I’m very grateful for the Kindle I received for my last birthday (even though I can’t use it for Hebrew books). I try not to read more than one book at a time, but I will make an exception if one is in Hebrew and the other in English, or if one is on my Kindle and the other is a regular paper and ink book, or if one is fiction and the other, non-fiction. I also try not to read two books of the same genre in succession, but exceptions have to be made sometimes, such as with Dorothy Dunnett’s wonderful “Lymond Chronicles” or Susan Cooper’s fantasy series “The Dark is Rising”. In fact, a few days ago, I just finished reading Brenda Reid’s “The House of Dust and Dreams” on my Kindle and I enjoyed it so much, that the very same evening that I finished it, I downloaded and started reading the sequel, “Heavenly’s Child”. I also try to alternate, reading a book in Hebrew and then one in English.
    Oh – and apart from my Kindle, another godsend is the Gutenberg project, with tens of thousands of free e-books 🙂
    I would, however, never try to regiment my reading by making lists and trying to stick to them. That’s fine for school or university, when you have a set list, but I read for my pleasure alone and I see no point in making rigid rules about what I’m going to read and when. The way I see it – my books aren’t going anywhere and if I don’t read them today, I’ll read them tomorrow;-)

    • So well said, all of it.
      I never thought of there not being Hebrew books for the kindle but it’s logical as it’s amazon realted. The title of my readalong this month is an Israeli author, Aharon Applefeld. 🙂
      I have to buy those 3 for 2 as well, whenever I go to England I buy tons and tons, same when I got to France.
      Sometimes this think ahead while i haven’t even finsihed my current book spoils it a bit. I got Susan Cooper’s books here as well. Still unread.
      te kindle is great. I still prefer reading paper but there are great bargains, free books, and they are often cheaper.
      No more too structured reading for me either. I’ve done too much of it during uni.

  45. I like to skim through my titles and pick 3-5 books that seem “right”. Then I’ll look each one over carefully for a few minutes, skim the backs, the first pages, and pick one from there. It’s not so complicated until certain books come out. There’s always a series or two that’ll jump to the top of my list, maybe into my hands, regardless of what or if I’m reading.

    • That’s what i do very often as well. They have to feel right and the they get tested. Someties I’m 5 – 10 pages in and then start another one despite that. It really needs to be the right moment. the bet book can just not bring the best reading expereince when you pick the wrong time.

      • Regardless of what I’m reading though, when the next Alex Verus novel gets released at the end of the month, I’ll drop whatever I’m reading (probably still Gardens of the Moon) and read it in a day and go back to it. Some things are just a fun read regardless of my mood.

          • Careful with the Dresden Files. I got really absorbed when I started reading them (and they get much better over time). I read the first 10 in two weeks. ^_^;;

            Also, the one thing that trips up a lot of people with the Alex Verus books is the first one initially sounds like it takes place in Jim Butcher’s world. It doesn’t, but there’s a fantastic reference in the very beginning.

            • Gosh. 10 in two weeks. that must have been an intense reading experinece. I only started and think it’s quite addictive.
              I didn’t see a comparison to Verus, it was a pure gut feeling when I read the description.

  46. I’m a mood reader too! I plan on reading something and I almost never follow it. I’m trying to read a book that my friend recommended but i couldn’t bring myself to reading that yet. And I can never read two books from the same genre together, I get bored really fast!

    I really like your idea of making a list. I must try that..

    And also Congrats on getting freshly pressed. Great Post!! : D

  47. I just go with how i feel, i dont think i could make a list because id feel like i was stuck reading a long list of novels, it would make it a chore for me. I wait till i find really good read and just focus on it intil im done and than think about whats next. Sometimes i read a book twoce before moving on:p ibjust put some good titles up on my blog

  48. That is a hard ask. I usually browse through the book stores, roadside shops with bargain. We never know when we will end up with a good book. I get lucky plenty of times. Usually, I let the book come to me rather than allowing myself to go for the book. Sharing is more important, I feel. Last thing I trust to choose a book is an online review. 🙂

    Most of the times, it’s the need that creates a search for a book. For example, that day I made an image of a dragonfly but couldn’t identify it. So I searched for an book/ebook that would help me identify it. I ended up with two books that would help me identify dragonflies and damselflies as well.

    Choice is a hard one to make. Chance is an easy one to take. 😉

    • Wise words. 🙂
      I’m afarid some of us a spoilt for choice. Which of the many books on my pile will I choose? We don’t even know how lucky we are in a way to be able to have this kind of problem.

      • Haha! That’s definitely a different kind of problem. I buy a book only if I am sure that I will read it. If I take a wrong decision and buy a wrong book, I still read it because every thing is an experiment. 🙂 All the best for a good choice. Meanwhile, I forgot to congratulate you on making it to the “freshly pressed.” Way to go. 🙂

        • It is a very different kind of problem.
          Thanks for the congratulations. I was eying the freshly pressed page yesterday thinking “that’s not going to happen any day soon” Yesterday. Wasn’t in psychic mode. 🙂

  49. For me, books often seem to come into my life just when I need them. And, if I am recommended a book or come across one that seems interesting but just doesn’t feel right in the moment, I’ll put it aside for a time when it does.

    • That’s interesting as well. I sometimes think I force myself too much to find THE right book a THE right time. I should just not start anything if I can’t pick just yet.

  50. I love to read by either author (like Sharon K Penman – found her; read everything…and would drop a book to get a new one that would come out)…and by genre – if i’m into historic fiction 11th or 12th century – I’ll stick there. I also like to just collect stuff that waits to be read… I couldn’t make a list b/c so much is out there – I wouldn’t want to miss something b/c of a list. I also love to re-read stuff – so I might decided to randomly read Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe series at any given moment, for example.

  51. I tend to pick according to my mood, and my moods happen in cycles, usually always coming back to reading trauma in some form or another. It’s an illness. What I cannot do, or do very rarely, is that once I get into a book I must finish it. Sometimes (but rarely) I’ll have two books going at once if I get bored with the first, but my OCD tendencies give me major guilt if I start a book and then never finish, even if I don’t like it.

    • I know what you mean about feeling guilty if I don’t finish a book. So far, the only book I’ve put down without much regret in recent history is James Kelman’s recent novel “You Have to Be Careful in the Land of the Free.” I found myself comparing it adversely to his novel “How Late It Was, How Late,” and finding it so much inferior that I wasn’t even feeling guilty to leave it.

  52. No plan, no list, no system. Just a trip to the library or bookshop. Although I do like the read a series of books or lots of books from an author in one go. A couple of years ago I borrowed all Harry Potter books from a friend and read all of them in a coupleof months, loved it!

    • It’s greta when we find books like that which are so aborbing that we want to read the whole series. That saves figuring out what to read next at the end of a book.

  53. Good question. My system is simple. If I really like a particular book I am reading, I will search for other titles by the same author. Or, I choose recommendations by friends and family.

  54. Usually after I finish a book I look at the authors other novels and if something looks interesting I read the description on the back. If it still looks like a good story, I check it out of the library (my main source of books). Sometimes I simply ask my friends for recommendations and check out what they say is good, I’ve read a lot of great books that way. As a last resort, I go up to a shelf in my beloved library, close my eyes, and grab a random book. There are many problems with the last strategy but it gets me reading genres other than fiction and sic-fi. By the way, I really liked the article! I also am a fan of fan-fiction though I haven’t read any recently.

  55. I think having a loose method like yours, picking based on your mood is best. If you made a list of books you want to read but aren’t in the mood for it at the time, your setting yourself up for a bad reading experience. Read it when the time is right, it’s not going anywhere. I have a 2 book shelves that resemble your picture in the article and I pretty much gather a few I’m in the mood for and then spend 10 mins narrowing it down to the one I want to read. Works for me!

  56. I choose my next book depending how I feel. Sometimes I want to learn something, thus I choose craft or art technique book. Other times I want to read history of an partiicular thing like the story of shoes. Or simply I wake up that I want to read a fiction book. I always change the type of book. That’s my cycle. 🙂

  57. What an interesting discussion. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies yet I have never given much thought to how I pick the books I do. Like you, I don’t often select a new title until I’m done with the current book. Sometimes there is a book I’m really looking forward to reading, and then I jump in right away. More often I just go with a topic that interests me at that moment.

    Congrats on being FP!

    • Thanks, Jackie. I wouldn’t have thought it’s a topic that interests so many…
      I’m glad when there is a book I look forward to a lot. I’m very rarely disappointed in those. Guilt reading is bad “You have been o my shelves for so long, I must read you”. It never works. 🙂

  58. I usually plan to read self improvement books like Think and Grow Rich. They just motivate me to keep being successful and help others attain the same mindset. I haven’t picked up a novel since “IT” by Stephen King

  59. Oh I often have troubles when I pick my next book. So many times I’m quickly reading a wonderful book because it’s so good, but then I’m not ready for my next book. I’d have to say I fit into the picking many books from the library and then selecting a few at home. I read authors I’ve read in the past or books that the author recommends. I’ve never been able to list a whole year of books. Perhaps I should read short stories between novels. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

    • Thanks, Caroline. I know exactly what you mena. Books I love I finish them way too often and then I should just wait and not start the next one until I’m ready. I read novellas and short stories in between or a non-fiction book, sometimes a very boring classic which I want to finish anway.

  60. I too, have a list. I’ve had one for 10 years! The books just continue to get added to it so I will always have a never ending list. And I wouldn’t want it any other way 🙂 Sometimes I go in order, and sometimes I choose depending on my mood. Also, I track my books and write reviews on goodreads, which also helps so then goodreads can recommend me books.

    • I will have to return to the list writing. When you love books you’re tempted so often and like with everythng else, when you look for a particular title, you cannot remember it.
      A 10 year list must be quite long. Although…many get read eventually.

  61. I’ve written two lists of all the books I’d like to read. One of them lists English novels, and the other lists French novels. I take my list to the book store and I pick whichever book I find first! Although usually I end up buying more than one from the list, and still have to make the difficult decision which one to read first! That usually depends on what mood I’m in! 🙂

    • You’re luckier than me, I’m not likely to find a lot of the French or English books on a list in a book shop. I live in a German speaking country.
      I always buy at least one more than I wanted. 🙂

      • Ahhh that’s not great news! I stocked up on around 10 french classic novels before I moved back to the UK in June. I figured that’d be enough to keep me going until I’m back in a french speaking country and am able to expand my bilingual library. Hopefully…! 🙂

        • It could work but it depends how long you stay abroad. I did exaggerate my “problem” as I live 5 minutes from the French border…. I get my French books one way or another.
          Good look with expanding your bilingual library. 🙂

  62. I wouldn’t call what I do an actual “method”, but I do have an unconcious habit of deliberitly not putting new books on the bookshelf yet, but stacking them on a table next to it, while I slowly work my way through the stack. However, I think I’m going to start trying this list idea. It sounds far more organized, and functional. Thanks!

    • That’s totally like me. I never put new and unread books in shleves unless it’s a new shelf dedicated to “new and unread” books. I love looking at my piles and wait until they put me in the mood to grab and read one of the books. Yes, the lists sound organized.

  63. I love to read and have 2 bookshelves overflowing with them. I really don’t have a system or a method that I use, I just read whatever strikes my fancy. The only book list I have is for people who want to know what books I have so they don’t buy me one as a gift that I already have! My choices are directed more by my mood than anything else. Right now I have 2 books on the go and just received 2 more that I ordered which I can’t wait to start. They are completely different but that’s more than okay with me! T

    • Nobody wants to offer me books anymore. The last two books I received were books I already had.
      While I was reading my last novel I could hardly wait for it to be finished because I was looking forward to the next one. I should allow myself to read at least to in parallel.

  64. I choose by mood. I have a houseful of books that haven’t been read because I’m a member of 7 book clubs and can’t resist ordering new books. “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.” (Desiderius Erasmus)

    • Me too, I am like that. Since I started book blogging I overdid the ordering. But I love to scan my stacks and choose from them.
      I always think, if I have to have a buying addiction, it’s better its books and not shoes. Or cars. Even when I was little, the only things I saved up for were books.

  65. I’m a mood reader like you! I always have a small pile of books on hand, so I just go through and pick one that looks good to me. The stack is always full of what looked good in the bookstore and what my dad recommended, with the odd trendy book thrown in.

    Sometimes when I buy a couple books at a time, I know which ones I’m most excited about and save those for last.

    I almost always finish whatever I’m reading (unless it’s truly awful), so I try not to start too many books at once.

    • I finsih my books as well. It has to be badly written for me to give up on it but usually I manage to avoid badly written books.
      Funny you should mention your dad. In my case too my dad is the “real” person whose recommendations I follow. All the others are virtual people.

  66. Friends, family, neighbors, even strangers are forever recommending books to me. I just recently went to a pre-auction showing of Larry McMurtry’s private collection – over 300,000 books. It was overwhelming. I had to resist the urge to stay and bid on every one.

  67. Interesting post! I loved reading what everyone had to say on the subject too. I tend to have a few books on hand and pick from those (if there is nothing else in particular I need to read), though my next book varies based on recommendations availability, my mood and sometimes it just plain comes down to random selection.

    • Thanks, Trish, glad you liked it. I find the many answers prticularly interesting.
      I always need a few books at hand to choose from. The collection needs to be varied. Who knows what I will feel like reading?

  68. Much like my “single girl” dating habits, I don’t really have a “type” that I look for. When I find an author that I like, I tend to eventually read all of their titles. I also have friends that love to read too, I’ll ask for a recommendation. Once I was recommended a book by a bookstore associate when I didn’t even ask, it turned out to be a fantastic read!

    Great post! Thanks! – Caasi

    • Thanks, Caasi.
      I’m glad I’m more consistent in my dating habits meanhwile than in my book choosing. But I don’t have a type either.
      I should go to bookstores more often and see what the people there recommend. In one of our book stores they have a wall with books and little tags that describe who read it and liked it and why. I picked a few and they were really good.

  69. I look for top sellers. Everyone and their dog are trying to write something meaningful. Only the truly useful and interesting will stand the test of time and public scrutiny.

    • Unfortunately you are right and the dog may very well be the better writer in many cases. 🙂
      There re great uthors who will not attarct attention but it’s good to know what reputation an author has.

  70. The literature world might hate me, but I firmly judge books by their covers. Just like someone who sees an attractive person walking down the street and chooses to strike up a conversation with him or her, if I find a captivating book cover, title, or picture, I am instantly intrigued. This leads to checking out the summary and determining if it seems like a quality read. I rarely rely on book reviews or word-of-mouth references anymore, as I like using my own judgment! Besides, the selection process can be very fun when you do it blindly!

    • Now thatis is a comment I can relate to. I am guided towards book in book stores because of the cover. And I’m very sure we are not the only ones. It is like the first impression of a perosn. No matter what everyone says, they do not judge the character first but the looks (not necessarily whether the perosn looks good or bad but just everything, even clothes). The cover is like the clothes of a person. I like well chose colors, for example. It will always attract my attention. Be it a book or a person.

  71. I work at a public library, so I have the good fortune to see alot of titles come across the desk. I choose the ones that look interesting to me, or if I’ll read it if I’ve seen a positive review from a source I trust.

    • Yes, the source we trust is important. I have a few bloggers whose every book i could read and would know I would like it. It’s more difficult with real people. Many only read genre.

        • It’s very tricky when someone suggests something you know you will really not like but taste is different. It’s not all about writing style and technique sometimes something quite crappy can resonate with us.

  72. My current book was chosen by committee: I asked people what book I should review next for my blog. Other than that, I try to rotate my reading to avoid repeated genres, time periods, etc. For example, I just finished Emma by Jane Austen, I’m currently reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and next will be a mystery novel. The big factor, however, is what’s on my shelf. I’ve got a back log of unread books that I’m working my way through. I suspect as I start running out I’ll make a trip to the book store and stock up again.

    • That’s an interesting approach, having people choose the book for you. Hm.
      You’re rotation sounds just like minde. I currently read Maupassant and a collection of short stories edited by George R. Martin. there is a Neil Gaiman story in it too.
      I’m afraid it will tke years until I have read all the books on my shelves and piles.

  73. I usually read several books at once and decide what I’m going to read based on my mood. Like you, I try and mix things up, but I’m a sucker for a good mystery/thriller. And I always read customer reviews on Amazon and Audible to see what other people think of a book before reading it.

    • I read customer reviews as well. Especially for thrillers. I read at least one crime book per month but I change genres. Cozy, hard boiled, psychological thriller…

  74. I keep a list and refer back to it from time to time, but it often depends on what I “feel” like reading. Books often fall within the category in which I have a particular interest at that moment. If this is the case, I tend to pick up a book based on the title. If I don’t have an intention when arriving at the bookstore, I often open a book if I find *both* title, and -cover- intriguing.

  75. Depends. Sometimes I will ask and get piled up with books to my chin. (I am being literal here), most of the books are great but some of them are not…. Thats what happens when you let someone else choose your reading.

    Covers. I have unfortunatly will pick up a book with a cover that I catches my eye more than other.

    Titles Again a bit of a bad habbit but, really:
    “I’d tell you I love you but then I’d have to kill you”
    or
    “The name of this book is secret”

    and then : “Looking for alaska”(Which I did read and I really enjoyed it) and “Little woman” which was great to.

    I go through phases like sometimes I like europian history books, Paranormal books, dystopian books, mystery, magic, silly, slice of life, romance, etc.

    I normally have a good idea of what I want but sometimes when nothing at all pops out, i take to closing my eyes and randomly pull a book of the shelf have a look at it and force myself to read the first chapter of the book and go from there.

    • Titles Again a bit of a bad habbit but, really:
      “I’d tell you I love you but then I’d have to kill you”
      or
      “The name of this book is secret”

      and then : “Looking for alaska”(Which I did read and I really enjoyed it) and “Little woman” which was great to.

      by which I meant the intresting titles will get picked up faster than the less perhaps “better” books…

    • I have read a few books because the covers looked so good. I can’t say I enjoyed the all. I try not to do that anymore. “Looking for Alaska” sounds familiar.
      I often have a good idea as well but it happens that I cannot make up my mind. I never chose randomly but it would be fun to try at least once.

    • Thanks, Paul. It’s good to read in the genre you’re writing in.
      I find people are very reluctant to read short stories or even read reviews abot short story collections. I guess it’s my favourite genre.

  76. Interesting question. I am usually reading several books depending on where I am. I mix it up with both fiction and non-fiction.
    I read books off of several lists, but many of my reads are simply impulse picks. I am always checking the new book display at the library and often find something that catches my eye.
    In the first part of the year I will try and read books that have the potential to win the Pulitzer. I try and second guess the committee.
    I also check the library book sale whenever I go to the library and buy interesting titles that I find. They stack up at home waiting for my mood to swing their way.
    I am also a streaky reader and will sometimes seek out all the titles by an author.
    It has been interesting to read the comments to this post. We all are different, but all share the love of reading.

    • It’s ana amzing experinece to see so mayn people who love reading, right?
      I’ve seen people read through long lists and try to find out who will win. They had a lot of fun but also had to read a lot they ended up hating. It’s a very different appraoch from mine. I love the idea but could not do it.
      I wonder how often you knew the Pulitzer in advance.

  77. I once read an autobiography and then after read all the books they’d mentioned. In “Seven Storey Mountain” by Thomas Merton, he mentions significant books to him throughout. I started jotting them down and when I was done with the autobiography/memoir went on a reading journey to read the things he read. I loved it!!! Not only did I enjoy many of the books in and of themselves, but it was interesting to relate them back to Merton and also have my own take.

    • I completely forgot this approach. I did that once as well. It was a spiritual memoir, I jotted down all of the recommended books and eneded up reading and loving many.
      You are right, it can be a terrific way of discovering new books. It works better with non-fiction for me though.

  78. I’m just the opposite. I tend to stick to a genre until I’m completely burned out, which is also flawed. The worst is when I pick up a series and I feel like I need to read all fifteen of them immediately, but since I’d rather finish a book than give up on it, I’ll trudge through reluctantly, usually bored or frustrated that it’s not over. I try to space them out but I want to know what happens!

    • I understand that as well but I’m too impatient. It’s rare a series can hook me like this but it’s also because I don’t have a lot of time these days. On a holiday I would probably read my way through a series. I suppose it’s like reading a chunkster. There is always this moment in the middle where you want to hurl the book and then it picks up again.

  79. It varies. Sometimes, I hit a theme and read all the authors that produced works of, say, the sea, the Canadian wilderness during the gold rush, humor, etc.. Since I got my Kindle a couple of years ago, I find I’m always checking the book reviews on Amazon. Who wants to commit hours to a failed effort. Just recently, I was walking my husky and met a neighbor who recalled the works of James Curwood. That night, I downloaded “Kazan,” and two weeks later, “Baree, Son of Kazan.” Sometimes, I’m just plain cheap and look to download classics in the public domain for free. No method, just madness.

    • You just hit a nerve. I have two cats but huskies are my favourite dogs. I just love their grace… On to books again.
      I like themed reading as well. I have a particular interest in WWII and WWI, so I will return to those topics often but vary the authors and country, point of views.
      I haven’t heard of James Curwood but need to investigate now. Thanks. The free books for the kindle are great.

  80. Lovely post and lovely blog. I am a follower now. I go through my favorite authors, and read every book they have written.
    (Obsessive I know sigh!).
    I also follow recommendations from other people. I like a wide range of books, all different topics, and I try to read one every couple of days. I have them lined up above my bed and I read them in the order that I bought them.
    cheers Judy
    judysp.wordpress.com

    • Thanks for the nice words and the follow, Judy.
      I’ll ry and visit back when the freshly pressed has colled down.
      I have gone throgh the works of some authors but it is very rare I like an author that much that I’m tempted to do it.
      I’m sometimes tempted to read in order of buying but I have more books than time.

    • Thanks for the link. I’ll visist once I’ve answred my comments.
      It’s one of my main reasons for reading as many different authors as possible, I want to see as many different ways of writing styles as possible. I very often read for the technique and not only for the story as such.

  81. Like you, a lot depends upon mood. And sometimes which jacket flap strikes me. Sometimes, the book I just finished makes me want to read a related book. For instance, I just finished THE CHAPERONE which was a fictional tale about the woman who chaperoned silent film star Louise Brooks to NYC from Kansas. So when I was done I had to read LULU IN HOLLYWOOD, Brooks’ memoir. I’m also on GoodReads so I check my friend feed to see what others are reading and have enjoyed. You can find me there and friend me: Tara Lazar!

    • I’m not on Goodreads yet but thanks, I might join eventually.
      That’s something I would do s well, when I read a novel about someone and then check out something related, like an autobiography or biography.
      I’ve heard a lot of good things about The Chaperone, btw.

  82. I never have a plan of what I’m going to read. Its pretty much whatever catches my eye. But I read everything, true crime, all fictions, inspirational. You name it and I’ve probably read something on it.

  83. I usually just read whatever Free Friday books that I still have in my Nook library that I have not yet read. Sometimes I will also get books from the library in which case I will have to read them before the Free Friday ones that have to do back. Mostly I like to mix up the genres so I don’t get bored but occasionally I will read two or three in row but usually by the time I have finished, for example, my third fantasy in row, I get bored and want something totally different.

    • Free Friday doesn’t exist for the kindle but there is the deal of the day which is occasionally great as well.
      I mix up genres. I could read a lighter fantasy follwed by drak fanatsy but not two dark ones in a row.

  84. Choosing a book is one of the hardest things for me! I usually buy random books on sale, so my collection is full of things I’ve never read nor heard of. When I go to pick a new book to read, I read a few pages, and if I am not immediately sucked in, I’ll put it down and pick up another. In fact, just tonight I put down “One Amazing Thing” and picked up “Anna Karenina.” I’m hoping I can actually finish this one! 🙂

    • It’s very hard for me as well, but i ffeel I make it harder than it should be.
      Anna Karenina has been on my nighstand for over a year. I do finish books but I got stuck on page 600 when the Point of view changed again. You will soon find out. The farming bit is a bit of a drag.

  85. I wish I could be so organized as to follow a list. For me, I think it’s whatever pulls me down the rabbit hole. However, I am known to carry 2-3 books in my purse at all times, just in case. xoxo, -E

  86. The next book I choose to read mostly just happens, unless I have just specifically bought something new. Usually this creates a free-flow of having something to read, but sometimes I sit in front of my bookshelf staring at all the titles, or aimlessly flicking through my kindle waiting for something to take my fancy.

  87. I like to switch from one non-fiction to one fiction and back. I always seem to be about five or six books behind. I’ll purchase a book if it interests me, even if I have several waiting already. I try to read them in the order I get them, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

    If you prefer French writers and/or French settings, I would suggest “Desert” by J.M.G. Le Clezio or any of Joanne Harris’ novels. I particularly like “Five Quarters of the Orange” and “Chocolat”.

      • Wow. You had so many comments (congrats on FP BTW). I didn’t expect such a quick response. Harris is definitely an acquired taste, but I really enjoy her work. I can’t think of another author that is so deft in engaging all five senses. And the sixth one too, for that matter. 🙂

  88. I have a huge pile of books next to the bed. Not sure which one to pick next, it was going to be Shadows of the Night but its been so long since I read Discovery of Witches that I will have to re read that one first.

  89. Most books that I read are given to me or I find them at the English book swap in my nearest town. I am lucky in that I have similar reading tastes to my dad so he passes on some great books. At the swap I sometimes take a risk on a new author. If I like it then I will look for that author again.
    Sometimes it is a case of looking through the available books for something that looks interesting and that I haven’t read before. I avoid authors I haven’t liked in the past or genres that don’t interest me.
    If a book is recommended to me I will buy it from Amazon. I never buy books on spec although I sometimes download free Kindle chapters to sample, particularly Indie Authors. If the free chapters captivate me I will buy the book.

    • My dad is about the only perosn whose taste I can follow blindly.
      I’ve never seen a book swap in my toen but i suppose I just didn’t pa attention.
      I should download samples more often. Now that I have a kindle it’s a great opportunity to find out if something will work or not. I should keep it in mind.
      I have been reluctant with indie authors because some write not so well but I would find out after a few pages.

  90. I choose my books based on a frequent hour long visit to the bookstore, going through all the titles I can and trying to find something that catches my attention. First there’s the spine, where I look at the name. If the name is interesting, I pull the book out of the shelf a bit (you know, in that crooked way bookworms know how to do) and look at the cover. This is a real make it or break it moment, because if the cover isn’t interesting then I’ll push it back and keep looking. After I find a few that look interesting, I read the first few pages – some I know right away that I won’t like, some I have to keep reading a bit. But in the end it’s all worth it, because I get to indulge in the world of somebody else’s novel – which is AWESOME. 🙂

    • I know that crooked way of looking at a book. 🙂 It really is an artform “book choosing”. A step by step approach, still, it happens that soem disappoint but very often they dont and it’s a treat.

  91. I’m part-way through about five different personal development books – I start and stop reading them based on what my needs are at the time.

    When it comes to reading for pleasure, I’m very picky. I work full-time, I’m a wife & mother, I have a small business that I’m trying to start, I’m the secretary of a non-profit group and I’m a Facebook addict so I have very little “spare” time for reading.

    I have to be really inspired to pick up a new fiction title and while I do tend to stick to science fiction / fantasy, my choices are fairly random.

  92. Hey, that’s an interesting question…

    hmmm… it usually depends on my mood…when I’m feeling low, I go for a happy book – fantasy, humor… anything light. When I’m bored, I turn to adventure, thrillers and the likes…

    So for me it’s all about the mood I’m in… These days I’m reading Fifty Shades Of Grey… everyone has been talking about it, so curiosity got the better of me and I decided to check it out… it’s getting good towards the end of the first book 🙂

    • Me too, it all depends on the mood. Books can cheer you up, entertain or make you think.
      I’m glad you’re enjoying 50 Shades. Another two to go. I’m afraid it’s not for me. But I loved Twilight.

  93. I make a list of about 10 books and try to stick to it. Sometimes I pick a book which is not in the list, just because I’m in the mood for it. But after reading it, I’ll come back to the original reading list.

    Love your writing style. Keep going like this! xo

    • Thanks a lot, Thivany.
      The idea of a 10 item list sounds quite good to me. I should start that. I do enjoy when books are linked and I’m not just jumping from one to the other without any system at all.
      There is always te possibility to rewrite the list.

  94. I used to buy books according to my mood, but, like you, my mood changes very often, so I actually never got round to reading most of the books that I bought! So now I am forcing myself to read all of the books I own before buying any new ones.

  95. Loved your post! I want to come back again later and read all the comments 🙂

    I was a structured reader once upon a time. I used to make a list of books, get it from the library or the bookshop and read them. After that I would make my next list. Then I started buying more than I read. Then I started becoming an impulsive reader, reading based on my mood. Sometimes if I like a book by a writer, I go and read one or two more books by the same writer to compare how they are. Sometime back I made a list of twenty books out of my book pile which I wanted to read in succession. But I haven’t read even one yet, because I got distracted. Right now, I am making a list of books which is based on the books I have borrowed from the library and friends. I want to read them first. I stopped borrowing books from both the library and friends because I am not quite good at returning them on time. But these days I have started borrowing again, because my friends feel bad that I keep lending them books, but I don’t borrow from them 🙂 Now I have to read them. I hope the day will come once again, when I will have only a few unread books on my pile and I can read them one by one. But I know that day will never come.

    • Forgot to ask you. Is that a picture of your bookshelf? I want to come back later and spy on your bookshelf and find out more about the titles you have 🙂

      • Yes it is. 🙂 It’s only a very small part of a huge shelf… It looks chaotic but I order by countries and themes. Only not A – Z. I really don’t like that.

            • Ha, ha, ha! That is interesting, Caroline 🙂 I just ‘browsed’ your bookshelf. Loved the books that you have there. It was nice to see many of Val McDermid’s novels there. I didn’t know that they were translated into German. ‘The Golden Ass’ by Apuleius – isn’t that supposed to be the first ever novel? I didn’t know that ‘L.A.Confidential’ was first a book before it became a movie. I saw a whole collection of Russian literature translated into German, in your bookshelf. It looks like the whole of Nina Berberova’s works is there 🙂 Have you read Bulgakov’s ‘The Master and Margarita’ and Lermontov’s ‘A Hero of our Time’? These are two of my favourite Russian books. I saw a couple of Tabucchi books too, including ‘Indian Nocturne’ 🙂 It was nice to see Somerset Maugham’s ‘The Magician’. Have you read any of his books? He was one of my favourite writers for a long time. I loved the title of Bruce Chatwin’s book – ‘What am I doing here’. It was nice to see ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’, the Bronte sisters and many of Daphne du Maurier’s books there. I have been wanting to read Lawrence Durrell’s ‘The Alexander Quartet’ for years now! It was nice to see an old favourite – A.S.Byatt’s ‘Possession’ 🙂 It was wonderful to see Nick Cave’s novel too – Wow! Do you like reading novels by writers who are also artists in another field – like musicians and actors? I got the movie version of Zoe Heller’s ‘Notes on a scandal’. I am hoping to watch it sometime soon.

              It was wonderful exploring your bookshelf, Caroline. Thanks for posting the picture.

              Hope you have an interesting adventure, picking your next book to read from your wonderful collection 🙂

              • I’m glad you liked it. 🙂
                You looked very closely. You caught me, some of those you mentioned haven’t been read yet. L.A. Confidential and the Mc Dermids have not been read yet, nor has The Master and Margarti and A.S. Byatt. But I’ve read the others. I can recommend Durrell. It’s amazing bt you have to read the all, as they are all telling the sae story from different point of views.
                Some books like the Brontës and Du Maurier are old. I bought or got them in my teens that’s why they are in German, same for the Tabucchi’s. I bought some of the books later in the original language but keep the old copies for sentimental reasons.
                I read most Russian literature in German or French. Sometimes I see a novel I really want and it’s only avaliable in translation and then I get it anyway.
                I should read read my McDermids. I’ve got another shelf with at least 2 of her books. I think that is the oddest habit. To buy books by an author I’ve never read and keep on buying more.

                • Hope you enjoy reading ‘The Master and Margarita’ (there is a chess-playing cat which loves vodka in the story – just tempting you :)) and Byatt’s ‘Possession’. I loved Byatt’s book. Thanks for the recommendation on Durrell. I will try to read it soon. Hope you enjoy reading the McDermids too. Your comment on buying more books by an author that one hasn’t read made me smile 🙂 I do that too 🙂

                    • Wow! I’m so glad that someone else discovered “The Master and Marguerita!” I thought I was about the only one who knew about it. Also, I’m doing my best to read my way through everything A. S. Byatt ever wrote (I’ll probably get to her critical stuff last). If you liked “Possession,” you might also like the fairy tale and witchery stuff in “Elementals,” And for a truly marvelous longer read, there’s “The Children’s Book,” just about my all-time favorite from her. In fact, I did a review on it a few years ago for another website, which I have transferred to my http://creativeshadows.wordpress.com site (it’s in Archives for July, if you’re interested). I really feel that though she writes a totally different kind of thing from Henry James in the 19th-early 20th centuries, she has taken his place as the next major fictionalist.

                    • Vishy reviewed Possession not long ago. I haven’t read nearly enough of her books. I just read a great review of Ragnarok, I’d really like to read that.
                      I love The Conjugal Angel. I didn’t make the Henry James connection, I’ll pay more attention next time I read her. I’m very interested in fairy tale retellings, so that will be interesting. I’ll read your review of The Children’s Book as soon as I get a moment.
                      I read The Conjugal Angel and loved it.

                    • I don’t think I’ve heard anything about “The Conjugal Angel.” Is that a Byatt title? (“The Biographer’s Tale” is another gripper by her, though it starts up slowly).

                    • About “The Conjugal Angel” and “Morpho Eugenia,” the joke’s on me: I not only have read both of them, but own them. It’s just that I was thinking of the title as “Angels and Insects.” Whew! My eventual goal is to read through everything Byatt’s written to date, so I hated to think that yet two more had escaped my eager clutches! Thanks for the reminder and clarification.

                    • No problem. I thought it’s impossible that you haven’t read them.
                      How about her sister Margaret Drabble? I have not read her but always been curious to find out whether they are similar.

                    • Though I own two Margaret Drabble books, I’ve only read “The Garrick Year,” and that was a long time ago, long before I knew they were sisters. Quite honestly? I feel that Byatt leaves Drabble behind in every way. For one thing, Drabble is “drab” by comparison; she doesn’t (as far as I know from the one novel, I admit my ignorance of anything else) have any elves or fairies or witches or fantasy or myth. But I may well have missed some things. I would just say what I fairly can, though: I think the story of “The Garrick Year” would’ve been better told by Byatt.

                    • I see, thanks. There is of course no reason why the writing should be similar but I was still curious. I think I also have one of her books somewhere but will certainly read Byatt again before trying the first Drabble.

    • Thanks, Vishy. It got freshly pressed. That’s why I have such a lot of comments and likes. 🙂
      I was more structured vefore, i liked reading many books on the same topic or the same author. I really feel I’ve changed because I lack time. It’s as if I think i can make up for the lack of time by reading impulsively, like you call it.
      Once upon a time I had a book shelf and everything on it had been read… Unless I start to give away even books I haven’t read yet, it’s not likely I will ever know that feeling again.
      I don’t borrow books, I would not be able to stick to the time. I’m even bad with presents. my father alwys used to buy me so many great books and I just kept then on the pile “for later”.
      That will take quite some time to read all the comments. I cannot believe I managed to answer them all. I thought it was nice that peple really read the post and thought about the question. many answers are very intersting and there were a few interesting book suggestions as well.

      • It is wonderful that your post got freshly pressed! Congratulations! It is wonderful and heartwarming to see so many booklovers out there. One of the things I really like about you is that you always reply to every comment to your posts. You nurture your readers and make them feel wanted and many of your readers like having a literary conversation in the comments section of your posts.

        I can understand what you said about book presents. I have quite a few book presents – some of them a couple of years old. I want to read all of them sometime, but I keep postponing them. One of my friends who sends me book presents for my birthday, sent me a children’s book for this birthday. I read it immediately 🙂

        • Thanks, Vishy and for the kind words.
          I try to do it the way I like it. Some bloggers never answer which to some extent is fine by me but I don’t like those who reply sometimes and sometimes they don’t. It feels as if they are judging me or my comment. Plus I do like a conversation. And that way people know I have read the comments. How do we know whether those who do not reply even read the comments?
          I know there are some bloggers who have such an incredible amount of followers that it’s not possible to answer anymore but they state that and answer only questions. Fair enough. Should ever happen I would have to change my approach. 🙂
          My father has the habit of giving me three to four books by the same author as a present because he knows I used to love immersing myself in the work of a writer. He always wants me to offer him books by the same author too… But since I’m not at uni anymore I lack the time he has since he’s retired now… One day… 🙂

  96. This is both an interesting and useful topic, so first of all, congratulations!

    As for the way I decide what to read .. I am now realizing that I do not have any system and that for the most part I go for what feels right, so I suppose you could say I’m a mood reader of sorts, though I am uncertain if that is what you mean..
    In fact, I am quite surprised that some people actually make lists. While I consider it from time to time and on a theoretical level I see how it could be useful, I hardly ever even write down a title that appeals to me if I am reading something else or if I can’t get my hands on it right there and then. But with so many books available, I am not too worried about that.

    There are some things which are generally true for me though…
    -If I don’t like a book from the beginning, I found out with time that I am not going to enjoy it so I just leave it then, why waste time after all?
    -Too much description bores me; I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I skipped pages of descriptions from Winnetou or LOTR, only to come back later sometime when a reference was made. I bore easily? 😀
    -My favourite genres are fantasy, action/adventure, fiction and some crime novels though I’m picky about the flatter as well as some just have too much description for my taste; sometimes I read classic novels but as a rule of thumb realistic books don’t hold my interest. The Three Musketeers is THE exceptions however, as it remains a dear favourite even after so many years.
    -Unlike many of you, after I read an enjoyable book from a genre I just remember how much I like it and search for one just as good or even better*. If it has gray characters in it and possibly some witty character or angst than I’m probably gonna love it xD

    *I don’t really believe in a classification of books as “good” and “poor” or anything of the sorts, so in a way, there are no filler books for me; just books of a different style which perhaps do not tempt me to try similar ones very soon. I am of the mind it is a great thing there are so maany different types of books, and books really – it means to my view that nobody has an excuse not to read 😉

  97. I don’t know if I could read from a set list, I try that with GoodReads but books just languish on the list and I feel bad (for the books). I know, it’s weird. I am one of those people who goes to the library, grabs six or more (usually more) books and when I get home I pick through them as the mood strikes me.

  98. If you’d ask me, I’d stick to my favored genre: Fantasy.
    I don’t read books that doesn’t interest me. So, I plainly choose what I want to read next. :))
    And,
    thumbs up for the well-off post! :))

    • I think those with favourite genres have it a bit easier. The choice isn’t as big but it can still be tricky.
      I like fanatsy a lot and never now whether I’d rather like to read something darker or more like fairy tale.

        • I’m just read a collection called Songs of Love and Death edited by George R.R.Martin and it’s really good. It has horror dark fanatsy, historical fantasy… Mayn new authors to discover.
          I like Anne Rice a lot as well.
          Yes, I have a lot of books. Too many. 🙂

  99. I usually buy my books in a bulk (like 6 or 7) and after finishing all of them I start hunt for good books to read. I usually put atleast one classic in my to-read list and many good wordpress book blogs give nice suggestions. Above all, my book shop ultimately decides what book I read. If the book I’m searching for is not in stock, I go with some other book 🙂

    • You are more reasonable tham I am. I always buy in bulks but buy a new one before I finish the old one and so they keep on adding up and I lose the overview.
      I’ll think of your system the next time I go to a book shop.
      There really are great book blogs, I agree.

  100. Not even kidding – I judge a book by it’s cover. I will go to my library’s “new books” section and pick out the one with great fonts, names, or cover art. I then will sit down read the synopsis and choose from there. I put all the books in my GoodReads account and that sometimes gives me more ideas

    I also am determined to read every book on this list (http://bookreviews.me.uk/rory-gilmore-reading-challenge/). I grew up watching the Gilmore Girls. Every once in a while I will grab a book from there.

    • I think one way or the other we all choose by covers. Even those who say they don’t care if a cover looks nice. they may go for sober ones, just a design, no picture or painting but still they decide according to the cover. That’s why i think it’s key for a publisher to have great concept and choose covers very carefully. I pay a lot of attention to that and the title.
      Thanks for adding that link. I must have seen it once and thought it was agreat idea. Rory reads some amazing books in that series.

  101. it’s one of my favourite things to do, picking what book I’m going to read next, I too make a little pile of ‘potentials,’ and narrow it down, usually if I’ve been reading something particularly I like to take a break with something lighter, sometimes I’ll get stuck in genres, right now russian literature, before that, graphic novels, in the end I have such a huge pile of books that I’m wanting to read, that it makes me realize I need to be devote a lot more time to reading

    • I enjoy doing it as well. It’s so exciting looking at a pile.
      I mostly change genres and if possible countries. I’d like to read a mix a broaden my horizons. I try new things whenever possible. Not necessarily popular books though.

  102. I’m a bookseller so I feel a sort of obligation to read books that are either recently out or coming out int he next few months. Part of this is the thrill of being able to read books that are not yet available but another part is being able to talk to customers with an informed opinion. I certainly don’t read anything I don’t want to, but I do think I make more conscious and deliberate decisions based on Pub Dates.

    I will say that at the moment I am reading E. M. Forster and that’s purely for my own self education as well as offering a contrast from what I just finished. Honestly I really think I choose what to read based on mood or recent interests.

    • E.M. Forster is one of my favourite writers. He is so great.
      I know the feeling of discovering something nobody else has read before. I used to work for a publisher and that part was great.
      Mayn people prefer to read books which have been “tested”by others. I love a discovery. In your case it is probabaly key as people love a book seller who knows what he/she is talking about.
      Myyn mention that they get their best tips from their bookseller.

      • Well when I’m reading a book that’s already out I certainly do my research. I think goodreads is a really fantastic way of getting a sense of a book. Some negative reviews may be more positive in my eyes and such.

        Another nice aspect of reading a book before anyone else is getting an impression that you know isn’t influenced by others. When I had an advanced copy of Bring Up the Bodies by Hillary Mantel, for example, I wasn’t thinking about all the praise it was getting.

        • I never really visited Goodreads but maybe I will in the future.
          I like deciding for myself whether a book is good or not before the press covers it. Or the readers. I suppose we get very easily influenced.

  103. I’m a mood reader for sure. I don’t know if it’s actually considered a mood, but more of a phase I guess. Right now all I can read in pre- 50’s American Literature; the likes of Hemingway and Faulkner.

    • That reminds me that I wanted to read Faulkner this year.
      I would call your readin “in phases”. There is a theme but maybe because you are in the mood for pre-5os.
      It’s an era I like a lot as well.

  104. Interesting post, I’d never given a thought to the issue before! Now that I have though, I’ve realised my ‘system’ sucks. I read everything I can get my hands on by the same author, or in the same series, one after the other and find that after the first few I start getting very bored of the writing style and picking holes in it. Maybe a list, or a sedately structured method would be a better idea…

    • Thanks, glad you found it interesting. It seems your system worked fine for a while and for some authors. What I learned from all of the answers is that it might occasinally be good to chnage the approach and a small list is not a bad idea.
      One of the reasons why I don’t like reading from the same author too much in a row is that I’m afraid if I read one I don’t like or tire of him, that will damage the memory of the one I really liked.

  105. Very interesting post! I wouldve never thought about this if I hadn’t seen this post! While trying to decide on my next book, I normally ask friends for recommendations or if im trying to buy a book in a store, I pick ones that have the most intriguing first couple of pages. I don’t usually read books by the same author one after the other. And i like to mix up genres as often as I can, sometimes reading two-three books at a time.

    • Thanks, I’m glad you found it interesting. It’s funny that once you start to ask yourself this question, you realize that you do have some system. Like you, I mix genres and hardly ever read the same author twice within a short time.
      Sometimes I got to a book shop, spontanenously buy a book and read it right away, sometimes, I need to stare at my piles for quite a while until I can make up my mind.

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