How I Decide On My Next Book

It’s a sophisticated algorithm. Okay, it’s a carefully thought-out selection. Alright, maybe it’s just a gut feeling… or all of the above.

I’d like to say that I have one tried and true method for picking what book to read next, but it really depends on my mood and goals at the time. For instance, I’ve gone through phases where all I want to read is fantasy, mystery, and light fiction–maybe when life at work or school is starting to feel too reading-heavy. I’ve also been through times where I just wanted to read nonfiction, because I feel that I’m lacking enough information on certain perspectives about the world we live in or on myself. In both those types of periods I tend to hone in on certain books.

Other times, I listen to my gut reactions. Goodreads is a fantastic tool for this. I “collect” books that I want to read through Goodreads and I use their shelf sorting system to help remind myself what books are in what genres. So, often I’ll scroll through my lists and choose a book that pops out to me. I’ve even created a specific shelf where I collect these gut-instinct-have-to-read-soon titles so that I remember the ones I was most excited about the next time I’m looking for something new to read.

And finally, sometimes reading is just about what’s available. I’m pretty sure one of the requirements of being a bookworm is having piles and piles of books in your home that you haven’t gotten to yet but fully intend to read–and I’m no exception. Every now and then it’s just unacceptable not to thin the stacks a little by actually cracking one of those works open and giving it a try.

A variation of the whatever-is-around strategy is taking a look at the local library’s webpage to see what bestsellers they have on the shelf or available via e-reader. That way it’s kind of a combination between surprising myself and picking a book that I’ve wanted to read for a while.

How do you choose what to read next?

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