bookish musings, discussions and Reviews

 by Laura berry

How do you choose what book to read next?

The amount of books I haven't read on my shelf right now is astonishing to anyone except my fellow bookworms. I mean, I think around half of the books in my personal library are still unread. We buy more books than we physically have time to read. There is no stopping it - I've tried.

At the beginning of this year I told myself that I was only going to buy highly anticipated sequels and work through the unread books I already had on my shelves. I have hundreds of them, if you include my Kindle shelf. Well that lasted about a month. I'm actually surprised I held out even that long. But because I did not also cut myself off from instagram, I kept hearing about amazing debut novels like Caraval, The Hate U Give and Wintersong. So you can guess what happened. Why yes - I did buy them all and I have NO REGRETS!

Although I broke my own rule this year, I'm at least proud of the fact that I have actually READ those three books - instead of buying them and letting them sit on my shelf for over a year - which I'm totally guilty of! It's never exactly on purpose - okay it's never ever on purpose. I just get so excited about books and if something strikes my fancy, it's hard not to buy it RIGHT THEN. But I'm always in the middle of another book when I buy a new one. I'm never NOT in the middle of a book. And the way I pick my next book is completely random. I've tried making #tbr lists but they never work.

I'm what many bookworms consider a 'mood reader'; which basically translates to me being a terrible person to lend books to. Why? Because I may not be in the mood to read that book for over a year...yes that's entirely possible. I'm not one to force myself to read a book if I'm not in the mood for it. I held on to a coworker's copy of Wool by Hugh Howey for well over a year and I only gave it back - unread - because I was leaving that job. I gave it back on my last week. I'm pathetic. I actually ended up buying my own copy, which - you guessed it! I STILL HAVEN'T READ. But I swear I will. Eventually.

So what gets me in the mood to read my next book? Well thanks for asking! It's completely arbitrary! It could be that I haven't read the genre in a while. It could be that I've read too much of a certain genre and I need the complete opposite (like too much supernatural Victorian London leads to reading YA contemporary or sci-fi next). It could be that the movie is coming out and I feel compelled to read the book first - this doesn't always happen - sometimes I read it after (gasp!). Or it could be that the book I just read had a really sad or dissatisfying ending, so I would usually pick up an old favorite or a book with a guaranteed happy ending. Sometimes I just need that. 

OR it could be that I planned to lend the book to my mother-in-law but I want to read it first and Easter is in less than a week now so... I better get on that, right?

Which is why I'm currently reading Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. This book has been on my #tbr for over a year - since it came out really. I read several WWII historical fiction books last year so I felt a little overwhelmed in that genre so I put this book off till I was in the mood again for it. I lent my MIL Between Shades of Gray a little while ago and I want her to read this one next, so I'm done procrastinating! Lucky for me - it's a very good book so far and has been really easy to get into. I started last night and I'm already on page 100/393! 

So anyways. How do you guys choose what book to read next? Can you follow a monthly #tbr list like a civilized human? Or do you pick your books all willy nilly like me? :)


How I read 50+ books a year