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Decisions, decisions…

Written by Kirsten on May 20th, 2009

How do you decide what to read next? Is it completely on impulse, systematic, or somewhere in between? Do you have a physical location for the books you are planning to read within the next X amount of time? What, if any, circumstances bump a book straight to the top of the pile?

I try to complete series if I enjoy the first installment; beyond that, I’m making a conscious effort to read new books rather than consistently re-reading books I’ve read once before but want to revisit, or old favorites (particularly if they’re series and require a commitment of more time than a standalone novel). If someone I know or a community I’m part of is planning to read something, that can influence my choices, but primarily, it’s mood-based.

What are the next three books on your list, if you have one, and why are you planning to read them? Recommendations, longstanding promises to yourself, library due dates?


9 Comments so far ↓

  1. Excellent topic! For me, a wide variety of factors go towards deciding my next books. One is whether its an advanced copy, if so, I want to get it read and reviewed ASAP. I’ll also go by whether there are any book discussions going on at Library Thing that interest me. However, the largest part is mood/season. I find that in spring I crave Historical fiction, in summer chick lit (and a Harry Potter reread), in fall nonfiction and in winter heavy fiction and literature. Currently I’m reading Outlander, the first in a series of historical fiction and it seems likely that my next three reads will be Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, and The Drums of Autumn. :)

  2. Kirsten says:

    That’s funny, bib – I like my Harry Potter series read in the winter (or during the rainy season, now); I think it’s a comfort read/cozy time thing.

    I cringe to think of my neglected advanced readers; I really must do something about them, and soon!

  3. Kerian says:

    Sometimes I plan ahead, more commonly when I have an ARC or am reading a series, and other times I debate for a full day for that same mood-based reason. What other people read has a strong pull on what book I choose. If someone starts to read something in my TBR pile I want to read it alongside them.

    One of my sisters has a physical TBR pile on one shelf that’s about to collapse. I don’t say anything about it but think it’s strange. Each person to their own order, however! I shelf my books by genre, mixing the TBRs with books which I’ve read.

    I’m not planning ahead much for books right now. I’m digging into Club Dead on Friday, the soonest I can manage to get my hands on a copy, but after that, who knows. I want to go through the series while shoving other TBRs in between each of the books.

  4. Kerian says:

    I had this window open for a while from distractions and missed your post to bib. I just wanted to add that like you, I crave Harry Potter and other rereads during the winter. It’s when I need comfort reads most.

  5. I think it’s because the release dates have been in July, so that’s when I got to reading. Now it just feels wrong not to be reading Harry Potter in July!

    I try to intersperse rereads throughout the year as they’re needed. So far this year I’ve only done two rereads, which means 30 new reads so far! (plus the 3 I’m currently working on!)

  6. Shanra says:

    Hmmm… I think my reading is influenced by a combination of all of the things you mention, depending on what’s on my TBR pile. It’s been a while since I’ve reread anything, though. I have far too many unread books for rereading on a regular basis!

    What bumps a book up on my TBR list is it belonging to someone else or if it’s a group read or something. (Excepting classes, I’ve never done a group read, but I’d like to sometime. ^-^) Oh, and if a friend of mine happens to be in it. ^-~ Granted, it’s only happened once, but it’s a fairly sure way to get me to read things fast.

    Beyond that… Usually I’ll pick books by mood, although I have used to pick books for me in the past. It can yield some interesting results and see me reading a book I might otherwise have left for ages.

    And challenges, of course. I’m participating in a few reading challenges, so I have to choose books to fit the criteria. Quite a bit of fun and another way to pick up books on my TBR that might otherwise languish. ^-^

    The books currently on my immeditae TBR list are:
    When Dreams Came True by Jack Zipes. Non-fiction on the tradition of fairytales. Very fascinating thing, but I have to make myself pick up non-fiction once I put it down, so that’s why it’s there.
    Daylight by Elizabeth Knox. I’ve been wanting to read this a while now and it arrived yesterday. First, the Zipes book, though. *twitch*
    The Swan Maiden by Jules Watson. This got knocked down from first place by Zipes and then Knox, poor thing.
    Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon. The premise sounds fascinating. I’ve been waiting for this to get published/arrive too, but…

    I could go on like this a while, but I’m already past the three you asked for. ^-~ I think Watson’s novel may be straight historical fiction rather than fantasy, but I’m not sure. It retells the story of Deirdre, so it could be either.)

  7. Kirsten says:

    Shanra, assigning books numbers is like putting wasabi on ice cream – sacrilegious! :-P Unless there’s some way to create a widget where you replace the numbers with actual book titles; THAT would really be something. Hmm…

  8. Shanra says:

    Oh, I don’t assign them numbers. As such. If I use, I check how many pages of unread books I have on LT, have it pick one from that number, then pick one from the 20 books on that page. And that’s my read. ^-^ I don’t do it very often, though. I have so many books I can usually find something that appeals to me.

  9. foggidawn says:

    As Bib and Kerian mentioned, if I’ve been sent a galley to review, that gets bumped upwards, if not to the very top of my TBR list. Library books coming due are another factor, though I tend to keep renewing the ones that look vaguely interesting but I’m not in the mood for right away. Mostly I go by mood, as far as picking what to read next. Of course, dozens of factors contribute to the TBR pile in the first place — everything from “it looks interesting” to “someone on LT recommended it” to “it’s next in a series I’m reading/by an author I love” to “it won an award and/or is tremendously popular.” It’s hard to say what I’ll read next, but here are three likely picks:
    Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson (galley for review)
    Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett (planning to use it in Summer Reading programming)
    The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (due back at the library soon)

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