Monday, November 4, 2013

15 Days Book Blogging Challenge - How Do You Choose What Book To Read Next?

If you've been following my blog for the past few days, you know by now that I'm participating in the 15 Days Book Blogging Challenge hosted at Good Books and Good Wine. My introductory post for the challenge is here, and I've been having fun writing up these posts, though I've decided to write them all up ahead of time to post each day. Quite the departure from normal for me. I'm generally more of a "write and post right away" type blogger.

Anyway, today's topic is one of my favorites, but one that is actually more challenging to answer than you might think: "How Do You Choose What Book To Read Next?".

A lot of factors go into the choice for me, but I'd say about half of them are almost subconscious, and the decision is often made well before I've finished reading the current book.
  1. Is there a sequel to the current book? If so, I'm quite likely to be reading that one next. The variants to this are: "Is there another book set in the same world?" or "Are there earlier books in the series?". One of these variants is in play right now. When I was reading Bastion, the latest book by Mercedes Lackey, I found myself lost at some of the references to events from the previous books in the series, so I've started a re-read from Foundation, the first book in that series.
  2. Is there a new book I've been looking forward to reading for a while? Quite often with these, I don't even wait until I've finished reading my current books, but just jump in right away. The above mentioned Bastion was one of these. I started reading it the same day I bought it.
  3. Is a book tied to something else that's got my interest at the moment? The book Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants) has inspired me to go looking for some of the Elemental Masters books by Mercedes Lackey that I have, as they're set in more or less the same time-period.
  4. Has something simply jogged my memory towards a random scene in a book I've read? That may convince me to re-read a book too. Often this ties in with point three.
  5. Simply finger-walking my way through the shelves until I find something that looks interesting. This is the one that I tend to do least often to be honest. It's kind of the court-of-last-resort as it means I likely don't have a current read on the go or that I need an extra book for a trip, and I need it now.
 One thing that's clear from this list, and also from the pattern of books and authors that appear on my blog is that I'm a re-reader. I love reading a book I enjoyed over and over again. Depending on the author, I often get some new detail that I'd never noticed before too (especially with J.R.R. Tolkien). Other times, it's just something comforting when I'm stressed out or not feeling well. These are books that I don't have to pay full attention to all the time.

At any rate, this is a system that seems to work fairly well for me in that I usually have at least one book (often two or three) on my "I want to read this next" list, usually well before I've finished the current one.

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