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The Sunday Salon: Choosing the next read

The Sunday 
Salon.com

One of my favorite aspects of a reading hobby, other than the reading and the book buying and the library hounding and the cataloging and the bookshelf decorating, is the part where I pick my next read. In fact, when I am close to the end of my current book, I am already deciding my next book.

Sometimes, it is a straightforward choice. I usually always have a stack of library books, and I just go from one to the next. With library books, the decision is easier. The books have to go back soon, sometimes, there's already a long waiting list. Besides, I'm better about reading books I picked recently as opposed to books I picked up eons ago. But if there are no library books at home, then I pick something from the shelves. There's always something that I'm hoping to read.

Unless I just got off a really awesome book. Then no book appeals to me. That's what I got myself into last night, when I spent a good four hours trying to figure out what to read. I had just finished reading my first proper Neil Gaiman book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which turned out to be an amazing read. Gaiman can tell a story well and make you want to be in it. I didn't have much success with his Coraline, so it was absolutely refreshing to find his newer book so much more enchanting and hard to put down.

(Photo credit)

Which makes the next read always a very challenging one. I usually like it to be as engaging as the one I just finished, but no matter which I pick, it could fade in comparison to the great big read before it. That makes it hard to choose one - should I go for a lighter read and risk getting into a dud or should I just pick a read I feel confident about and risk it paling in comparison to my expectation from the book?

I'm not sure. Before you think it any other way, I love being in this spot. Deciding what to read is part of the whole enjoyable reading experience. You pick a book at a certain time, fully expecting to enjoy it. Besides, there are a couple of books waiting for me at the library - two titles I am really looking forward to reading. But the library's closed today and I just need a nice enjoyable book to read in the meantime. I'm sure I'll know the right book to read - I'm already tossing between Dave Eggers' Zeitoun, and Jojo Moyes' Me Before You.

Comments

Tanya Patrice said…
I love the whole "picking the next book experience" too. I don't usually feel a challenge after a good or bad book - my challenge is more that there are so many books to choose from, I can't settle on any one in particular!

Tanya Patrice
Girlxoxo.com
Of all of the problems to have this is a great one isn't it? I'm with you, I love thinking about and picking out my next read :D
Sam_TinyLibrary said…
I love choosing the next book too, and sometimes I really take my time with it. I hate it when nothing takes my fancy though.
It's one of my favorite things, too. I usually have a few lined up, but it totally depends how I feel right at that moment.


(My vote is for Zeitoun!)
OMG this happens to me all the time. I get like "next book stuck". Sometimes it takes me days of searching.

I can't plan it out like some people too.

I'm more of a mood reader.
Ti Reed said…
I love and hate this aspect of reading. In my mind, I love it but realistically, it's a complicated process for me as I have to consider the "have to/must read" arcs against the "want to/so excited about" titles calling my name. Plus, I usually read more than one at a time so I need to also consider if the two-three I have chosen are a good fit.
Athira / Aths said…
I've been in that situation a few times and that one's usually a bit tough. When I go from book to book without settling into any of them, I end up in a rut.
Athira / Aths said…
Oh yeah, this is an awesome problem to have. It's almost like a science - finding a book that I'll like at that particular time. :)
Athira / Aths said…
I would also read books before an author event - I think that would make me better appreciate the author and his/her writing style and also I would have a better idea of what to ask the author.
Athira / Aths said…
Yeah. Last night, nothing took my fancy. But then 80% of my books are still boxed into a corner because I am still trying to decide on the bookshelves. Not being able to see my books limits my thinking ability, ha!
Athira / Aths said…
Zeitoun sounds pretty awesome. I've heard so much about it and can't wait to dig into it.
Athira / Aths said…
I'm a mood reader too, but usually, a certain mood stays with me for a few weeks. Sometimes, if I read and loved a certain book, then I'm in the mood for more books of that book's type. Some books just cannot compare - they are a class above.
Athira / Aths said…
When you think about it, it's amazing how much thought goes into choosing a book. We do all this subconsciously and we enjoy the process so much. But it's really a complicated process.

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