My Thought Process When Deciding What To Read Next

05/11/2018 Discussions, Reading 24

My Thought Process When Deciding What To Read Next

Reading may be fun, but deciding what book to read next is absolute torture. It is if you’re anything like me anyway!

So if you want a look inside the mind of a crazy bookworm, here’s my thought process when deciding what to read next:

1. Panic and feel completely overwhelmed. 

The first stage of deciding what to read next is to feel completely overwhelmed by the life-altering decision before me…OK, so it isn’t that bad, but you’d think it was, what with the amount of dithering I do!

I’m just very aware when I put down one book that I have an extremely large pool of books to choose from, and I never know where to begin. As much as I love having a near constant stream of reading material coming my way (mostly thanks to Amazon Kindle deals and supermarket and charity shop bargains!), there’s definitely such a thing as too much choice!

2. Tell myself to get it together and come up with options. 

The only way to combat the panic is with a plan! I have so many unread books and ebooks, so I start going through them in my head (or physically, seen as I tend to forget what I have!) to at least come up with some viable options.

3. I immediately discard several possibilities. 

I’m a mood reader, so I tend to immediately write off a majority of books based off what genre I feel like reading at the time. There’s always some books I think of, that even though I want to read them some day, just immediately make me go ‘nope, not today!’ Which is good really, because otherwise I’d have too many options, and would have to endlessly keep looping back to stage 1!

4. Read the first couple of sentences of my short list.

Once I’ve got a few possible books that I feel like reading, I tend to have a glance at the first page, and see if the first few sentences draw me in or not. Whilst I’ve read loads of good books that have taken me a few pages, or even chapters to get into, some of the best books have had me from the very beginning. And it makes my choice easier if any of my short listed books do that!

5. Worst comes to worst…pick randomly!

Unfortunately, there isn’t always one book that jumps out at me, even at this stage of my overly convoluted process. That’s when I have to just bite the bullet and make a random choice, all the time convinced I’ve made the wrong one, obviously!

So how do you choose what book to read next? Are you as indecisive as me, or do you generally have your next read all lined up for when you’ve finished your current book? 

24 Responses to “My Thought Process When Deciding What To Read Next”

  1. Helen C

    Lovely post Laura, it was interesting to see your thought process on choosing a next book to read and I can totally relate. I tend to choose a couple of possibilities first and narrow it down that way or often like you I pick randomly and hope for the best. Pretty photography too! 🙂 xx

    Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Elley @ Elley the Book Otter

    Oh boy, I identify with this so hard, especially step 1! haha. 🙂 Right now my step 2 is to review my list of ARCs, with a focus on any blog tours I’ve signed up for so I make sure I’m keeping those commitments. I’m a major mood reader too, so I need to make sure I jump on any ARCs/blog tour reads while I’m in the mood to read them/that genre – even if it seems like I’m reading the book ridiculously early, otherwise I find myself forcing myself to read the book just to get it done on time even though I’m not really feeling it (which isn’t fair to me or the book!) Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for ANYTHING and I might start and put down half a dozen books before I finally fall into one that clicks. Sometimes I get fairly far into a few books before I decide I need to read something else (which I why I have so many books going in my “currently reading” list that I’m just too far into to just cut loose…”) That’s kind of where I’m at right now. :/ BLURGH.

    • Laura

      That seems like a good way to tackle ARCs, to read them when you feel like that genre, even if it’s quite early! I’ve never really done the ARC/blog tour thing to be honest, because I’m such an extreme mood reader I know I’d have real trouble with it!
      I know that feeling though where sometimes you’re just not in the mood for anything, and it’s so frustrating! I often get partway through a book too and decide I want to read something else, but I’m so stubborn I won’t start another until I finish it, so I just end up procrastinating reading, which makes my progress even slower. Your way of just having a really long ‘currently reading’ list sounds much better! 🙂

  3. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    My process is simple compared to yours. All of my unread books are on the same shelf, so I use a random number generator to pick my next read. I just choose a number and count along the shelf. I have a TBR for Nonfiction November, so that’s different. We’ll see if I stick to it.

  4. ShootingStarsMag

    I like the idea of reading the very beginning of a few books and seeing what really jumps out. If it’s a book for review, I try and go in order of when they are released, and in between that, I have a book club book every month and then I’m trying to read more of the books that I own…so that’s usually where my choices have to come in! Sometimes it comes down to a genre I’m currently loving, or something I keep telling myself I’m going to read, etc. It can be tough though! lol So many I want/need to read.


    • Laura

      It sounds like you have a good system, to prioritise review books by the order of their release! You’re right that it can be tough to choose though. There’s so many I want to read too! 🙂

  5. Angela

    I normally have a bunch of library books out at a time, so I have a lot to choose from. I usually have an idea of what I want to read next, but if I can’t choose between a couple, I’ll show them to my husband and have him pick!

    • Laura

      That sounds like a good idea, getting someone else to make the final decision! I may try that with my boyfriend, and then if I end up feeling like it was the wrong decision, I can blame him! 🙂

  6. Malka @ Paper Procrastinators

    I’m also a mood reader, so that usually narrows down the kid of books I want to read. That helps me identify the genre, and I go from there based on what I have on my shelf or what I have out from the library.

    Unfortunately I’m often in the mood for books I don’t have on hand. Either because they haven’t been released yet, or because I don’t own them.

    I also find that if I start the first 2-3 pages of a book while I’m finishing up my current read, I’m more likely to continue reading the book I started without any hesitation as soon as I finish that current read.

    • Laura

      That happens to me all the time too, where I’m in the mood for books I haven’t got to hand. Usually it’ll be a book I had out of the library ages ago, that I didn’t feel like reading at the time so I returned it, which is so annoying!
      Reading the first few pages of a book while you’re finishing up another is actually such a good idea! Then there’s no gap, and you are inevitably just going to carry on with the book you’ve already started. I may try that! 🙂

  7. Gayathri

    I usually have to list of books to read but I never follow that being a mood reader. I end up picking up almost randomly. Hilarious post!

  8. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I can completely relate to this, picking books to read is hard! Sometimes I’m helped along by an arc which is due for review but normally my brain decides that is the very last book I should be reading and instead wants me to reread that book I read 2 years ago which I can’t find and then when I do find it I’m no longer in the mood to read it. It’s really a lucky dip process but it’s horrible because sometimes I’ll need a new book to read on the way to work but if I take a physical book there is every chance that isn’t what I want to read and so I always have to take my Kindle so at least I have options while I figure out what I want to read next.

    • Laura

      I’ve had that too, where I’ve randomly decided the thing I feel like reading is a specific book I bought ages ago that I have no idea where it is, and then as soon as I dig it out, I no longer want to read it. So frustrating!
      I’m kind of like that too when I take a book to read on my break at work: if it’s a physical book I always pack my Kindle too, just in case I decide I want to read something else! I guess that’s one of the great things about Kindles – you can carry around hundreds of options! 🙂

  9. Sam @ Sharing Inspired Kreations

    Hahaha – I feel your pain! Honestly, I probably pick randomly 80% of the time. Unless, of course, I have ARCs that need to be read in the immediate future…as much as ARCs can cause me anxiety, at least there is an order to them and I don’t need to decide which one to read next! Good luck choosing your next read!!

    • Laura

      Yeah, that definitely is an upside of ARCs. Sometimes I feel like I need someone to just tell me what I need to read next, so the decision is out of my hands! 🙂

  10. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    Okay, I feel like I’m going crazy because I have now read at least three posts on your blog that I could swear I already commented on a long time ago, but I don’t see my comments, so … I’ve been dreaming about commenting on your blog? I have no idea, but sorry if this is somehow a duplicate.

    Anyway, I’m glad I’m not the only one who suffers from a sort of mind-numbing panic when faced with the decision of what to read next. Only a fellow bookworm can truly understand.

    • Laura

      Haha, that’s happened to me before where I’ve been sure I’ve commented on someone’s post, and then it doesn’t look like I have… Sometimes I think it’s because I read posts and intend to comment later and then forget. I haven’t noticed any duplicate comments anyway!
      Choosing your next read is such a challenge, it is something only true bookworms can relate to! 🙂

  11. Kathleen Bailey

    I don’t struggle with that as much because I get lots of books to review from publishers and PR and so I’m always picking my next read from those books. But what I used to do when I picked from my shelves was just look over them all and see what pops up to me. Like which ones jump out at me and say READ ME.

    • Laura

      I never really read ARCs or review books just because I’m such a mood reader, I wouldn’t be able to force myself to read something I’m not in the mood for. It does sound like it makes the choice easier though!
      That does sound like a good idea though to just take a look at your shelves and see which ones jump out at you! I may try that! 🙂

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