Discussion: What to Read Next?

Thoughts Read Next

With a to-read pile like mine it might seem that choosing a book to read should not be a problem. But much like people with full closets and nothing to wear – I can have bookshelves full of books and seemingly nothing to read!

Choosing your next book to read can sometimes be a bit of a daunting task. Do you continue on with a series? Do you switch genres? Do you not read at all and catch up with some household chores (okay. This one never seems to win out with me)? With so many amazing books being published all the time, how do you choose what to read next?

For the past few months I’ve had no problem choosing my next book. I’ve been trying to finish up some of my 2013 challenges or been hooked on series that I just HAVE (that’s right – not a want but a need) to find out what happens next. I’m currently on track with the books I have for review after toting them with me on my recent trip around Tasmania. But now I’m facing a bit of a problem.

How should I choose what to read next? 

I’ve tried sites like What Should I Read Next? and Which Book? but sites like these don’t seem to work for me. I have either a) already read the suggested books or b) find the titles to be a little too obscure for my taste.

There are times when I binge read on series. But this leads to another problem – sometimes even the best writers start to feel repetitive when you read more than 5 or so of their books in a row. I’ve done this with many authors. I find one of their books and love it so I devour their entire back catalogue within weeks. This is no the best idea. The characters start to feel the same just with slightly different names and the plot gives a distinct feeling of deja vu. When continuing reading the work of an author I adore isn’t an option, I need another way to find  my next book to read.

Another way of selecting is the proximity rule which basically sums up at reading what ever is closest. This often works for me but currently all the books that are piled up on the back of the couch, the coffee table and in various spots around my living room just don’t seem to capture my attention. This doesn’t make them bad books – I will get around to reading them. But right now I’m not in the mood for Amish romances, books about Egyptian culture or paranormal romances about angels.

After reading slumps – when nothing can capture my attention for longer than twenty pages or I just can’t bring myself to read – I do one of either two things.

Goodreads and Twitter.

I use goodreads a lot. I love lurking about and seeing what people have thought about books. And interestingly enough – when I can’t find a book to read its books with negative review that I want to read most. Those pesky one star books where some reviewers have been unnecessarily cruel – those are the books I want to read. I believe in being honest but fair with reviews. When I see a book being slammed in a way that feels hateful and mean… it makes me want to read that book. Possibly not what that particular reviewer was intending but I want to give the book a fair go – this is how I found my way reading Embrace by Jessica Shirvington and I found myself thankful for the hater who got me started on a great series.

And then there’s twitter. I love twitter. I don’t use it as much as I probably should but I enjoy seeing what people are talking about and what they have to say. It’s amazing how conversations on seemingly random topics can result in brilliant book banter. Just last night I was lured in and now feel like I MUST! read The Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor (okay, I was going to read this novella anyway but now it’s more of a burning desire than just a ‘I’ll get around to it someday” kind of feeling).

How do you choose your next book to read? Recommendations by friends and family? Does the blurb on the back of the book entice you to pick it next? Do you have a certain method of determining what you’re going to read involving complex algorithms or formulas? 

Feel free to leave me a comment. I’d love to know how you choose what you’re going to read next.


  1. I usually have ARCs that I have to read by a certain date but I surround them by my own books. This year I’m trying to read a book that I’ve got already and then choose a book on my Kindle (I have far too many books on my Kindle) then go back to a ‘real’ book again. It takes me a while to work out which book to read though. I don’t really have a system for that.

  2. I know exactly what you mean! I have such a hard time choosing a book to read especially when the one I’m currently reading isn’t holding my attention at all. I usually try to get one that either has a really nice cover or I check up the ratings for it on Goodreads! (I’m such a lurker too, don’t worry). Great post!

  3. I love your proximity rule! 🙂 I used to sit and line-up the order of what I’d read next (usually by release date), but then I realized that I’m more of a mood reader and it could affect what I thought of the story. Like, I may rate a book lower just because I wasn’t in the right mindset for it. So now I still try to plan a bit, but I don’t really follow through with the plans anymore. 😉 Instead, I just see what kind of a genre I feel like that day. I probably need to be more organized!
    Great discussion post! 🙂

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

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