Chat Between Chapters: How Do You Choose Which Books to Read Next?

June 1, 2014 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 47


 With so many choices out there, and an ever growing TBR list, how do you choose which books you are going to read next?

(Today’s topic provided by The Book Badger. Thanks for the wonderful post with lots of discussion topics! Make sure you check out their post for ideas for your own blog discussion posts!) 



Julie Review Avatar Julie:

I have *the* hardest time picking a book to read next. I mean, if it is a book club selection, then it is easy. I have to read that in time for the meeting. But if I’m just picking a book off my own TBR, well, that is so hard. So much depends on what I’m in the mood for, which can vary from wanting a light read, to a fast-paced dystopia, to something in between. I’ve been trying to read the books I actually have bought and paid for first, but sometimes the library availability wins out. I’ve been getting a lot of audiobooks from the library using overdrive, so if one becomes available, obviously that deadline of having to return it makes that book a priority. I think once I (if I ever) catch up, I might do a quick poll thinger and have you awesome people tell me which book I should read next. 

Rose review avatar Rose:

Hmmm ….I am a planner when it comes to what I read next. I have all sorts of goals lists in mine  when choosing what to read next. First there are the yearly goals of total number of book I wish to read this year. Then there are the category goals, such as how many of my own books do I intend to read this year. Then there are the arcs. I am trying to read one netgalley a week arc, but that goal I just started. I am actually on target with that goal since I read one arc last week and am starting a new one today. YAY! I also have some nonfiction books that I would like to read. My goal for that has been to read at least one nonfiction book I already own once a month. These nonfiction books are usually faith based self improvement books or writing advice books. I also read books according to what movies are coming out, or what conclusion to a series is about to be released as I like to reread the book(s) before the movie/next series installment. Then there are the book club choices, which I am part of 2 to 3 book clubs and plus my own book club has their monthly meetings, a serial reading meeting and then we have also been reading the Outlander series for the past year, so I have that, too. On top of all of that, I also have to take into consideration my mood and make sure that I leave enough space open in my reading schedule for what sort of mood I am in.  That being said, I try to plan my reading a month in advance with leaving space open to read what strikes my fancy as well. I then create daily goalposts such as percentage read or hours listened or pages read for each day. I can plan these goalpost markers by concluding how many pages I can usually read in a day (no more than 150 pages, with 100 being the ball park target.) And so yeah, that is how I decide what to read next! How do you decide? What is your method????

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47 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: How Do You Choose Which Books to Read Next?”

  1. Tina at Mommynificent

    Wow! I thought I read a lot, but I just got totally confused and overwhelmed reading your criteria, Rose! I just kind of go with what I feel like reading unless I have to read something for a review or a class or something. Guess I’m kind of lame that way! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday. Hope to see you again soon!
    Tina at Mommynificent recently posted…One Bookworm Leads to Another – Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #48

    • Julie

      Sounds like you’re a mood reader Tina 🙂 I’m that way too. What do I feel like reading next? Well, that’s not always easy to decide heh.

    • Rose

      hahaha, glad I could confuse you. It can get confusing, but honestly, if I stick with my method, I get way more read then if I just read what I feel like at the moment. But, of course, I try to leave room for “mood” reading as well.

  2. Annie Kate

    Wow, this is a great question! I usually pick up the next thing on my pile of books to review. Or something I want to read before I let my kids read it. Or whatever just showed up at the library that I’ve been waiting for. (That makes for a hectic few days!)

    I rarely set reading goals for myself, but am in the process of encouraging myself to do so for certain parenting books and for an ongoing history of science project.
    Annie Kate recently posted…Review: Safe as Houses by Eric Walters

    • Julie

      Yea it does help when you have priority books to choose from. But if you have say 80 priority books, it is still hard to pick the next one from there 🙂 Don’t get like me and make your review pile that tall!!!!

    • Rose

      I think setting goals is a great way to get more books read than you would otherwise. even if you do not meet you goal, you usually read more than if you had NOT set the goal.

  3. Lara

    I generally choose what looks interesting. Sometimes I’m not really in the mood for a certain genre. I have a list a hundred miles long of books I want to read, and I have many of them in my possession, and I always feel an obligation to read those first, but sometimes I’m not in the mood, so I get something else!

    Of course, if I’m reviewing a book or have a book club selection to read, I get those out of the way.
    Lara recently posted…Miracles Happen

    • Julie

      I’m a mood reader too Lara. I definitely get wanting to read what you’re in the mood for, though sometimes it is hard to determine what that is.

  4. Sue @ Kid Lit Reviews

    Lately, I have had no trouble picking the next book. My to read for review pile will carry me through the next month, t 5 reviews week. I would love to have little to chose from for a while. I t would feel like a literary vacation. Nah, I’d miss it. Happy Magnificent Thursday to you! 🙂

    • Julie

      That’s awesome that your to review pile is only a month long. How did mine get to have 80 something books in it? Stay off Netgalley!

    • Rose

      Literary vacation, huh? Is that what you call it whenever you have all your must review arcs caught up and are free to live life as a “mood”reader? that would be the life…. 🙂

  5. Victoria @ Creative Home Keeper

    I make a list of books that I want to read at the start of the year and organize them by categories. I make mini goals along the way too like reading a certain number of books by a certain time. Although currently my reading list has been put to the side because I have discovered some new releases that I am excited to read first! Thanks for linking up at Book Notes 🙂

    • Julie

      Ooh look at you being super organized and making a list of books to read by category. The best I do is shelf them on Goodreads. My reading changes so much that I can’t keep up with any goals I make hehe.

  6. Andrea J

    I’m a Mood Reader. and it also depends on how much I liked what I just read. Just finished a really good horror? Excellent, i want to read another horror book! Just finished a bleh epic fantasy? maybe I’ll take a break from epic fantasy for a while.

    There is the towering TBR stack of ARCs. The reality is most of these arrived unsolicited, and majority of those will never be read and I will pass them on the someone else.

    Then there is the towering stack of older scifi that I just can’t get enough of. Used bookstores and paperbackswap are my BFFs.

    And of course there is the random stack of “hey, this looked cool!” books that I bought or got from the library.

    What i pick up next all depends on my mood.

    • Julie

      I’m a mood reader too and I didn’t think about it that way before. It makes sense though if you loved a book in a genre, you’ll want another book in that genre. If I didn’t like one I just finished I want a break from the entire genre too. Which is probably not fair to the genre, but oh well.
      Ooh, I’ll never understand why people think it is OK to send out unsolicited ARCs for review. But, at least you’re passing them on to others to give them a chance.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

      • Andrea J

        “I’ll never understand why people think it is OK to send out unsolicited ARCs for review”

        In the hopes that I’ll read them.

        Sometimes I get lucky, and the PR person at the publisher will get a feel for what I like, and send me a bunch of winners that I wouldn’t have known existed otherwise.
        Andrea J recently posted…Long Hidden anthology, part 3

  7. April @ The Steadfast Reader

    GURLLLLZZZ…. this is constantly a problem for me.

    I’m a mood reader so there’s no way for me to create a spreadsheet, etc. for what I want to read… this has been a little bit of a problem for me since I committed to being a book blogger and started accepting ARCs… I’m still working it out and seriously considering not accepting any more ARCs. 🙂
    April @ The Steadfast Reader recently posted…Spread the Love 2.0: Week Seventeen

    • Julie

      Yea I’m with you April. I’m a mood reader too so there’s just no point in me taking the time to make a spreadsheet or a list, because I’ll just throw it away and pick something else anyway. I’m trying to stay off Netgalley and I don’t accept any more review requests until I catch up. Which may be never lol.

  8. Charleen

    I have my massive TBR list, but then I also have a short list that I try to keep pretty varied. That way, I should have something no matter what I’m in the mood for next. But it’s a lot less intimidating picking from a list of 30-40 books than staring at hundreds of titles.

    And since I read mainly from the library, it also depends on what’s available. But I do pretty well.
    Charleen recently posted…Armchair BEA – Wrap Up

    • Julie

      Having a short list is a really good idea. Great tip, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Julie

      LOL Stephanie, I hope all that indecisiveness doesn’t really add up to all that much, but maybe this is where a book jar would come in handy for us both.

  9. Martha

    Usually it’s what’s due next at the library or something for a challenge or review.
    But sometimes I go to the TBR stack, pick up a book, read a few pages, think it good but not now, stick a bookmark in it, pick up another, repeat the process, until! One will grab me and I’ll keep reading. It just happened with All the Light We Cannot See (just finished it). When I finish, I go back to the stack with bookmarks and start again. If none grab me, I’ll pick another from TBR until one does. This time Lovers At the Chameleon Club Paris 1932 took hold (I’m halfway through). Right now there are six books in the bookmarked stack and too many to count in the main TBR.
    Martha recently posted…Used Book Buys May 2014

    • Julie

      Wow, I don’t think I have the patience to read a few pages, then put something back and look for the next book. I’m either going to read it now, or probably never. Heh.

    • Rose

      MARTHA!!! I totally do this too!!!! I do it slightly different, though. I take a stack of 5 or so book that I need/want to read and read the first few paragraphs of all five books. Which ever book I was most annoyed with having to STOP reading to pick up the next book, is the book I choose to read. So glad that others do this as well. I think it is a really great way to choose books. I choose five books and force myself to read a lit bit of each one because for me, if I just went with the one that grabbed my attention the most, I would constantly be wondering about the other books… sort of like, hmmmm, door number 2 is great, but what is behind door number 3!? and that would prevent me from being able to chose to just start reading one of the five until I have read a little of EACH book. I am a weirdo, I know. LOL.

  10. Bea @Bea's Book Nook

    Review books and library books get top priority then my TBR pile. Other than that, it’s my mood. I shift review books around if I’m not in the mood and I have flexibility. I’ve been on a mystery binge lately so I’m taking a break and reading an urban fantasy. Sometimes a book will call my name and I shove aside all the others to read it. 🙂
    Bea @Bea’s Book Nook recently posted…Bea Reviews Dog Gone, Back Soon by Nick Trout

    • Julie

      Ooh I think that’s a good idea, picking a different genre when you’ve been reading a lot of one specific genre. But yea, I’m a mood reader too. Whatever catches my eye at the time 🙂

  11. Karie {Girl Going Country}

    ACK! I have this problem all the time! A friend of mine put their TBR books on pieces of paper in a jar and pick one – I’m considering that. My problem is I always think I know what I want to read next, and by the time I finish what I’m currently reading, I’ve heard about 5-10 more books that I want to read so things keep getting bumped down the line. I seriously need to win the lottery so the pesky day job stops getting in the way of reading more. LOL

    I agree with Julie – if I have things coming up from the library, I usually put those to the front of the line, but then sometimes more than one book comes available at the same time and I just can’t fit that many in at once so I give it back and get to the bottom of the line again.

    I wish their was a magic way of knowing the next perfect book to read! Too many great books out there, so little time!
    Karie {Girl Going Country} recently posted…Graduation Card

    • Julie

      Yes Karie, too many awesome books and not enough time! I’ve considered the book jar, but I wonder if I’ll stick with it or throw the slip of paper back and keep trying until I find something that fits my mood anyway? Let me know if you end up trying out the jar idea 🙂

    • Rose

      I would totally do what Julie said, I would draw a name out of the jar and then just keep drawing a name until I got the book that appealed to me the most anyways. I guess I would “rig” my own jar drawing. How sad is that?


    I am always super curious in how people decide where to go from the last page. I have hundreds to choose from but often end up buying a new one. Weird quirk I guess I’m so interested that I am starting a new meme called “tell me Tuesdays” it’s a weekly/biweekly feature on why u chose the book your reading now and why you choose your nest book. Will u come visit on Tuesday?
    ❤ Brittany @
    Please Feed the Bookworm

    Ps sorry for the shameless self promotion but this fit my topic to a tee.
    BRITTANY T recently posted…♡Armchair BEA Friday:Topic of choice – My Favorite Author♡

    • Rose

      I will try to remember to check that out this Tuesday Brittany. It fit our discussion perfectly! Thanks for sharing!

    • Julie

      Yep I’m a mood reader too Jessica. But lately my mood changes a lot.. lol

    • Rose

      “temperamental” reader. I like that. I should probably only read when I feel like and what I feel like, but I usually force myself to read something anyways because IT IS ON MY SCHEDULE!!!! (nevermind that I put it there…) I am a lil OCD like that.

    • Julie

      Does what calls your name end up being anything at all, or does it still depend on your mood or what you’re into at the moment?

    • Rose

      Terri, sometimes several books are calling my name. It can get quite loud in my library! I have been known to sit down with a stack of 5 or so books and begin reading the first couple of paragraphs of each of the 5 books. Which ever book I felt annoyed to have to stop reading the most, I read.

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