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How do you choose the book you'll read next ?


I don't know if it is the case for other people, but sometimes when I finish a book, I have a hard time deciding what I'll read next. I have to have several books to chose from, and then I try to analyze what mood I'm in and what book seems to correspond better to that mood.

For instance, yesterday, after finishing the book I was reading, I managed narrowing down my choice to two books (I try to alternate a classic, a mystery, a regular novel, non-fiction even if I seldom respect that anyway), and then I had to make the final choice between Carl Sagan's Brocca's Brain and Michael Oondatje's The English Patient.

I began Brocca's Brain, then after one page decided I was in the mood for The English Patient instead (and I seem to stick to it since I've read about 20 pages...)

Do you have similar hesitations?
How do you choose the book you'll read next?
Do you have many books you mean to read soon or do you think only one book ahead?


Well-Known Member
I don't know if it is the case for other people, but sometimes when I finish a book, I have a hard time deciding what I'll read next.
Yes! I always have a hard time choosing!

My current method is that I choose about 3 or 4 that I'd like to read for the month (not that I always get through them). Most often, I'll pick a sci-fi, a classic, something more literary, and an old bestseller. Then, I start all of them at about the same time; reading a chapter or two from each. Whichever one grabs my attention most, gets most of my subsequent reading time. Also, since I've started the others, I can switch back and forth, depending on my mood.

This usually works, unless I come across a new book that I just can't resist starting :rolleyes:


Active Member
I have a bit of trouble too. Depends what mood I'm in at the time and how much spare time I'm going to have. If it's a long book I like to be able to have the time to read it. There's nothing worse than dragging on with a book over many weeks!

Mike Jackson

New Member
I tend to go to the bookshop and come out with an armful of books that have taken my fancy. I will then read any that are continuations of series' that I already have. When i run out of new books I tend to choose a book at random from the bookshelves and reread it.

When a new terry Pratchett comes out it takes presedence over anything else I am reading.


Dave B

Originally posted by Ell
Then, I start all of them at about the same time; reading a chapter or two from each. Whichever one grabs my attention most, gets most of my subsequent reading time.

Thanks for the suggestion Ell. My daughter was just saying today that, for her final 'A' Level year English Lit course, she didn't know whether to start reading Sense & Sensibility, Pride & prejudice or Emma first. Showed her your post & she's going to read the first 20 odd pages of each then decide which one takes her mood best :)

Me .......... I just go by my list of books to read + whatever Waterstones are selling 3 for 2 style that takes my fancy + anything I spy by a known author + a lucky dip now and again just to take a risk ( :eek: ) & branch out (you never know what you might discover)

Dave B.


New Member
Do you have similar hesitations?

Do you have many books you mean to read soon or do you think only one book ahead?
Usually a selection of around five-ten that I intend to read soon.

How do you choose the book you'll read next?
Usually with a large pile of books spread over the nearest available surface while I check out the back cover and first page to see what catches my fancy! The pile of books is then added to every time I finish another and some remain unread for ages!

Ell I also like your suggestion - perhaps I'll try this next time!


New Member
I am usually reading several books at once so when I finish one of them I pick from my other reads according to my mood. I add new books to the pile as covers and blurbs seduce me.

I have a shelf of books that I have not read. Usually there are lots and lots to choose from. Currently there are 47. This gives me a great variety to pick from. I buy used books from half.com a whole series at a time, that way I don't have to wait to buy the next one. I buy standalones at bookstores usually when I am just browsing or if I see a good deal. I don't mind having a lot that I have not read, it just builds anticpation of a good read. That said, I will make sure that I have finished a book the morning of a must have release, such as anything by:
Stephen King
Anne Rice
Robert Jordan
James Patterson
Terry Goodkind
John Grisham
John Sandford
JK Rowling
JRR Martin



I am anxiously awaiting a shipment of books I bought online based on the descriptions and reviews posted. The Author's name had something to do with it too. I made an effort to make my selections based on whether or not it sounded interesting. (Daring don't you think.) I've bought books online before, but they were generally ones I'd heard about or read about somewhere else. Anyway, I am hoping for a pleasant surprise and perhaps a few new authors to read as well. (As I've griped before, all my favorite ones are dead.) ;)


New Member
When it's an author I know and like I try to read as many of his works as I can find. When I am looking for someone new, it's either from reviews and critics, or even better, I get a volume of collected stories of various writers and decide which one I like best. And then I go on. This last system has worked very nicely for me.


At the moment all my books are in a pile, so the next book to be read is James Herbert's Portent.

Sometimes, though, I am in the mood for light entertainment. In which case I go through my shelves and pick a favourite. But that is more a spur of the moment choice, not a planned read.

Any Dick Francis novel takes precedence over anything else, though.


New Member
Originally posted by Marie
Do you have similar hesitations?
Most definitely. I find it very hard to start a new book immediately after finishing the previous one. I usually have to do something else for an hour or two before I can decide what I want to read next.
How do you choose the book you'll read next?
With difficulty. It depends on my mood. I sometimes have to go through the first pages of several books before I find the one I want.
Do you have many books you mean to read soon or do you think only one book ahead?
I usuallly have 10 or 15 books on my 'TO BE READ SOON' shelf. This has dramaticallly increased to about 35 or 40 as I recently worked in a bookshop over the Christmas period. I was like a kid in a sweet shop and it felt like I spent most of my wages on new books!! I also got lots of book tokens as presents which didn't help. :)

I'm also sad enough to have a list of books I want to buy in the near future. There are currently about 60 authors on the list.

I think I need help!!!

Nurse - Where are the dried frog pills?


New Member
I am a bad bad person, I actually judge a book by its cover, its back cover hehe. Also I choose by people's recommendations or if it's on sale.

When I find an author I like, I tend to read through all of their works. I almost get mad when a good book is finished, so series make me very very happy. And I don't want a wimpy 300 page book give me 1000's!Shoot that's not fair because I will read practically anything except for bodice rippers.


New Member
I buy books in fours or fives, usually by authors I like or books that have been recommended to me. I read those four or five one at a time and then order more books.

I usually mix the order of type of book I read so maybe I'll read a thriller followed by a biography then a travel book and then a best seller.


New Member
When I finish a book I look at my sagging bookshelves and start feeling guilty about all the great books I own that I haven't read. I have a similar system to Ell in that I give a book 50 pages of my time - if I don't like it by then at least I've given it a fair shot.

What about re-reading old faves? I like to do that every once in awhile.


New Member
I often buy books in the excellent 3 for 2 offers at Waterstones, and as i can usually find a couple i want out of any selection - it sometimes forces me to read new authors, which works and doesnt work in equal amounts :p

It got me reading Jon Courtney Grimwood & Christopher Brookmyre though, which im grateful for :)

water faerie

New Member
I always have a hard time choosing what to read next. It usually takes me a couple days of picking up random books and attempting to start them before I seriously get into a book and read it all (which explains why many of my books are partially read).