Saturday, 29 January 2011

What next? How I find my next read.

My current TBR pile!
I don't, and never have had, any trouble finding the book I want to read next. I seem to be surrounded by a perpetual and ever-increasing pile of books ll vying for my attention. As it is, I'm in a habit of reading about 3-4 different books at the same time, which some people find hard to fathom but I'm sure some of you will understand - I know Sheila from Book Journey will if this post is anything to go by!

In any case, I saw this Guardian article from a couple of years ago about a fun little website called The Book Seer. If you type in the last book you read and enjoyed, it will generate a list of recommendation through Amazon and LibraryThing for you to choose from. As Chris Powers notes, it's unclear on what factors (genre? author?) recommendations are generated but it is a bit of fun and hey - I'm all for reading things I wouldn't necessarily have done otherwise. It's a fact: there are far too many books and not enough time and one person could never know about all of the great books in the world.

Then I started wondering - how do I really find my next book? There's obviously the required reading schedule that comes along with writing a thesis, loads of theoretical articles, literary criticism and what not but a girl needs a bit of 'fun' reading, doesn't she! A bit of elicit "this isn't going to get me credit but I don't care" reading. I came to the conclusion that it was Bookcrossing, book club and blogging that were most responsible for my massive TBR pile. The fact that no one person can know even a fraction of all available good reads out there is one of the key reasons I spend so much time reading other people's blog and listening to podcasts about books. It seems to be my life's mission is to consume as much good literature as I possibly can without becoming a hermit or going blind which so far is going reasonably well (bad eyes notwithstanding!) but I know I could always read more and at the rate at which books are published I have to accept I will never keep up. But it's fun trying!

How do you find your next read? Do you even think about it, or do you (like me) have a constant pile of books waiting for you that just seemed to magically appear? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. We have shelves of books gleaned from used bookstoresin Taipei (i like Whose Books in Gongguan abd shilin) and my choices are from the shelves based on my mood

  2. Hi Jenna - I haven't been to Whose Books yet. No excuses, really it's five minutes away from my office! What's up next for you? :)

  3. I have a huge TBR pile, but I still have a hard time picking what to read next. I do try to mix things up a bit. For example, I'll read a classic and then I'll choose literary fiction next. I don't really have a system. :)

  4. Hi Darlyn!

    Thanks for the comment! My system of choosing the next from the TBR is basically pragmatic, usually deadline based. Especially for bookcrossing and bookclub books! ;) Just found your blog and LOVE it. Look forward to reading more of your stuff in future :)

  5. I usually have a stack of books from the library and I choose from those. Occasionally I'll plan ahead what I'm going to read (if I'm going to participate in a read-along), but most of the time I just pick up whatever suits my mood. I'm sort of a moody reader. :)

  6. Kristi - Moody reader! I love it! That's what happens when I have several on the go (like now) - I choose one that suits how I feel. I'm reading Snow by Orhan Pamuk, which I find to be a nice before bed read as the language feels very restful to me (even though the content isn't necessarily!)