Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What to Read Next...

Okay all you readers out there: How do you decide which book to read when you are ready to dive into a new novel? If you are like me (and I suspect that you are, by the way), you probably have at least one shelf, pile, or list of “to read” books. And if you are like me, you probably have a hard time deciding which book to grab next.

I usually go for a book that is highly recommended first. Especially if the person recommending the novel gets wide-eyed and blathers something along the lines of “OMG, you have GOT to read this book immediately. It is the absolute best. I couldn’t put it down…” How does anyone turn away from that level of enthusiasm? How could a novel that comes with this kind of energy disappoint? Okay, there are a million ways that it could disappoint, but never mind that. Let's stay positive here.

If no one is drooling on the cover of a particular book, and I’m perusing solo, I will lean toward an award-winner. Writer me wants to know what makes a novel special enough to earn a bright and shiny cover sticker. As with recommended books, I am rarely disappointed by award winners. This probably makes me sheep-like (as in following the herd), but I’m fine with that.

Next, I’ll turn to reviews for guidance. Not necessarily “professional” reviews. I’d rather check out what people on Goodreads.com have to say about a novel that I’m considering picking up. The opinions of other writers, teachers, librarians, and avid readers often sway me.

So, how do you decide which book to pick up? Am I missing some tried and true method of finding the next great read? Do tell!


  1. My process is much like yours ... recommendations first, any new award winners next. Beyond that I often flip through the pages and see if the voice captures me. I've found some great sleepers that way. I just finished a book called Chicken Dance..it had an adorable cover and when I flipped through the voice caught me. It turned out to be a great little read.

  2. I go for the award winners first. Second, book titles that keep showing up favorably on the blogs. Third, cover and jacket blurb and a quick read of page one.

  3. Flipping through pages and reading a bit are other wonderful ways to narrow down which book to pick up next. Thanks, Tess and Bish. So many books, so little time.