What to Read, What to Read

I am feeling overwhelmed with options here. Do you ever dread the moment when you finish book? Usually, if a book is good enough, you just don’t want it to end. But these days finishing a book means I have to choose a new one to read. Do you ever feel really good about crossing a task of a To Do list? As someone who is a bit of an organizational freak, I get an insane pleasure crossing things off lists. That’s what I sometimes felt finishing a book. Ok, that one’s done, on to the next (though books are never just tasks to me. Except for Psaltis’ book, which I finally finished yesterday. I only read all the way through because I wanted to see if it could get better. It couldn’t). With my job in a bookstore, I add books to my TBR list at a rate that I cannot possibly get to them all. I’ve got probably 150 books in my office alone, not to mention the piles at home. Sometimes I even toy with the idea of posting my TBR list, but the task frankly seems daunting. Perhaps I will take pictures to post. Max of the Millions has a great system which involves putting all the books on a numbered list and using a random number generator to pick a number. That way he gets to the stuff he’s always meant to read but hasn’t gotten around to yet (Nabokov for me). Right now I am at a lost of what to do. I don’t know that the number system would be right for me. How do you decide what to read next?

6 thoughts on “What to Read, What to Read

  1. Frances

    I know what you mean about the feeling of loss when you finish a good book. It’s like you’ve said goodbye to a friend and you’re reluctant to reenter the fray of the world. If there’s not a book I know I immediately want to read, I will pick up a few books on my TBR list, read a few pages and then see which one grabs me hardest. That, and the ones that are due back at the library soonest.


  2. Dave Worsley

    I have a staple of dozens of writers that bummp others out of the rotation whenever their books/proofs arrive. It’s tough for me to maintain a set TBR pile because at any time it all gets dynamited.
    By the way I commened you for sticking with “disappointing” books. I routinely abandon books that I probably shouldn’t.
    More and more my final yardstick is to just read what Weinman and Sarvas rave about. Very sad.


  3. MIssSnark

    My reading list gets bigger every time Sarah reccomends a book too. Also, Writers Almanac often reminds me about writers on my “should” list.

    How I pick what I read though is often times do I want to haul it around on the subway, and will it keep my attention during the rolling distraction that is riding the train here.

    I have a “mere” 55 books staring at me from my stack. The new translation of Gilgamesh, Acts of Faith by Philip Caputo, War Trash by Ha Jin are all looking back at me saying “you should be reading me not blogging”

    Not only did I not read any of them on Sunday, I read Harry Potter. By page 100 I was skimming but I did skim all the way to page 600 something.

    That means this week I’ll need to read something really really good.

    This happens to me a lot. After a week of reading the slush pile, I need to read something just for fun and substantive enough to “true up” my reading eye.


  4. jmfausti

    I have a list of to be read books that is filling a second three-ring binder. I need a good system for choosing. Not only do I wind up with more and more lists of best books written ( I started with the Harvard bookstore list and compared it to the ALA banned and challenged list), but I keep adding contemporary works and current best sellers and books I hear about on other people’s sites. It’s getting sort of scary. If you come up with a good way to make it work, I’d be thrilled!


  5. bookdwarf

    Reading lists are hard. I have a constant growing pile and then I get something new which gets put to the top or I will just drop everything to read it. I finished a book last week and couldn’t decide on what to read. I was in my office, with plenty to choose from and sat there, stunned at the many choices. It’s sort of embarassing.


  6. Judy

    Yes, I would say that the number of books being published on top of all the ones already published puts a reader in a never-ending dither. I have a system (see the post called My Big Fat Reading Project at my blog), but then I also like to desert the system and read something I just can’t wait to read. In addition to that, I am in four reading groups and read whatever is being discussed, which is not really a bad method because I’ve read some great books that way, as well as some real duds.

    I think the best plan is to have a TBR list or a system but be free to ignore it anytime you feel like it.


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