So many books, such little time! So how do you decide what to read next?
My system goes like this:
Any book I have a vague interest in reading gets added to my To-Read Shelf on Goodreads. Books usually make their way there when I read an interesting review of them, a friend/family member recommends them or I read something else by the author and like it. Every few weeks or so I go through it and pick out around 7 books that I feel like reading soon, then search the (painfully slow) Angus Libraries Catalogue to see if the library has them in stock, reserving them if so. Any that the library don’t have I stick onto my amazon wishlist where I buy them second-hand once they become cheap enough (I tend to limit myself to only spending £10 a month on books as I’m on a tight budget which usually means somewhere between 2 and 4 secondhand copies. I love seeing a book is available for £0.01!). I visit the library (with my little boy, who also loves it) at least once a week and collect the reservations that have come in for me (the librarians know me by name and sight and will get my books lined up on the counter when they see me – now that’s good service!). I then make my way through them, one at a time, in whatever order I feel inspired to, before moving onto my recent secondhand purchases (I always feel like I should read library books first, so that I can return them and let someone else have a turn). Once my “to-read-immediately” pile gets down to 2 or 3 books I start the whole process again.
There are exceptions to this: sometimes I will hear about a book and HAVE TO HAVE IT NOW, in which case I will reserve/buy it even if I’ve just done a bulk reserve/buy-session (it’s worth noting I always get books from the library if I can, with the exception of graphic novels which I prefer to own, though I will sometimes borrow them from friends/family). I am also lucky enough to receive books as gifts, whether for my birthday/Christmas or just randomly when people pass them onto me* and these I tend to either read immediately or at some random point in time when I feel inspired to pick them up. I also occasionally read books for review on this blog, in which case I read them as soon as possible (though to be honest I decline 90%+ of the requests I get to review books as if they’re not something I’d want to read of my own accord - I won’t read them just to get a free book, especially when I don’t keep my books anyway!).
* I pass on almost all the books I buy once I have read them. I don’t have time to sell them on again (it doesn’t seem worth the hassle for the tiny return when I’ve bought them for a penny!) so I move them along to friends, family or the charity shop. I used to want to own all my books, but nowadays unless they are true favourites or graphic novels I’m not bothered – we don’t have much space (especially space that can’t be reached by toddlers!) and I enjoy not feeling tied down by “stuff” generally.
What about you? Do you have a “system”, or just read books you are inspired to at that given moment? Do you usually know what your next few reads will be, or choose spontaneously once you have finished your previous book?
(Photo by me.)