Welcome to our very first LQ Chat post, where several of us will weigh in! We hope these happen often 😊
There is no shortage of literature in this world, and certainly not enough time to consume it all, no matter how hard we may try! I asked our LQ ladies how they select their next title, and even within our small group, there are so many different methods! If you’re struggling for ideas for your next read, or just curious to see how we choose ours, here are some of the the responses I got!
My reading material is heavily influenced by my current situation. The stage of life I’m in, the last movie I saw, the newest recommendation from someone on social media, etc. I see something or think of something and just have to read it!
That being said, I am doing my best to work through Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime. I love the list because it forces me outside of my comfort zone, while also allowing me to revel in childhood favorites and literary classics. I return to this list when I’m feeling adventurous or whenever I hit a lull in material.
The first time I volunteered for a library, my task was to face the books on the shelves. Being the booknerd that I was (and still am) I couldn’t just align spines — I had to open them up! Before too long, the Adult Services librarian told me I had to take a break as she gave an exasperated nod at my long string of sticky notes with titles scribbled on them.
The old adage ‘so many books, so little time’ rings true to the 300+ titles on my to-read list, but I’m never wanting for a potential title. I find books through sites and people I follow on Twitter, trusted book review sites, NPR, friends’ recommendations, and, working in a library, I get suggestions from colleagues, faculty, and students! What I pick up next depends on my interests at the time. Currently, I’m on a Charlotte Bronte kick reading a biography about her and her sisters.
My answer to this is such a wishy-washy mishmash! I’ve recently tried to keep a method to my madness by signing up for Goodreads. It’s been helpful so far…for the most part.
Here are the ways in which I most often find my next read:
- I read about it online
- I had no choice because it’s for book club
- I saw it on social media (usually Twitter or Instagram)
- I was pursuing the shelves at the library
This is really spur of the moment for me. I have an enormous TBR list on Goodreads that I rely on quite seriously. But I choose from that based on my mood, what strikes me, what is momentarily relevant, or what is available at the library (that’s a big one). I’m also attempting to diversify (race, age, gender, etc) my reading list this year as a personal challenge. I’ll be writing more about that at some point.
I break that old adage all the time and judge books by their covers. One of my favorite ways of picking what to read next is browsing through the bookstore or library and finding a well-designed book that catches my eye. Does this steer me to good writing? Not always, but I do find surprisingly good reads with this method that I might not have found through online lists or recommendations from friends.
Which brings me to my second method of finding new reads, I love getting recommendations from my friends. I have been introduced to so many fabulous works of writing this way. And, my friends know me well, so they can recommend work that aligns with my tastes. And once I finish the book, I am guaranteed to have someone to talk to about it.
What about you? How do you choose what book you’ll read next? Do you follow Whit’s method of recommendations from friends? Have an online resource like Joli and Mel? Maybe just a really, really long line of sticky notes like Bekky? We love hearing from you! Share your reading list ideas in the comments below!