What to Read Next?

As the year approaches its end, I find myself looking back at the books I’ve read in 2023 and wondering how I became so distracted from my plan for the year.

Actually–this happens every year.

I start out with a shiny perfect to-be-read list that, while it might be overly ambitious, is orderly and logical. Then sometime around February I add books to the list. These might be a novel for one of my book clubs, a new release by a favorite author, or a book that was gifted to me. Other times I might read a description of a book that really grabs me and–wham! That’s another addition to the list.

A portion of the books I had planned to read for 2023.

Thinking about my book chaos made me wonder how I decide which book I’m going to read next. Sometimes it’s a deadline – like for book club or a review that I want to coincide with a particular date. Often I’m just excited about delving into a particular story. Or I’ve been staring at a book that I left out on a table or desk.

I also have a dilemma when it comes to what format to read. I’m usually reading a physical book, an e-book, and an audiobook all at once. If I finish the audiobook, then I need another audiobook after that. And if I already have that book in another format, I’m not going to also buy it as an audiobook. Or for books that are part of a series, I try to keep with the same format for the whole thing, especially if I started it as an audiobook and really liked the narrator.

Books on my October to-be-read list.

I will try to control the chaos by breaking my gigantic to-be-read list down into smaller pieces by each month. Above is an example of those books sitting on my October list, none of which I have started and it is nearly the end of October. I do have to start On Fragile Waves for a book club meeting so that one will have priority over the others. Oh – and I should go back to look at the four books from my September list that I didn’t start yet.

As an aside, I did some work updating this blog last week and now you can see what I’m currently reading in the Goodreads widget in the sidebar on the right (scroll up from here).

How do you decide what to read next? Do you have an organized list? Do you stick to that? Let me know in the comments (above).

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alexis Alvarez
    Oct 27, 2023 @ 09:21:33

    Have you read “Sea of Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel? Quite good, very different from Station Eleven. I tried “How High We Go in the Dark,” based on Anne’s recommendation, but it was a bit dark for me. “The World We Make” is on my TBR list.


    • Clare
      Oct 27, 2023 @ 12:40:35

      I did read Sea of Tranquility – liked it, but not as much as Station Eleven. How High We Go in the Dark definitely had a grim (but somehow hopeful) feel to it. So many others on my need-to-read list!


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