How do YOU pick the next book you read? In the June newsletter, I asked the readers of OrderOfBooks how they decide. Here are the responses:

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

Vicki: There are so many ways…

If a must buy author has a new book released, I usually read it immediately. If I’ve borrowed a book from the library, it may depend on the due date and whether there is a line of people waiting for it to see if I can renew it. I may choose the next book in a series because I’ve realized I’m behind on it. I may find an old book in my catalog that I haven’t read yet and pull it out. Or, as you say, impulse. My list to read is always long, so I rarely have problems coming up with the next read(s).

Mark: What do I read next?

1) I have an extensive hold list at the library of 20 – 40 titles yet to be released. So when they come in, they become the priority. Lately, it was the Ruth Ware, Peter James, John Grisham, Stephen King and Peter Swanson titles.

2) If I am into a series, that is often the next priority. My current series is the Peter James Det. Grace books which I would recommend.

3) I have waiting books at home to read with my highest priorities being on the lowest shelf.

4) Other than the above it could be books that the library recommends similar to what I read, Heather’s choices at Indigo, books on your site or recommended by friends, or just a random choice.

I always enjoy picking the next one

Kenicia: The way I choose what to read next is basically based on mood. I have a very few authors whose books I read as soon as a new one is released.

Joyce: How do I decide what to read next?
As soon as I secure a new release from one of my favorite authors – it immediately gets elevated to next in line. Then I go to recommended books from trusted reading buddies. If both those avenues come up empty, I sort my extensive ‘to read’ list by ratings (obtained usually from Amazon) and pick from the top of those.

John: If I’m on a beach, or on a plane heading on a trip, I’ll read one of the books on my tablet. I have a fairly good mix of favored, trusted authors, along with a few newcomers, and a eclectic mix of genres.But if I’m at home, which is my usual place to read, since I refuse to live a life without a book in progress, I go to my TBR bookcase. I keep the approximately four hundred books in alphabetical order by author, as well as chronological order, (big shout-out to you, Buddy, for making it simple to do so). I go with the next book by the next author, by the next publication date. This way, I resist the urge to binge-read one author, and every new book is a return meeting with an old friend. Finally, it’s always fun to come home from a used-bookstore with two or three new entries, and spend some delightful time “working” in my library putting the books in their proper place. I could spend hours like that.

Chris: How I decide which book to read next depends on how I feel, how much free time I have and which books I’ve been hearing good things about. I get a lot of recommendations of books from Order of Books, of course! I also take a peek at what my friends are reading and ask them if they think I’d like it. I’m frequently drawn to the books that popular movies were based on. When possible, I like to read the book before I see the movie. I almost always like the book better than the film or series, although I realize that things sometimes have to be altered for a movie and it can improve it. And, at times I have to start reading a book for an upcoming book club discussion. I’m not obligated to read and finish the book, but it makes for a much livelier meeting if I do. Here’s how I picked the book that I’m reading now. I was at the store with my son when I saw some kind of green nutritional drink on the shelf called Soylent. I had to laugh as it reminded me of the 1973 movie “Soylent Green” and it made me curious about the book behind it. It’s called “Make Room! Make Room!” and it was written by Harry Harrison. It’s been very interesting so far but one big thing that’s different from the movie is that the food the people eat is made of soybeans and lentils (soy-lent), not, you know, people.

Debbi: How do I pick my next book?
I have a list of books to read that I update based on recommendations from several sites I follow, one being Book Club favorites (new) on facebook. Also, watch the releases on Book Notification for favorite authors, and lastly when I go to a store that has books whether it be a thrift shop, bookstore or discount store I always check out the books and will go by the description.
I have found many books I might not have otherwise read and truly enjoyed them.

Jessica: I choose what I read next by when a book comes available for me to get on Overdrive. If I am reading a book series, it would be the next book of course.

I didn’t know Fight Club was a book. I will have to read that book. Right now I’m still reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. I watched the movie Friday even though I’m not through with the book. I am also reading The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe. I am watching the Netflix show and I don’t remember ever reading the short story.

Joy: My formula for reading books is that I read different genres, one after another. I will read a thriller, then a Western, then a comedy, a biography and a suspense one.
I find if I read all thrillers , one after another, ,then I get burned out easily. i think this formula keeps each genre new and exciting to read.

Tom: Hello. How do I decide what to read next? By employing intuitive reckoning. No clue what it really is but it gives more books I can finish than not.
Sue: Quick answer to how I decide what books to read next….by the author & the series, of course! I’m reading “Think Twice” by Harlan Coben right now. He finally brings Myron Bolitar back to this new 2024 novel. Last week I finished reading “Close to Death” by Anthony Horowitz. Anthony has a contract to write a new book and so he asks Hawthorne to tell him about an old case he solved. My library has “Camino Ghosts” by John Grisham on order~ a continuation of that great series! Shari Lapena also has a new book coming out called “What Have You Done?”

Steve: Normally I read the next book in a series if I start a new one and am enjoying them. However if one of my favorite authors releases a new one I will immediately read it and then return to the series. Also when I see and read a review of an author that intrigues me I will read it.

Paul: In determining what book I want to read next I almost exclusively use the wishlist tag in the Libby app. I find the next book to read at the bottom of the list. When I borrow the book I tag the next book in the series or the next stand alone book by the author which places it at the top of the wishlist. This helps me avoid burning out on an author or series.
In fact this might be a possible enhancement to the book notification website. When a book is checked as want to read add a date. Then in my library add the ability ro sort want to read by date.

Patrick: Until I win the Lottery, I have to limit my book purchases, so I normally purchase books that interest me, so I usually have three of four unread books on the shelf, waiting until I finish reading my current selection. When I’m done with the one I’m reading, I just pick one from the remaining titles that best fits my mood at the time. I like to read political/current-events books and history books, as well as fiction, so I will generally alternate between fiction and non-fiction. It’s not very scientific, but it works for me.

The last book I read was H.G. Wells’ “War Of The Worlds”, just because I have heard the original radio broadcast a couple times and seen the original film version many times, as well as the difficult Tom Cruise/Dakota Fanning/Steven Spielberg remake once (perhaps I should give it another chance, as one of my favorite films of all time was “Duel”), but I had never read the book. Having read it, I can say “I have read it”, check, done. Kind of a strange little book; could have been a great novel if not written in such a journalistic fashion… just my opinion. Parts of it were great, while other parts wandered and lacked direction.

Pam: How do I pick my next book?

As soon a book in one of “my” series shows up for pre-order, if I plan to buy it, I pre-order it, if not, I request it from the library. When the newest drops on my Kindle, I usually read it right away. It might not be released by my library until after the publication date. I have about 20 books requested right now. That works really well, until like last week, six were available at once. I can have them for three weeks so I have to get after them. So I guess this is both series that has to be read and release date.

I make sure to read long enough on my Kindle to meet the challenge of reading for that day, then turn to the book that is due soonest. Some of them can’t be renewed as they have already been requested. Thanks to Book Notification, which I check diligently, I can request a book right away. I’m frequently first on the list. There are other books I find in other places so I’m usually lower on the list and have more time to read them.

If I don’t have anything I have to read from the library, my mood determines what to read next.

I do something that most of my friends think is really weird. I will put the six books from this week into a pile, and read each one for half an hour or so. Then on to the next, as soon as I get to place in the book that I have to keep reading – that’s the one that’s read first. Kind of read, rinse, repeat. It works for me, but’s I’ve often been told or asked, How do you keep track of the plots of what you’re reading? Beats me. I’ve been reading several book “at once” for over fifty years so it’s just how my brain works.

Nancy: I follow several series, so when a new book comes out from those authors, I’ll try to get that asap.

I’m also reading all the Daniel Silva books in order. If I’m not reading a new book as mentioned above, I’ll get the next D Silva book (Gabriel Allon series).

Louis: I usually don’t plan which book to choose, however, I had some help recently which didn’t start out with books at all. We are having the interior of our home painted and I had to move all books from the “club room”. When replacing the bookcases and books, I culled out books to donate to our used bookstore and also separated those I haven’t read. Now I have about two dozen “unreads” on a special bookshelf, a new starting point to enjoy. Good times ahead!

Linda: How do I pick my next book. First it is for the latest in my series book. Then if none of them I just go to one on my bookcase (which I have 6-lol) and zero in on a title or a favorite author and choose. Sometimes I go to my Kindle and scan and pick. Sometimes I will pick up book at our book store or Goodwill and pick one there that catches my eye. I am never without a choice for a next read.

Lee: It depends on my mood or if I’m just tired. Generally I check on my favorite authors first. If I’m in a punky mood and just want distraction I may go for a fast read like a cozy mystery or a western. If there is a new book by a favorite author that will be first and foremost.

Laurie: How do I decide what to read next? It depends. I write reviews for a horror publisher, so if a new book comes in, I usually put everything aside to read that. I love their books. I call it “horror lite” No vampires, zombies or other disgusting things. Lots of ghosts.

If I run out of those, I read what’s next for my book club. Otherwise it’s all impulse.
I look at a few sites (including this one) and if there is something that peaks my interest, I choose it.

Gail: What to read next……
That changes constantly.
It maybe the next book in a much loved series. Currently doing an entire re-read of the In Death series by JD Robb, in preparation for the next book in September.
I have also found new authors in books that I am currently reading. I love when a character will list a book title and author as current reading material.
Those books have led to others. It has opened new taste in my reading choices.
My newest experience will be audio books, I have decided to start a craft project and audio will provide all the company I want.

Elizabeth: Thanks for the June newsletter. I decided to what to read next by what I’ve received from my hold list at the public library. Yesterday I started Camino Ghosts by John Grisham. Because of your feedback I skipped the latest Ruth Ware book despite absolutely loving Zero Days last year. Unfortunately our library doesn’t have One Step Ahead by Peggy Sherman. I will request that they consider it for purchase.

Dennis: I always read the books of my favorite author, whether the reviews are good or bad. I consistently read over 100 books a year (yes, I am retired so have plenty of time) and am always looking out for new authors. My favorite genre is mystery and thrillers and when at the book store and/or library, I find my interest is raised by the book cover and summary. If it doesn’t excite me within 15 seconds or so, I move on to something else. It doesn’t matter to me if my book is from “serious” authors (Lee Child, Daniel Silva) or “comedic” authors (David Handler, Janet Evanovitch), a good book is just that, a good book.

The characters MUST be engaging, believable, and of course, someone you would like to know if real life. They must be “real”, in that they may not always win, but they never give up their pursuit of what they believe is right versus wrong. I find that once I discover a good author or series, I will make sure I get every book in that series.

Christine: That’s an easy answer- whatever book that has been on my list that the library or the online library (for audio ones) become available for me to pickup.
P.S. On Ruth Ware’s One Perfect Couple that is exactly what I had thought – I just finished listening to it while on the treadmill this morning – I did notice she referenced her Woman in Cabin 10 in the book, and that one had been good. Oh, I did really like the new Harlan Coben book – but hard to hear about Win getting older – not like some books where the main character stays permanently at a fixed age.

Barbara H: How do I choose my next book?

See photos attached. I look at my stacks and start at the top. Something catches my eye and I choose that book.

Sometimes I get a notification about a new book by an author I follow on Amazon and at the bottom is the picture of an author from the same genre and I click on them and decide to take a chance on them to see if I like them. I usually try to pick something they wrote early, before they get famous.

Sometimes it’s a book by one of my blindly buy authors.

My latest favorite book is The Women by Kristin Hannah. Terrific book. My previous favorite was also one of hers, The Four Winds.
My favorites change sometimes.

Sometimes it’s a recommendation I read somewhere. I have many, many ways to choose my next read.

I have found another favorite author lately. Karen Rose is her name. Especially the series from CA, where I’m from. I like to read stories set in places I am familiar with. It makes it easier to imagine the settings while I’m reading. Her books are extra long, at least 600 pages, which I love when I like it because I don’t want them to end. The only downside is the sex scenes she includes. I could do without them, but the romances are getting started and I understand that, but they sometimes get in the way of the story for me.

I prefer paper books because reading on my Kindle gives me a headache. I do have my Kindle on my phone though so I always have a few books with me for waiting times. Like doctors and such.

I’m sold on your other site, Book Notifications and use it to keep track of previous reads and check it often when I am looking for new books to read.

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: How You Pick Your Next Book

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