How Do You Decide What To Read?

As a book blogger, I put a lot of thought into what I am going to read and what I want to request. This year, I’ve only requested what I think I’ll enjoy. I used to request the hottest titles regardless of how I felt about the story but that didn’t always work out.

Plus, there are books that I just want to read for myself. Mood reading is a big thing with me this year. I want to be able to just pick up what I am in the mood for, without any obligation whatsoever, so I do that too. In-between my review books, there are mood picks and also book club picks that I must read for discussion.  I cannot forget the books I buy on a whim from the bookstore because of a slick display. I am a sucker for a good display or a fabulous cover.

I am missing the classics though. I used to always work a few in but I guess I haven’t been in the mood for them.

So, how do you pick your books these days? If you are a reviewer, do publication dates dictate your reading list? Or do you just review them when you get to them?

If you are a mood reader, what have you been in the mood for lately and do the seasons play a role in that?

I’ve got an entire bookshelf at home that holds all of my physical “to-read” copies and it’s getting a little out of hand. I will most likely do an Instagram story on it.

Right now I am in the mood for a really good foodie memoir or a novel set in a great location but centered around food. Know of one?

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25 thoughts on “How Do You Decide What To Read?”

  1. I have taken very few review copies this year so I can write my own things. But April is National Poetry Month, so I’ve stuck to poetry in physical books and I’ve listened to a few light audiobook listens. Those reviews won’t appear until May. 🙂

    I really have struggled to find reading time this year with my daughter’s reading struggles at school, her activities, and my new super busy work schedule. I even put my participation in book club on hiatus (though there were other reasons for that too).

    I’ve selected a lot of my audiobook listens based on mood. Even with the poetry, I have about 10 more pulled (even though the month is nearly over) and I’ve just been reading what I’m currently in the mood for.

    As for foodie fiction, I think you’ve probably already read School of Essential Ingredients from a while ago, I have a book called Eat This Poem that I plan on reading this year. I bought it ages ago.

    1. I have read, and loved, The School of Essential Ingredients. I wasn’t aware that your daughter had some reading struggles. My kids never did but they hate to read…even to this day. Sadness.

  2. I generally go through my stacks and pick something out at random unless I’ve read a lot of great reviews for a book or I have something by a favorite author. Since I have my books listed in a spreadsheet, I’ve thought of using a random number generator to select my next read.

    1. I have my electronic books in a spreadsheet but I don’t think I’d trust a random generator to choose for me. I’d get a number and then go… nope. LOL.

  3. Yes, yes, yes. You simply must pick up Ruth Reichl’s SAVE ME THE PLUMS. Is about her time as editor in chief of Gourmet magazine. I am loving it. I requested my copy. So glad I did. Such an entertaining read. And so readable and well-written.

  4. I’m very much a mood reader and, no, pub dates don’t affect when I read/review books I request. For a food memoir, try Kitchen Yarns, Ann Hood, it’s really good and fairly short.

    I can’t wait to try, a June pub. Herman Koch, The Ditch, I’ve loved his earlier books; also Nanaville; Anna Quindlen. Oh yes, and Miracle Creek; Kim.

    1. Okay, that Ann Hood book is on my hold list and I am number 5, so soon. I have The Ditch! I hope to read it soon. I have three books in front of it if I read them in order of publication date.

  5. I’m a mood reader, too, and classics haven’t been calling to me at all this year… nonfiction has been what I’ve craved lately. I’ll echo the recommendation for Kitchen Yarns… also recently enjoyed the audio version of Sous Chef. Save Me the Plums is on my wish list.

    1. Yeah, I don’t know what it is about the classics this year. I am just not feeling them. I want cozy, atmospheric reads that put me in a particular locale or time period.

  6. Reichel’s Comfort Me with Apples is a wonderful food memoir and as it is older it will probably be quicker to get at the library (or to tide you over while you wait for the new book)

  7. I, too, have an out of control TBR shelf in my living room. I think it has over 50 books on it right now, which is totally overwhelming. For review books, I only do TLC Tours so I always have a date and I make sure to spread them out. I read mostly based on book blogs and my librarian friends’ recommendations.

    1. My immediate review shelf is a bit of a mess. I need to put them in order of publication date but since some of them have already been published I feel like at that point as long as I review them, I’m good. I manage my electronic ARCs so much better but I prefer to hold an ARC in my hand. Those covers.

  8. I think I am a mood reader and I also get caught up in covers…but sometimes hyped up books are not very appealing to me so that’s why I hate finding the next book until I actually find it.

  9. I like to make a list each month of what novels are coming out each month and what is getting high praise. Then I see which ones’ subject matters interest me most and I mark to get them at the library. I am also a mood reader too. I have stacks of books to read but I’ll just pick out the one that calls out to me most. That is the best way to read!

    1. I am a list maker. I enjoy the act of making the list but I rarely stick to the list I’ve made! It’s a problem for me. Mood, seems to be the way I swing these days and it’s working for me.

  10. I have gotten very good at only requesting review copies of those books that most interest me and that I would probably buy for myself anyway. I still request way too many, but I can’t help that there are so many books I want to read! 🙂 This year, in addition to cutting back on my requests, I also try to work in one or two of my own books. I don’t know if all that is making a difference, but I am enjoying my books so much more this year. I find myself reading more often, even going so far as not to do anything else but read in the evenings – something that did not happen last year. I tend to be very cognizant of release dates when I select books. I don’t always hit them, and I certainly don’t publish my reviews in time, but I do try to read them in the order of publication date as well as how long I have had them. Because I only select books I want to read, mood reading is not an issue for me. My problem is that my tastes are too darn eclectic and encompassing!

    1. I pretty much choose following the same method you do. I only request what I want to read and I try to read in order of publication date but sometimes when I start a book I realize I am not in the mood for it. That is when it gets wonky. I set it aside and 80% of the time pick it up again but sometimes I do not for a very long time, or ever.

  11. Late to this post, but I thought it was a good question. I pick my books usually by whim. What am I in the mood for RIGHT NOW? At that very moment. I often put books on hold, but then when they come in, I go, “Meh…I’m not really interested…NOW.” Seasons don’t really play a role in it, although for the last few years politics have as I don’t want to read anything political, fiction or nonfiction, but espe ially nonfiction. Nyuh. It’s bad enough without reading about it.

    1. For me, seasons plays a role but usually only for summer reads. I like to read books with a good, summery setting over the summer. I am a sucker for a good summer cover, too. But the “whim” reading. I seem to be heading that direction myself these days.

  12. Hi Ti. I have been following your blog for a long time and enjoy it very much. For foodie books, anything by Ruth Reichl. A book I loved by Peter Geller is “My Mother’s Kitchen: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and the Meaning of Life.” And if you haven’t read it yet, ”My Life in France” by Julia Child combines place and food. Good luck on finding your book. And thank you for your blog. Pat

  13. I’m absolutely a mood reader – and a seasonal reader. I always like books involving the ocean or stormy weather – those things speak to me – and, I, too, crave a good foodie memoir or novel from time to time but nothing lately has really grabbed me. (I know what I want, but it doesn’t seem to exist. Maybe I’ll have to write it myself.)

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