What to Read Next?

As a serial reader, I’m often jumping from book to book without pause. I wanted to share my process of deciding what to read next by showing you an example of my current reading selections and how I came across them.


My method is pretty systematic:

  1. Hear about a book from a friend, review, Shelf Awareness, etc.
  2. Put it on my Goodreads to-read list.
  3. Go to the library equipped with my to-read list.


Me Talk Pretty One Day has been on my to-read list for years but kept getting pushed back for other new releases. Then I recently heard a This American Life episode where Sedaris talks about living in Paris and it compelled me to prioritize this book to the top of my list. I went online and requested for the library to put it on hold for me. The library emailed me when it was ready, and all I had to do was go and pick it up.


I find good books at work everyday too. I’ve been reading and baking bread from this new book on our Spring 2014 list, Josey Baker Bread, on-sale soon.  Stay tuned for my post on my bread-making adventures.


I am literally a scavenger for books. I found this galley of Cool Gray City of Love on the free give-away table at work. I’d heard of it before and instantly recognized it as gold on the table of other things of questionable value. It was like scoring a great deal at T.J. Maxx.


I keep coming back to Haruki Murakami again and again. I’m so drawn to his writing and friends have recommended that I should read  Kafka on the Shore  if I liked his other books.


A few months ago I was at an airport waiting for a delayed flight. I went into the bookstore to kill time and got totally sucked into the first pages of The Wolf of Wall Street.  I was tempted to buy it and read it on my flight, but I already had a bag full of half-finished books with me. So I emailed myself a note that said, “Read Wolf of Wall Street,” put it on my library queue when I got home, and it was available one month later.


Ugh, my ever-expanding collection of New Yorker magazines vie with my stack of books to be read. I don’t have the heart to cancel my subscription because I fall in love with different unexpected articles in the magazine all the time. But I really don’t have the time to read through all of these. I feel guilty every time I look at them.


I’ve been working on this tome for almost two years now. Honestly, I haven’t picked it up in the last 6 months, but I swear I’m going to finish it one of these days…

Also not pictured here is my current lunch-break book I keep at my office: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. A great and witty escape from my inbox for half an hour a day. It’s my manager’s niece’s copy that she let me borrow.

I’m not a fast reader. It takes me about a month to finish every book. Mostly because I’m always reading at least 3 books simultaneously. But I’m fastidious about making time to read at least a little bit everyday. And this is how I slog through my endless and ever-growing list of books to read.

So how do you decide what to read next? What are you reading now that I should add to my list?


16 thoughts on “What to Read Next?

  1. Oh yes, Kafka on the Shore. A must. 😉 I have a similar process. I also use Goodreads to find new books.

  2. I have a goodreads “to read” list of nearly 200. I have my husband pick a number and then I choose the corresponding book. I get new ideas for “to read” books from friends, bibliographies, favorite authors, blogs (like yours). It’s interesting how we readers choose our next book.

  3. Oh, my gosh! I am not alone! I am so busy that it takes a me a month, too, unless it’s a Sophie Kinsella :). I have never read Moby Dick. The San Fran book was just recommended, I think, in Sunset mag, and is also on my list. I kind of do what you do – I keep a big running tally on my phone and get them at the library – long live the library! I feel a little panicked, though, like I’ll never have time to read all the books I want before I die!! Being in a monthly book club kind of makes it hard. I just started Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan, who is one of my faves. Enjoy!

    • I know that panicked feeling! My husband’s grandma, in her retirement, reads at least one book a day. I’m hoping I’m lucky to keep going like that when I’m 80! I also have a friend who takes solo vacations once a year just to catch up on all her reading.

      • I usually skip the fiction, about half of Talk of the Town, all the poetry (who picks that stuff?), and usually Shouts and Murmurs. I feel like I’m supposed to be delighted with Shouts and Murmurs but I almost never am.

  4. Pingback: Reflections On My 31st Birthday | Books Outside the Box

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