Discussion: How I Choose What Book to Read Next

Hello hello! It has been a very long time since I did a discussion-style post, so hopefully this will be a fun change of pace! I polled my Instagram followers on whether I should write this post next, or my I Kissed Shara Wheeler review, and this one won out!

So: when I finish a book, how do I choose what to read next? The answer to this is certainly different for everyone. Lots of people have monthly TBR lists, and I tend to have a loose TBR, but rarely do I stick exactly to it. Because I tend to be a bit of a mood reader, that also definitely factors into my decision. But it turns out it is actually a combination of many different things that gets me to pick my next book.

Consideration 1: What format do I want?

I try to always have one physical book, one audiobook, and one ebook going at once. This way, no matter the situation I am in, whether that be a luxurious block of time where I sit and read or five minutes before my classes start, I have a book available to read. However, this also means that when I finish a book in a certain format, I am looking to replace that with a new book in the same format. So the format I am looking for will strongly dictate the book I choose.

Consideration 2: Time constraints

After I know the format I want, I start thinking about whether any books I want to read have some type of time constraints on them. Am I reading them for a monthly book club? Is it checked out from the library and will need to be returned in a few weeks? Maybe I have some ARCs to read before pub date. Since I am a college student living in a small dorm room, each semester I bring a select few physical books with me, and then try to finish those by the end of the semester so I can take them home and swap them out for new books (I am mildly successful on this front). So if I am going to read a physical book, I am more likely to pick up one that I already own and have with me than to check out a new book from the library. This all to say: there are a surprising amount of time constraints that help narrow down which book I am going to be reading next.

Consideration 3: What am I in the mood for?

After I manage to sort out the first two things, it then tends to come down to what I am in the mood for. Do I want a slower read that will take me a while or something that I can read in a weekend? Do I want something lighthearted or more serious? Am I feeling a romance or not? I will say that mood and format actually overlap more than you would think. I prefer to read more serious audiobooks, usually nonfiction or literary fiction. (The exception here is romance, but romance books are a risk because I really hate having to listen to sex scenes). Conversely, I do not like listening to young adult audiobooks, I prefer to read those in physical form. Probably because I will actually read them faster that way. So if I am looking for an audiobook, I am going to be looking for something that is on the more serious side. If I am looking for an ebook, I am probably looking for something that’s going to be relatively easy to pick up and put down a lot, while I read on my phone over breakfast or while riding the elevator.

An image of blue flowers on a white background.

There you have it! Those are the three main things that I consider when I am looking for my next book to read. I realize that this answer is vastly different for someone like me, who is always looking to be in the middle of reading something, and a more casual reader who will simply pick up a book when they have the free time. What about you? How do you decide which book to read next? Do you stick to a scheduled TBR, or do you go with the flow? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear how much my process overlaps with others!

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