What to read next?

This column first appeared in the July Good Book Appreciation Society Newsletter:

I just finished the book I was reading, which means I have a mammoth task on my hands; deciding what to read next.

Sometimes the choice is made for you. There’s a launch or panel coming up at a literary festival and you have to read a book before you get there. That’s easy. Other times, it’s just you and your gut, left to your own devices.
One of the dangerous side effects of being a book-lover and member of GBAS, is having an empty bank balance and a massive to-read pile. We should get danger pay.

I keep my to-reads in stacks, I started out with just the one, but now I have sub-stacks too. They’re in no particular order, just all books I want to read at some point.

Often hype and chatter or controversy determines what jumps to the top of the pile. Other times my brain just gravitates towards something, without reason. A book that didn’t strike me two weeks ago, when I stood in this exact spot and evaluated this exact pile, now jumps out. What’s that about?

I guess it depends what world you feel like inhabiting next? Are you in the mood for a long book or a short one? Comedy, literary, commercial? Local or international?

This is the pile I’m standing in front of today and staring at.
How do you decide?

 

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