Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Salon: Help picking your next book

You've just finished your current read and because you are an insatiable reader, you want to dive right into the next one. How do you go about picking your next book? Some people have complicated ways of choosing what they will read next. Some people delegate the choice to others, family members, strangers, bookstore or library staff. Some people stand and stare at their overloaded to be read shelves and let their mood dictate what they pull out next (I admit this is most frequently my method). Some people have elaborate review schedules (I fall under this category as well) and so pick up the next book on list. Some people have library due dates that dictate their next read. And still others have deadlines for reading challenges drive their reading choices. Most likely there are as many methods as there are readers out there. The one method I have never used, mostly because I hadn't considered it (or even heard of some of the sites) until recently, was to let a computer site choose my next read.

Do you know these book sites? There's Bookseer, What Should I Read Next, and Which Book just to name the three I have recently discovered. I'm sure there are more. So I have spent rather a lot of time on this overcast Sunday playing with the sites to see what kind of recommendations it came up with for me. Now I freely admit that I gravitate towards the books I already own on the lists each site generated but the last of the sites suggested so many books I had never heard of that I passed a quite enjoyable time learning about previously unknown books. I did notice that some of the generated suggestions were occasionally not related in any way to the book or books I typed in to help the site generate books for me. I suspect their connection is that someone somewhere loved both of them equally which of course is a tenuous connection at best given everyone's different reading taste. But the concept is cool and I'll definitely be back from time to time.

Am I going to let one of these sites dictate my next read right now? Well, I am still in the middle of several books and have quite a few more in line to be reviewed as well as a couple that will finish up reading challenges due to close soon so I'm not likely to need help in the near future. But I am definitely intrigued and might try it when my schedule loosens up a bit, or when I just feel like my own choices have gotten stale.

Would you use a site like this? Do they generate books that appeal to you? What's your favorite method of choosing your next book?


  1. I've never heard of those sites, but now I'm going to check them out. I usually choose my next book based on mood and if something is waiting for a review. Fun topic!

  2. I've never heard of these sites either :) With several challenges going on I just go by whatever mood I'm in for which challenge...does that make sense? I have books set aside that are TBR for those specific challenges and just choose from one of those stacks...and then sometimes I just eenie, meenie, miney mo :)

  3. Interesting post Kristen, although I'm not certain that I'd want to delegate all decision making responsibility to a computer program or website. Yes it might be random. But it doesn't seem all that helpful to me. I don't always read the next book that I "should" read but that's all part of the fun of deciding. I think you enjoy a book more if you read it when you want to, not when someone (or something) else thinks you should. It is interesting to see what's out there.

  4. I choose books by going to the library to browse and also by checking book blogs!
    Here's my book review and giveaway: Delirious


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