7 RANDOM ways to choose your next book

October 29, 2015 Book review 42

Now that I have finally cut down on my ARCs, I feel like I have all the freedom in the world to choose my next read. I’m no longer at the whim of publication dates and am at liberty to pick any book in the whole world for that next reading slot. HELLO OPTIONS! I love that act of scanning my bookshelves (real and virtual) and choosing the book can be as enjoyable as reading. But picking that final choice, that perfect book for that exact moment in your life, that’s actually a little bit harder than I thought!


choose book random


We always want our next book to be that elusive 5 star book that will dazzle us with it’s brilliance. And we don’t want to waste time on that meh book. HELLO PRESSURE! Where do I start, how do I whittle down that crazy to-be-read list and choose an epic book? Glad you asked as I’ve come up with some different techniques for choosing my next read.

7 RANDOM ways to choose your next book

check markI have my trusty Excel spreadsheet. Yep I know that sounds boring as hell but I love being organised and this way I can browse my titles and see what pops it’s little head up, pleading ‘read me, read me’.

check markAnother way is similar to the above but this time it’s scanning my Goodreads to-read shelves. The added advantage is that this time I get to see covers too. Damn right, I all too often pick my next read by that pretty cover! If nothing else, it will look good on my Instagram feed 😀

check markMake a TBR jar. I think this is such a fun idea and I’ve been inspired by other bloggers who have gone this route. I wouldn’t want to do it for EVERY read but as an occasional lucky dip, I think it’s a cute idea.

check markLet the internet pick it for you! You can use a site like What Should I Read Next. You just type the name of a book that you’ve previously liked and hey presto it throws out some suggestions for you. I’ve tried this and their suggestions are pretty spot on. Plus I love that they pick reads that might be outside my current book radar.

check markStick with an author you already love.  Simples!  If you’ve loved previous books, then the chances are pretty good that you’ll love another one by them.  It’s not 100% guaranteed but the odds are in your favour.

check markSend out a what-should-I-read-next plea on Twitter! Your twitter friends (if they are like mine) are passionate and well-informed book pushers. Trust them, they are all book lovers and know good books!

check mark

Ask your favourite book blogger *cough* between my lines *cough Obvs!



Talk to Trish: How do you choose what book you will read next? Do you stick to a schedule or pick books at random?

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42 Responses to “7 RANDOM ways to choose your next book”

  1. Greg

    I should use Goodreads more, that may be one of my resolutions in the new year. I’m so behind there… and What Should I Read Next. I’ll have to check that out. Sounds interesting!

    Stick with an author you love worked for me recently after reading Big Little Lies I loved it, so tried another of her books and it was almost as good. So I’m pretty sure I’ll like anything she writes at this point- or at elast the odds are there. 🙂
    Greg recently posted…A Dance with Dragons- Bran II/ Tyrion IV

    • trish

      I can’t read a book without adding to to GR, I have the app on my phone so I find it quick and easy to do that. And I love checking out ratings before I buy a book too as it can be a good indication of what it’s like.
      What should I read next is fun. It’s cool that it throws out books I’ve never heard of.
      And yes sticking with an author you love can be rewarding. I feel the same about Lianne Morriarty.

  2. Erica @ Novel Ink

    So many different ideas, I love. Plus, spreadsheets totally aren’t boring. I use them as well and they are totally cool…or so I tell myself. I am going to try the website right now because if it goes outside my book radar that’s always something good to see. I love going out of my comfort zone sometimes 🙂

    Great post 🙂
    Erica @ Novel Ink recently posted…Reading slumps…what’s the cause?

    • trish

      I’m all about spreadsheets! I could organise nothing in my life without them plus you can colour co-ordinate all the things so yeah you are right totally cool..for nerds! 😀
      I found What should I read next to be fun as it had some unexpected choices for me and ones that I really do want to try.

  3. Jordin @ A Bottomless Book Bag

    Like goodreads, often I just stare at my physical TBR piles, turning the books over, rereading their synopsis, until I figure out which one suits my mood. Or I go on a holding spree on my library’s website. My goodreads is a bit unmanageable at the moment, so I like to focus on the books I actually have on hand at first. Though I definitely use goodreads when deciding what books to put on hold.
    Jordin @ A Bottomless Book Bag recently posted…How to Move All Your Books

    • trish

      My physical TBR is a mess and is all over the place so that’s why I didn’t include that. If I could just organise my bookshelves properly, that would be another fun way though and there is nothing like actually seeing and holding the book to make you want to read it.

  4. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I love the freedom of picking my next book without the deadlines of ARCs…I have two from Vine right now, but I can always choose the OTHER books I’m going to read during the week in this free form manner.

    Love your suggestions!
    Laurel-Rain Snow recently posted…AUTHOR’S HOME PAGE

    • trish

      I think reading a mixture of ARCs and other books during the week is the right way for me. I love reading ARCs and never want to cut them out completely but I don’t want to read back to back arcs anymore.

  5. Bea @Bea's Book Nook

    Isn’t a good feeling to have some wiggle room and not need to always read to a publication date? 🙂

    It can be overwhelming deciding what to read next especially if you have a lot of choices. Like you, I’ll scan my bookshelves, goodreads shelves or my Kindle folders. Sometimes I know next exactly what I want to read but usually I have to peruse; I like when I ‘find’ a book I’d forgotten about. Other times I grab a fave and re-read.
    Bea @Bea’s Book Nook recently posted…Bea Reviews Torn & Stop At Nothing by Kate SeRine

    • trish

      Wiggle room is great and now that I’ve rediscovered how liberating it is, I’m doing to make sure I always have some!
      I love finding books on my kindle and on my bookshelves 🙂

  6. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    If I don’t need to read it for review, then I often just go by whatever I’m feeling at the moment. I have so many books I’ve bought or been gifted over the years that I STILL need to read so it’s fun to browse my bookshelves and see what pops out to me! I really like the idea of the TBR job; I think it could be helpful sometimes. I’ll have to look into making one. 🙂

    Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance recently posted…Goodreads Giveaways: Find Some New LGBT Reads!

    • trish

      Browsing bookshelves is great fun. Unless they are a mess like mine, then they just make me feel guilty! I need to get my act together and organise them.

  7. Maureen Beatrice

    Most times I stick to my reading schedule. I’m such a control freak and everything is planned for at least a month ahead.. Sounds boring but this really makes me feel calm and relaxed.
    Ones in a while though I just really want to read something I’ve been wanting to read for a long while.. I usually just pick the first one that pops up in my mind.
    I really love the idea of the TBR jar.. Not good for my control-freak-heart but I think I can try it at least ones!! 😛
    Maureen Beatrice recently posted…Blog Ahead Challenge – Round up

    • trish

      I’m a control freak about lots of things especially on the blogging side but not when it comes to books. I’m a mood reader so I like picking a book to fit my current mood. I think we all find systems that work best for us though.

  8. Lola

    Sometimes I wish I had less review copies so I had the freedom to pick books like that, although often I still go with my mood, but I still read a lot of review copies soon as I feel like I should keep reading them, else I’ll never get the pile lower.

    I also use my goodreads shelves to decide what to read enxt. Sometimes I scroll through the books I own and havent read or I check my review shelf first and see if anything captures my attention. When I had some meh reads I often pick up a book by a author I already know as chances seem higher that I will enjoy it. I like the idea of the TBR yar or letting other choose, but as I am a moodreader that’s hard for me. I do participate in the my to-be read list meme for that piece of randomness of what to read next, I can still pick the books, but won’t decide whch I read first, that’s up to my visitors. Great post!
    Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: When do you like a book setting?

    • trish

      After a couple of meh reads I do that too Lola. That way the odds are higher that it will be great and it will ward off a potential book slump. I’m a mood reader too so I can’t plan in advance what I will read as I need to see what I ‘feel’ like reading.
      I’m rejoining to-read-next meme this month so I’m looking forward to leaving one book up to others again. It’s a fun way to see what others think.

  9. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books

    I should really make a TBR jar. That sounds like so much fun. I am the same way right now. My ARCs have gotten down so low that I can read whatever I want. It’s so freeing! I have my Kindle Fire, so I just pick a book and start reading. But sometimes, I will let my husband pick it. I give him my Kindle and all he has to go on are the covers and the titles. It’s kind of interesting to see what he picks. He picks good ones though!
    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: Voice of Gods (Blood of Gods and Royals #0.5)

    • trish

      I love that freedom to choose and now that I’ve rediscovered how good it is, I’m going to make sure I keep my arc list low and keep that freedom.
      I do that with my husband too but then sometimes I ignore his suggestion and just read the book that I felt more like reading. And it’s awkward when he asks me how the book is 😀

  10. kimbacaffeinate

    LOL..yes to all of these ideas. I really should do the jar for my tbr pile. This year the only books I read of my own really were during Take Control and Coyer. Isn’t that sad. I am trying to accept less and read more of my own but they tempt me. I avoid netgalley and then they email..look, look at the pretty. Hmm, this is a caffeinated confession to be sure…LOL
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Halloween Booktacular Giveaway

  11. Wattle

    I keep meaning to make a TBR jar (well, jars as I tend to mood read by genre lol) and I even went out and bought jars and strips of pretty origami star paper to write the titles on. And I still haven’t done it *facepalm*

    A spreadsheet is a good idea, I think I’ll have to do one of the books I have on my shelf and haven’t read yet (there’s far too many of them).

    Great post Trish 😀
    Wattle recently posted…Showcase Sunday #34

  12. Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

    As a mood reader it can be SO difficult for me to choose a “random” read. most time I am in the mood for a certain genre (even if I don’t know it) so I scan my shelves and pick what sounds good. I do have a TBR jar that has things like “pick a book with a red cover” etc on it so I can have a little freedom with what I read, even if it is random 🙂
    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger recently posted…Sunday Post #33: Monthly Recap!

  13. Bookworm Brandee

    I hadn’t thought of some of these, Trish. I actually didn’t even know there were sites like What Should I Read Next. (does that make me a bad book blogger?) I generally just peruse my shelves and pick the one that pops out at me most. (if I’m not reading an ARC) I’ve actually even started one because it popped up in the search results when I was looking for a different book…that was fun! Great post!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…#TravelingtoTerminus Review ~ For the Record ~ KA Linde ~ #ShelfLove

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