Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pro-Choice



Becky at Page Turners recently let me answer several blog-related questions when I made it to the Winners Circle on her followers contest.

One of these questions was particularly interesting to me, because I wonder what makes people chose the books they read -- on a general level, but even more so, on a particular level. What makes you pick up the next book?

I never thought about how odd my own book-choosing system might seem, until I put it into words. Here is how I answered Becky's questions, "How do you chose your books?"

I am a compulsive "list" reader. Books make it onto my TBR shelf because they made it on to someone's list of books that should be read. So on a "macro" level, I chose books because they are on one of my lists.

On a "micro" level, I have an idiosyncratic method that makes me look like a nut: My TBR books are arranged alphabetically on the shelves. When I am ready for a new book, I choose one from the first shelf. The next time, I chose one from the next shelf, and so on through the shelves. My rule is that I can choose any book on the designated shelf, but I have to choose from that shelf. So if I am in the mood for a prize winner, I can chose a prize winner -- or a mystery, a book by a favorite author, a book I’ve been meaning to read but keep putting off. Whatever the mood is, I chose a book to fit that mood -- but only from the one shelf.

How would you answer? Please let me know in a comment, or leave a link to an answer you post on your own blog.

15 comments :

bermudaonion said...

Unless I have agreed to review a book by a certain date, I just read whatever strikes my fancy no matter what shelf it's on.

Wendy said...

I like the organization-centric way you choose :) I am also a list reader, but I choose books based on a couple of factors: 1. I always have a couple of books I am committed to read for review but I have choices within that category, so I pick according to challenges or mood; 2. MOOD - sometimes I want a hefty book which will make me think; sometimes I want a genre novel that I can breeze through and simply be entertained.

Rose City Reader said...

Bermuda -- I get too overwhelmed by the possibilities if I go on general whim. That's why I limit myself to a certain shelf. I also like tracking the progress as I work my way through all the shelves.

Wendy -- I didn't realize how OCD my system sounds until I wrote it. :) But I've decided to embrace what I'll call my "heightened sense of organization." What a laugh, since everything other than my bookshelves is in disarray!

Wendy said...

LOL - No wonder we "connected" in Portland - you sound EXACTLY like I do. My house is so cluttered, yet my bookcases are organized by author, subject, challenge-books, prize winners, etc... It is an elaborate, OCD-type system. And I re-do things every few months. Oh dear...*laughs* I use the excuse that I would no be able to find the books I want without this system (er, I never consider not buying more!)

Rose City Reader said...

Wendy -- Now you have me laughing. My husband often comes looking for me and asks where I've been, what I've been doing. All I can say is, "Playing with my books." :)

Wendy said...

ROTHFLMAO! I just read our comments to my husband who laughed and said "Are all obsessive readers this way?" Um, yes dear.

Jonita said...

I, too, have my books arranged in an order that makes sense to me and only me :) I have a shelf for review titles, chick lit, books that I've purchased that I'm excited to read, and then I have a shelf for titles that I will most likely not be reading for a while.

I choose a book primarily based on my mood. On the weekends, I tend to choose lighter fiction or chick-lit and through the week I tend to read review titles or books with heavier subject matter. It pretty much boils down to how I feel at the moment I choose that particular book!

Rose City Reader said...

Wendy -- You ratcheted up the e-lingo! I had to use the Amazing Googlater to figure out what ROTFLMAO meant.

Jonita -- Ooooohhh . . . . I like the idea of theme shelves. Now you have my mind working on a new scheme.

Wendy said...

That's what I get for having teenagers around me all the time :)

Kristen said...

I read off my lists too but aside from that, I am trying to read my books in the order in which I acquired them and I have a large database to keep track of this vital to me information. ;-) If I acquire several books at the same time, they will be listed in alphabetical order by author. I know, I'm a nutter.

Rose City Reader said...

Kristen -- You may be even nuttier than me, only because your compulsive system requires such discipline! There's no room for whim.I don't think I could hack it.

Kristen M. said...

I have a calendar schedule for review and challenge books (for the year) and then everything else is just on whim. But all of my unread books are in one spot and about once every month or two, I will pull five or six books that I am in the mood to read and I try to get through those while the timing is right. If they aren't read and my mood changes, they go back into the big stacks and another set is pulled. It's not as organized as yours but it's not entirely haphazard either!

Becky said...

Even though I asked the question, I don't think I really know how I choose books. I buy them according to whether I have heard of them before, whether it be because they are award winners or someone has recommended them to me.

When it comes to choosing the next one I read, I try to alternate Australian with non-Australian, but other than that, its just whatever seems to suit my mood!

J.G. said...

Inquiring minds want to know: Are your books alphabetical by title or by author?

I was going to explain my system but it's just too darn long for a comment box. (Post to follow, probably.)

What a great question! I loved reading about everyone's systems. We are all OCD in our own unique ways, aren't we?!

Rose City Reader said...

KM -- I do like the idea of pre-selecting a few so I have something to look forward to. I do that too, but always following my weird shelf-by-shelf system. :)

Becky -- I like the Australian/non-Australian switch. I often alternate between American and British -- with an occasional other country thrown in there.

J.G. -- I keep the book alpha by author, but in publication date within each author's section. It's a system my jazz-obsessed husband uses for his cds and albums and i like it.

Let us know if you decide to write your own Hotch Pot post on this topic!

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