woensdag 22 mei 2013

Between The Pages: How to pick a new read

Earlier this week, Jeremy from Inklingstime posted his view on how to choose the next book you're going to read. Because this is quite a fun thing to discuss, I'd like to add my two cents to this topic.
First, I'd like to say that Jeremy's Book Competition is tremendously fun. Not only to watch him battling his books with a genuine joy, but also participating and commenting on the various battles (*) is a good way to pass the time. Also, trying to slip some of my books into the competition (**) raises the stakes and makes it even more exciting. Will my books prevail or suffer the first losses?
So, do I do the same? Alas, no. [Insert your booing here]. While J. has quite the overview of his collection, I can't see 2/3 of mine because my books are stacked like hell. With a 1000+ TBR, I can host my very own Grand Slam, qualifiers included, so no, a full-on competition is out of my reach. Instead, I tend to be pretty boring when it comes to choosing a new book to read. I've previously mentioned that I am currently invested in a sh*tload of series and add to that a lot of trilogies or whatever I started but never finished, and you can imagine it's quite hard to keep track of all those bigger storylines and characters. In order to reduce that huge stack of series, I decided to alternate the books I read between three or so major Epic and the same amount of Urban Fantasy series. That way, I have sufficient variety in my reading and do I get to finish those ever-lasting series.
Another way of choosing my books, is through the monthly themed bookchallenge hosted by my reading club. Every month, a theme is chosen and you have to read a book that fits the theme in order to succeed in the challenge. Apart from the challenge, there is the monthly book discussion, in which I tend to partake, which is another way of choosing my books.

However! However. Because of those monthly challenges and discussions - which are almost never ever standalone books - I have a lot of unfinished business in terms of those previously mentioned trilogies, duologies, otherologies and with the Big 8 (***), these tend to get snowed under.
So, next time I pick a stack of books (****), I'll randomly select one or two other lucky ones to join the Big 8. I'd like to be as creative as J. and come up with my very own selection procedure, but I find the well-known bookjar quite satisfying and it suits my means well. The titles I've put into the jar are the next installments of the neglected ~logies and some standalones/others which I planned to read for I don't know how long. When a book is drawn, the next installment joins the others in the jar in the hopes of becoming My Next Top Read.
I've been debating on whether to do the same for the longer series. So whenever I finish one of the Big 8-series, just random draw another big one, but I think this is rather a nay than a yay. I'd rather not let any long-term commitment be a random choice...

Image from (c) www.dailyrecord.co.uk (January 16th 2013)
* Booooo- and Yaaaaay-sounds obviously included.
** Watch out for a post along these lines around a month from now #BuildingTension.
*** These are: Sword of Truth, Song of Ice and Fire, Emaneska, Deverry, Riftwar, Hollows, Dresden Files & Anita Blake.
**** The books I want to read mostly aren't directly available, so I have to deconstruct a whole wall of books to get to the ones I want. Even though I quite like doing that - along with cramming new books in the sparse open spaces I have left -, it's not something I want to do every week. I just pick a stack of five to get me through the month or longer and whevener that stack is finished, I pick a new one.

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