Lately, choosing books to read has become a lot more difficult.
Maybe it’s because I want to review every book I read for this blog and so I’m being more careful about my choices, so I seem more cultured and educated. (Although if you look at my reading list for 2011 you will see that i re-read Twilight several times, so make of that what you will, but i quite like an easy read from time to time!)
Or maybe I’ve just suddenly grown up and realised that, as a result of having studied a publishing degree, I am more aware of a wider range of books which I never considered reading before, particularly as I wrote my dissertation on translated fiction and now choose to read more of them.
Or maybe it’s because my parents have taken a liking to Scandinavian crime fiction, thanks to Stieg Larsson, and now seem to exclusively read crime novels by Scandinavian authors. I’m not a huge fan of crime but I loved The Millennium Trilogy.
My Amazon Wishlist has been steadily growing and lately it consists of more books than anything else, especially since getting a Kindle. Amazon will be so happy to see me searching through all their books and wishing for so many of them, but I feel like I’m betraying Waterstones and all the other book retailers and not supporting them by solely looking on Amazon.
I still pop into Waterstones every now and then, and wander around the shelves to see what is doing well in the shop displays and so on. I still like scanning shelves and picking up the books which stand out, and although you shouldn’t, I always judge a book by its cover first and then read the blurb on the back, and then maybe read the first page to see what its like.
The experience feels so much different online: I hunt through the bestsellers and then see what other customers have been buying or looking at and it goes on like that. Or I search for an author I already know and then see what other similar authors are recommended. I find myself finding an interesting book and doing the inevitable scroll down to the customer reviews to see what people think. I shouldn’t really base my choices on what other write about the novels as they aren’t always very positive and I should read the book and work out for myself what I think of it, but I find myself rejecting many a book due to whether it has a higher percentage of negative comments.
I also read newspapers and see what books their literary sections are talking about and their recommendations and reviews, and I use Twitter to see what like-minded people are reading as well.
So anyway, with these methods I still find plenty of intriguing books, both homegrown and foreign, and its got to the point where my Christmas list was composed of about 18 book titles, of which I only received 2! So I still have loads left to read, and there just feels like too many books to read them all, especially as every day a new selection of books is published or I discover more books which I havent read yet which have been around for a while!
So I can hardly write a list here of all the books I want, you only have to look at how many books I’ve got on the go at the moment in My Reading Journal to see that I’m constantly eager to start something new before I’ve finished the previous!
I wonder if anyone else works the same way as I do when finding novels to read, or if anyone else has the same problem when it comes to being overeager to start the next one?