"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Choosing the Next Book

Choosing the next book to read is one of the hardest things for me to do. I dread finishing a book because it means I'll need to make a decision on the next one. I like variety in my reading, but somehow, as often as not, end up reading a book similar to the previous one. Historical fiction after science fiction? Both had an eerily similar mystery at its heart. A humorous book following a literary classic? Characters with the same or similar names. So often, a book echoes the previous one read.

And still, what to read? Which genre? Which time period? How deeply should I consider the plot? What mood am I in? Long or short or something in between? And then, what's the font like? Easy to read on the subway? Or on the treadmill at the gym (should I ever get back in that habit)?

I have hundreds of books at home to choose from and my list of books to buy, maybe, someday, is now 15 typed pages long. I keep buying. I keep weeding what I lose interest in reading. And still, it can take hours to decide on something.

I've finished reading The White Russian by Tom Bradby. Review to follow later this week. I've selected its successor: Chasing the Devil's Tail by David Fulmer. It has a lot to live up to, both in comparison to its predecessor and in its need to engage me. It's set in New Orleans. In 1907. There's a killer. Hmmm.... not all that much different than The White Russian, set in St. Petersburg in 1917, which places a series of killings in the center of a Russia on the brink of revolution. So similar. So different.

Does anyone else have trouble picking their next book to read?