I love organization. I'm a bit of an organization junkie, actually. Which makes the utter chaos I call home rather ironic. I made a resolution this weekend that I was going to commit a minimum of one hour every day over the next few months...or until I finish, if that comes first...to REALLY organizing my house.
Regardless of which way you look in my house, you see books, so that really has to be the place I start. And today I did just that. Here is a look at the books that have come into my house in the last 3 months AND that I haven't been able to read yet.
I took about a dozen to a friend yesterday and about three dozen from this picture are going to be shipped to another friend this week. That still leaves a lot of books, and they are all books that have an appealing concept to me; therefore, ones I'd like to read.
That got me thinking about a conversation I had with an author at the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association's trade show. He asked me about how I decide which book to pick up next. He shared a story with me about a book he decided on from his pile because he remembered there had been some discussion about it online. He couldn't remember what the discussion was exactly, but the fact that the discussion had been about that particular book made him pick it up.
Then last week in Friday's Shelf Awareness Pro, Robert Gray talked about "How do we decide which ARC to read next?" His present choices are due to a conversation. Hmmm, I'm sensing a pattern here. Word of mouth seems to be making an impression.
But even readers who don't receive ARCs, I'm pretty certain you're like me and walk out of the book store, book sale, library, etc., with far more than one book. So how do YOU decide which one gets priority in the reading order? For me right now I'm reading books of the authors I'll moderate on a panel in Muskego next month. And sometimes a deadline for a review or a release date might prompt me to choose one book over the others. But a lot of times I'll look at the stack...ok the mountain...and after recovering from the minor coronary, I'll choose the book that fits my mood. And I think a lot of determining that comes from what I've heard about it...or maybe what I know about the author.
That leads to the question: what about the authors you don't know? Or better yet, the brand new authors...the ones who you don't really have much, if anything, to base your choice on? What makes you pick up THAT book?
A friend recently told me that he was at a point where his "regular" favorites were writing often enough for him to stay reading without having to pick up any new authors. That can be an incredible hurdle to overcome for fledgling writers.
I admit that I sometimes have to force myself to put aside a book of a favorite author in an effort to read a new-to-me author. Had I not opted to do that, I wouldn't have discovered the likes of James Thompson, John Verdon, Hilary Davidson, Daniel Palmer, Keith Thomson, Brad Parks, Kelli Stanley, Rebecca Cantrell...
And on the flip side of that, there are times when my mood demands that I curl up with the comfort of something I know and can count on. When life is feeling a bit overwhelming, I know I can count on Elvis Cole, John Ceepak or Walt Longmire to whisk me away from my reality.
As you can see from my picture, which represents only a small fraction of the books taking up residence in my house right now, I have the luxury of doing both. But I'm curious. What book(s) are YOU reading right now and what made you pick that one over all others to read now?