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What To Read Next

I was browsing my favorite blogs today and came upon this post. I started to comment but instead chose to write about it here, since my comment was becoming verbose.

The question is: “After reading a powerful or especially moving book that not only has you thinking but feeling strong emotions too, how do you choose that next book to read?”

To start off, I should say that I try to alternate between literature and mind candy (mind candy being chick lit, mysteries, general light reading). I do this for a number of reasons. 1) If I read too much literature, then I end up getting burned out on books. There’s only so much thinking my brain can handle. 😀 On the other hand, if I read too much mind candy, then I end up feeling as if I’m not really accomplishing anything. So I read the latest John Grisham? So what? 2) I do like both literature and mind candy, so it’s a good way to read both without going overboard on either. Usually, mind candy can be read fairly quickly so it’s easy to squeeze one in between the literature pieces.

With that in mind, there are times when, after reading a particularly heavy/deep/thought provoking book, I won’t want to start anything else right away. I want to muse on what I’ve read, savoring the aftertaste in my mouth like a good wine or dessert. Specifically, I felt that way with The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I was reluctant to pick up another book for days while I bade my final farewell to the characters and what brought them to their destination. I don’t always feel this way; a happy ending leaves less to contemplate than a murky, complicated ending.

On the other hand, there are times that I’ve picked up another book that very same day just so I can stop thinking about what I’ve just read. This happened when I read The Vanishing Point* by Mary Sharratt. I was so depressed by the ending that I had to pick up something else so that I would stop thinking about how sad I was at how things ended up. I will never never never forget this book because of the lingering sadness that I had.

So I’m curious as to what you do. How do you decide what to read next?

*Has anyone read this book? I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

| Tags: , , 6 comments »

6 Responses to “What To Read Next”

  1. Literary Feline

    What a great response! I try and alternate between book types too, the only exception being when I go into one of my phases. This comes in handy especially when reading serial books. I want to continue to enjoy the series, not get tired of the same old same old by overdosing, reading too many too close together.

    I can also understand how sometimes a heavier book may require more time for digestion while other times you want to jump right into the next book. That’s happened to me as well. I am afraid I haven’t read The Vanishing Point, but I’ve read books that have had me wanting to start something lighter right away.

    I hope you have a great week and thanks for answering my question!


  2. J. Kaye

    Haven’t read the book, but wanted to stop by and say welcome to the Suspense & Thriller Challenge. I have your blog’s link posted in the right sidebar.


  3. jeane

    I liked reading your post. I, too, alternate between types of books. Fiction and non-fiction, heavy and light. Sometimes while reading a “heavy” book I simultaneously read several lighter ones. Sometimes I do let it sit in my mind a while before picking another book up. I don’t think I’ve ever been compelled to grab a new book right away in order to get the last one out of my mind, though…


  4. Eva

    I agree-I rarely go straight into another book of the same genre. After I finished War and Peace last month, I was at a complete loss. Fortunately, I had Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go on hand-another great writer, but a completely different kind of book. 🙂 (btw, I thought you were in my blog reader thingy, but you weren’t 🙁 so expect to see several comments from me!!)


  5. raidergirl3

    It’s true, I need a mixture of fluff and substance. I enjoy both, and a balance is needed. Too much thinking isn’t good for my brain. And sometimes, it just depends what reading mood I’m in, and how tired I am. I tend to stay more on the lighter end – mysteries, and general fiction.
    nice post.


  6. Ruth

    Great post! I like to alternate the types of books I read as well. I read mostly historical fiction and it can get pretty heavy at times, so I try to mix the chick lit and thriller types in between.

    What I’ve noticed is that I have to really be in the mood for certain types of reading, and that’s what really determines what I read next.


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