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.