Saturday, August 23, 2014

Picking Out That Next Read

How do you pick the next book you'd like to read? I'm sure you'd have gone through this predicament that most often leaves your TBR list glaring at you from somewhere.

Do you go with the mood?

1. I'm happy, make me happier!

If you've managed to distract the one obstacle between happiness and yourself, (YOU of course!) long enough to do the happy dance a la Pharrell maybe you'd like to keep the momentum going before bills, homework and things like that catch up with ya once again. My go-to genre for some high is obviously humour, with the added clause of dark humour. There's nothing like a sarcastic fix to keep your funny bone tickling and smirking your friends into annoyance. 

Then there's the good ol' feel-good genre (although the definition might vary depending on whether Hannibalism is you feel-good habit!). Read and ride the pleasant surf till the tide runs out. Here's a bunch of titles that held my adrenalin on an acceptable high in the past year.

2. I've got the feelies.

When you are in the mood for quiet reflection or dealing with the urge to understand the world at large in depth, you'd want to pick up books that allow a glimpse into your fellow beings who differ from you by choice. There's a whole spectrum of this emotion you can explore, from sad to sadder to indignation to war to why is this world so f***** up? Beware that this genre can bring you down if you are sensitive. The ghosts stay with you long after you've turned the last page and you might not look at people the same way anymore. They say reading is supposed to do that, shedding a few tears for an imagined character on paper shows your four chamber chronic pump knows what its doing. Afterall, this apparently makes readers best suited for relationships according to this study:

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With

So, here are a few tear-jerkers that sent my blood pump into overdrive. 

Reality just not your kind of entertaining?

3. I don't belong here, where's that door to Narnia?

Sometimes, (okay, very often) reality just gets outright boring. Nothing makes sense and people appear too normal. I mean, who are you without the cloak and the broomstick? How can you not be fighting for freedom from the Capitol or over a bunch of thrones? Nope. I gotta get back home where the real action is.

There's no dearth for literature in this genre, so many authors who bring such stunningly written prose, such worlds woven so convincingly, that you wonder why people are staring at you on the train, you with your thick winter coat in the middle of summer, you turning your magazine upside down to figure out a clue to the Lovegood crossword. Its no effort to fall into and be sucked into these tomes for a reprieve, really. How many of these have you read?

Then there's the stuff you HAVE to read.

Book report? A promised book review? A self-prepared must-read list vetted by literary bodies looking down at you through their pince-nez?

4. There is such a thing as a compulsory read.

There is. Quite possibly because these titles stand apart in some way or the other thereby challenging your readerly instincts. Simply put, these are the books that'll make you step out of your comfort zone, hear the Who's, feel the magic. And contrary to popular sentiment, it is perfectly okay if you don't agree, don't understand a word, or simply think they are too pompously dense. Your readerly right allows you to judge as you may. (No matter what they say, people will judge you anyway, so don't bother.) Just remember, this list also most often includes titles that make sense or no-sense as you grow up. The book changes as the reader changes. Isn't that simply amazing?

Have you tried these mandatory doorstops?

You could also use a little trick and cover them one slim volume at a time. Equally engaging and equally powerful. 

And then there's the freedom read where you stand in front of your bookshelf, close your hands and pick out a book. Any book. Let the reading begin.

The one other thing that for me comes closest to this thrill of discovery is the long walk I undertake from my desk at work to the gates to receive the next two books from my library. No better feeling of serendipity comes close!

Do these choices apply to you? What do you do to pick your next read? 

P.S: My library does deliver books to your doorstep. No extra reading charges aside from the subscription. No limit on the reading time. That is the thesaurus definition for awesome! Check them out here - Iloveread and here.

All images are from around the internet. The book covers are from Goodreads. I do not own any of 'em.