Booking through Thursday: Picking and Choosing

Two questions about selecting your books.

Pooch asks:

Overall, what factor most influences your choice of your next read?

Sefcug asks:

What is it that makes you want to read a book by an author you have never read before?

I’ve been reading a lot more Catholic books since last July for my ACNM column. I don’t review Catholic or other Christian books exclusively, but I know those will appeal to our readers. When I choose another book, I have to make sure it has an easily approachable Catholic angle. It can feel a little restrictive sometimes, but I try to pace my reading so that I can also fit in books I want to read just because I want to read them. And it gives me a reason to read some books I should have already read.

With my pleasure reading, I will give almost any YA a chance. I’ve gotten a lot of recommendations from Goodreads or my college friend Sarah. I recently purchased Unwind from the former recommendations and Delirium from the latter. I don’t read Forever Young Adult anymore (I got too depressed reading reviews of books I knew I’d never have time for), but they liked Delirium, too. I’m optimistic, but I am a little bewildered at the size of the paperback. It might as well be an inexpensive hardcover!


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I have a longstanding list of books I’ve always wanted to read- usually grouped by author, if I’ve read another book I liked by a certain author. Goodreads is a Godsend for organizing books! If I hear about a title, I’ll spend a few minutes reading reviews before adding it to my to-read list. That way I don’t forget the title or author of “that book so-and-so-recommended”.

I’m a little picky when it comes to what I’ll read. I do read a lot of Catholic or Christian books, though not by default. I tend towards Chesterton, Greene, Tolkien, and Waugh when all else fails.

For me, reading reviews/synopses is a crucial part of the decision process. I simply don’t want to be stuck with an overly sexualized or dumbed-down piece of literature! And unfortunately there’s a lot of that out there. Contemporary fiction is totally hit or miss. (Funny story- my mother-in-law, not having heard of 50 Shades of Grey before, asked me if I wanted it for my Kindle. I hadn’t heard of it at the time either, so I quickly jumped online to do some research. My response was pretty much “um… I don’t think that sounds like a book I’d read.” And I left it at that!)

Great topic. I love your blog!

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