Reading Patterns

'Lady in a Green Jacket' - August Macke

I was just looking through my reading records and I have never realised how erratic my reading choices are. I have only kept track of books I’ve read since I started this blog which was three quarters into 2008. There is no pattern in my reading choices. I don’t have a planned out TBR list where I read one book after another according to the structured list nor do I stay in one genre or period. I tend to jump around a lot. For example, last year I re-read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and then I read She Came to Stay by Simone de Beauvoir. That is quite a dramatic leap! Then I re-read Chamber of Secrets followed by reading Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus. Just looking at the sidebar of recent reviews, there is Jules Verne’s sci-fi classic followed by American Psycho!

There seems to be more of pattern or stability this year. I would like to stick with one author or one period for a little while to get a deeper knowledge and to immerse myself fully into the period or author but as soon as my brain realises that book selection is no longer a whimsy choice, it rebels. This is why I always fail at reading challenges no matter how simple they are – my disobedient brain. Ever since university finished, I have really enjoyed having the luxury to simply pluck books from shelves and begin reading them and I’m able to read whatever takes my fancy.

How do you decide what to read next?

P.S. The painting hasn’t really anything to do with the post but I just love it. 🙂



    1. I find that even if I do love a book, such as my recent discovery of the Agatha Raisin series, I still can’t read them all in one go. Maybe I’m secretly saving them to slowly devour in the future!

  1. There’s no real pattern to my reading either – I usually just choose whatever I’m in the mood for. I enjoy taking part in reading challenges but I try not to make lists in advance because I know I won’t stick to them!

    1. I’ve tried numerous reading challenges – including the ‘Chunkster’ challenge where the only rule is that the book must be longer than 450 pages and I still failed that! I have to find a way to trick my brain…

  2. I tend to read whatever is due back at the library next, but I have a relatively diverse mix of books on that list, so I can make some pretty big jumps in terms of genre, settings etc.

    1. I’ve found I’ve been doing that a little too but that’s been wearing me down and my brain’s rebelling. It wants books not dictated by the due date.

  3. I read what’s on my book club list, use challenges to read books in my TBR stack, get books that interest me (via blogs or book reviews), or any ARCs that I have time to read.

    So, my reading is not scheduled, except for the book club ones.

    1. I find that I tend to hoard books that have been recommended to me. I know I will read them but it’s up to my brain to decide when it’s the best time to read them.

  4. I think that having to read set texts at uni, which I didn’t always want to read or enjoy reading, has made me more inclined to read whatever takes my fancy. I’ve been adding lots of books from different genres to my TBR list lately, and am enjoying diversifying a bit more in my reading adventures.

    1. Yes, I think having been told what to read for a large part of my life might have something to do with my dedication to whimsical pickings these days. It’s just fantastic to have such freedom, isn’t it?

  5. The picture is wonderful!

    It´s great that you read so diversely, makes your blog very interesting to read.

    I do have a list of tbr titles but I really just grab the book I´m in the mood for or I read the one that I have to get back to the library soon 🙂 I think there´s lots of mystery books in my reading list but that´s my escape genre and other than that I just read general fiction.

    1. I love August Macke and his style of painting. It’s so … infatuating! I don’t have a TBR list but I do have shelves of books I’ve yet to read (and I keep buying more books…) so I guess that’s a little similar. Cozy mysteries are my escapist reads too. 🙂

  6. I love the luxury of just plucking what I wish, as well; sadly, in a way, I’ve agreed to so many reviews (or my new passion: read-alongs) my time is one again limited. It’s a dilemna. Should I say no to reading new books requested by the publisher and deny myself the experience just so I can read something I already have? It’s something I’m still undecided on…

    1. Seeing your review timetable makes me anxious! I think Australian bloggers don’t get as many freebies as US and UK bloggers do and while I’m half jealous that the bibliophilic tendencies won’t bankrupt my fellow bloggers, I’m also glad because I would feel so pressured to read and review the book. I hope you manage to find a nice halfway mark. 🙂

  7. I’ve been asking myself that question lately. It seems I’m just as random as you are. I’ll mix YA, with classics, with horror, and short fiction. I’ve recently tried to start being more organized with my reading habits but I don’t know if it’ll stick.

  8. I’ve tried planning, but I really can’t. Like you I’d love to stay within a certain era, country, or whatever for a while reading-wise, but I never seem to succeed.

    1. Perhaps it will feel too much like uni? But I do love the intense study sessions of particular works though. This makes me quite nostalgic!

    1. Yes, the problem is probably too many books in the TBR staring at me with all their genres and topics and eras…I just want to read them all immediately!

  9. I’m a very whimsical reader. The Harry Potter > Simone de Beauvoir transition sounds like one I’d make too 😛 If on the one hand I do enjoy reading in-depth about a particular subject or time period, I like to do it over time, otherwise I get impatient. So yeah, I follow to real rule to pick what I’m going to read next – nothing other than the reading mood I happen to be in, that is.

    1. It just seemed really bizarre to read Harry then French existentialism the next. 🙂 I think impatient describes the feeling I get too if I’m reading one topic or subject over a period. There’s just too many others out there to be read!

  10. I have cravings fo certain books or types of book… The problem is that I tend to buy books in threes or fours, but once I’ve read one, I no longer have the craving for the other three and go and buy more instead! If I read 2 or 3 novels, I’ll have a need to read a non-fiction book, and vice versa. If I read something light or fluffy, I’ll have an urge for Sartre or Naomi Klein. If I read something that interests me, I may get an urge to read other books on the same subject, or set in the same era. On the whole though, I tend to like fairly solid books, books with something to say, and I have a real affinity with recent-historical novels i.e set between 1890 and 1950. Then again, sometimes, it can just be an intriguing cover or title that draws me in…


  11. I frame my reading around book group reads (I’m a librarian and run two book groups, participating in another) and books sent to me for review. Running alongside that I also have at least one historical/philosophical/what have you interest, which right now is American Colonial history and the witch trials.

    But to see my bookshelves it would be like your experience – all over the place! I have an Alice in Wonderland pop-up book sitting next Sarah Waters’ ‘Affinity’ and ‘Soul Mountain’ written by a Nobel Prize-winner. No rhyme or reason to any of it!

  12. I am EXACTLY the same Mae! I find it difficult book after book by a particular author (or in a particular era/genre) and wish I could, cause then I could actually have a deeper understanding of their work.

    Have never even attempted to enter any reading challenges for this very reason. I’m glad there’s someone else out there with a similar way of reading 😛

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