Monday, April 17, 2017

N is for “Number Generator”

Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day in April (except Sundays), I’ll be sharing a short bookish memory with you.

When you have a shelf that’s overloaded with unread books, how do you decide what to read next? Some people are mood readers: They choose whichever book they’re in the mood to read. I’m not one of those people. Unless there’s something stressful going on in my life, I can read any book at any time.

That’s where the number generator comes in. I let a random number generator pick which book I read next. I go to this website and click the "Generate" button to pick a number. Then I count along my shelf of unread books and read whichever book the website picked. All my unread books are on one shelf, so that makes counting pretty easy.



Some of my unread books.


There are five reasons why this is the most awesome way to read:


1. I don’t have to make up my mind. If you own a lot of books, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by choice. The number generator makes the choices for me, so I’m never stressed out.


2. TBR lists are boring. I used to make monthly To-Be-Read lists, but it’s boring to always know what’s going to happen next. Life needs spontaneity.


3. Surprises. Random number generators are random. The next book you read will always be a surprise.


4. Nobody knows if you cheat. If the generator chooses a 700-page behemoth that you don’t feel like tackling right now, you could always pick another number . . .


5. Mix of old and new books. The generator could choose a book you bought yesterday or one that’s been sitting around for a year. You never know. It could encourage you to read that sequel you’ve been putting off.



How do you choose what to read next? 






29 comments:

  1. Great idea! Right now I have to read a book I said I would review. Otherwise, I would be reading Sarah Dunant's new book--I tend to see what my favorite authors have recently published and if I want to read them. It's insane, though, how many books are in my TBR pile.

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    1. My TBR pile is small compared to most book bloggers. I blame being perpetually broke. No money for books.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. That wouldn't work for me with hundreds of books on six bookcases to pick from! I like to plan a theme for the month ahead and choose a pile I'd like to get to then read as much as I can. Mostly I get through the month reading from the list. On the odd occasion I get bored with the theme and switch to reading what I want. Mostly I like planning ahead as I get too overwhelmed by the numbers of books I have to do any mood reading!

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    1. You have so many books on your TBR that you’d probably be counting forever if you picked a random number. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. But how do you handle multiple book cases with multiple shelves? And then do you reshuffle your shelves when you read the shelf? Because you could end up having a book you've read before.

    Not that that is a bad thing, but if the goal is to read all the things then re-reading is not productive to that goal. I'm over thinking this... aren't I?

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    1. All my unread books are on one shelf. Right now, there are around 35 books on that shelf, so I’d pick a number between 1 and 35. Then I’d count along that shelf. The books get reshuffled whenever I add new books because I have to find a place for the new ones.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. What a clever method. Mine are mostly on Kindle and I just flick thorugh until one catches my attention.

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    1. That’s how I used to do it, but I always ended up reading the brand new ones and neglecting the old ones.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. Guilty of being a mood reader. I've never been able to pick up any book at any time. To a degree, my "next" choice is determined by which genre groove I happen to be in at the moment and availability from my city library's selection on Overdrive. This year I've been reading more literary / women's fiction because it has been helpful to my own current fiction project to be steeped in family drama.
    http://laurelgarver.blogspot.com/2017/04/n-nervous.html

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    1. I think that’s how most people choose their next book. I’m a weirdo, so I buy a ton of books and stick them on a shelf. I’m a slow reader, so it takes me forever to get through them.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. Interesting method of choosing books. I have to pick what I read based on my mood at the time. If I don't, I'll never get through it…

    With Love,
    Mandy

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    1. I’ve heard a lot of people say that. They have to read the right book at the right time.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. What an interesting idea that maybe I will try when I retire, whenever that will be. I'm always reading at least one book for work, one for a men's book club and one for sure pleasure (which is always my favorite).

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    1. The number generator works for me because there’s never anything I _have_ to read. I don’t even get review copies like most book bloggers.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. I stare at the shelves until something jumps out at me. Sometimes it's an old favorite and sometimes it's something I haven't read in years.

    N is for Operation Northwoods

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    1. I do that when I reread books. I just stare at my shelves until something gets my attention.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  9. I always have more than one book on the go at a time. Usually at least one fiction and one non-fiction. I pick based on mood and have been known to judge a book by its cover as I pick the next one to start. My TBR books are not contained on one shelf so I would have to modify the random number generator. I do like that idea as sometimes I just don't know what to start next.

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    1. I always try to have 2 books going at once, too. One is a short story collection, and one is either fiction or nonfiction.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. I love this!! My shelves are a mess but I have done this with my Goodreads lists. Mostly I have an ARC reading kind of list but throw in some mood reads.

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    1. My Goodreads shelves are a mess. For better-organized people, counting books on Goodreads is probably easier than counting them in real life.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  11. Oh boy, you're going to regret asking this!

    I've got a bookcase in my living room with three shelves which have two rows of books on (front and back), plus a 'children's bookcase' and a 'classics bookcase'. The books are organised in various ways on the shelves (by series/author usually), I read through them in a set pattern, alternating each book-book with an ebook.

    So at the moment it looks something like this:
    - Tolkien book (front row, top shelf)
    - ebook
    - Random book (back row, top shelf)
    - ebook
    - Kathy Reichs book (front row, middle shelf)
    - ebook
    - Random book (back row, middle shelf)
    - ebook
    - One of my husband's books (front row, bottom shelf)
    - ebook
    - Earth's Children book (back row, bottom shelf)
    - ebook
    - Edge Chronicles book (children's bookcase)
    - ebook
    - Penguin Little Black Classic (classics bookcase)
    - ebook

    And then I go back to the beginning again.

    The ebooks are chosen fairly randomly as well, it used to be whichever ones were at the bottom of the list on my Kindle, now I've got a new one which is letting me arrange Collections, so I'm treating the collections like bookshelves of their own.

    I like it to be random, but I like a little structure in there too so this works well for me but writing it out like this makes it sound kind of obsessive!

    Cait @ Click's Clan

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    1. This is...remarkable. And I think this is the perfect audience to explain your system to. Lately I've started trying to rotate between one library book, one book I own, and one book from my classroom library. It makes me feel less panicky somehow.

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    2. Wow, that is impressive. I’m a little bit speechless . . .

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    3. Hehe, this is probably the only post I could comment on this on and have people get it (and find it impressive rather than crazy). ;-)

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  12. I'm largely a mood reader though I do keep a to read list for books I accept for review. I try to get to the advance copies before they publish. Girl Who Reads

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    1. Yeah, my process would probably be different if I accepted review copies. Right now, I don’t because I wouldn’t get them read on time.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  13. Fun idea. My TBR piles are outrageously large and this year I decided to make a concerted effort to really tame them. I'm closing my eyes and pulling the first book I touch, and so far I'm making great progress. Here's to always having good things to read!

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    1. I’ve actually done that same thing. Read the first book I touched.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  14. I love that you can do this. I wouldn't even know where to assign a number. I have loads of unread books with many on my kindle. I am usually just trying to read ARCs before their publication date.

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