How To Choose Your Next Book

I don’t buy a lot of books. If I do, they’re usually nonfiction so I can write and highlight in them. Ryan is pretty budget obsessed and I am pretty book obsessed, so our compromise is the library.

So I get most of my books from the library. And I do this thing when I need a new book.

First of all, I have loads of books on a Hold List on my library app, so if one of those is available– then it’s easy, that’s my next read. But if none are waiting for me and I’m not really in the mood for nonfiction, and I don’t have a book around the house I want to read… I do this thing.

I go to the library and open up my Goodreads app. I start at the top (my most recent additions) and start looking for each book on the library shelf. The rules are (made up for myself by myself… because I am a ginormous dork inside my own brain) that I have to go down the list in order and I have to check out the first book I find.

I did this today, since I just finished “The Last Time I Lied” by Riley Sager, which was excellent. I started at the top of my Goodreads list and just wove up and down the aisles of the library looking for each author name and book title. It’s like a scavenger hunt. For one person. It’s totally lame. But I love it.

Unfortunately, it was super crowded today. It turns out that there are lots of poor high school and middle school kids being tutored at our local library on Sunday afternoons. I kept wandering past a girl with a confused look on her face while her tutor said horrible things like, “velocity” and “find x” and “now we need to solve for y!” and I so badly wanted to save her somehow. But I couldn’t think of a way that didn’t involve pulling the fire alarm or kidnapping. So I had to leave her behind. Poor kid.

In order to do this library thing for your next book, you have to be willing to walk past lots of classics that will remind you of promises you’ve made to yourself to read more “literature” and you have to also be willing to look like a lunatic pacing the library aisles back and forth, excusing yourself as you squeeze by the same librarian shelving books over and over even though she is clearly annoyed with you. It’s not for everyone. And my children hate it. They haven’t stepped into a library with me in years. They have to patience for pretend library games for one.

I always feel like I’m being led to my next book somehow, like we were meant to find each other. Which is something I tell myself as I walk past a Hemingway section.

So I’m happy to report that I was successful today and landed my next book: “The Wife Between Us” by Greer Hendricks.

I still feel vaguely guilt ridden about the fact that I didn’t choose something by Dickens or that I still haven’t read both “Where the Red Fern Grows” OR “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, two books that send a jolt of shame every time I come across their titles. But if the universe wanted me to read those books, it wouldn’t have led me to “The Wife Between Us.” It was meant to be.

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