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Question: What Tends To Be The Deciding Factor When Choosing Your Next Great Read?


I know this is probably going to sound ridiculous, but I’m going to have to go with time, and now more than ever on account of the fact that I’m getting married in… 29 DAYS!! Whenever I come across a book that I’m interested in reading, the first thing I do is check my blog calendar. I’m a planner so I try to schedule my reviews around release dates, and fill everything in-between with requests, series catch-up, and my own personal picks.

Another important factor for me is is it available in audio? I’m currently listening to almost as many books as I’m reading, so this is a biggie for me. All of this wedding planning madness has forced me to become a multitasker extraordinaire! I’m not sure whether this trend is going to continue after the big day, but in the past two months I’ve racked up more listening hours than, well, ever.

And sometimes, after a long day, I pick a book based solely on my mood whether it’s the result of a little “retail therapy” or a random grab from my overflowing shelves.

What Tends To Be The Deciding Factor When Choosing Your Next Great Read?

Carmel Signature

Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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  1. I’m strictly a mood reader..but I do try to get my reviews in or around a release date. I wish I could be more organized. .but I’m still working on that. 🙂

    • My organization comes from nearly 4 years of book blogging, plus I just like lists. LOL

  2. A lot depends on what new releases are out. Next is what am I in the mood for? Humor, sexiness, violence, suspense. Lastly, top of mind. If I get a great recommendation when I’m just starting to look for a book to read, it will probably get read before stuff that has been on my TBR list for a while. I am a out of site, out of mind person.

    Like you, I’ve been doing more listening than reading these days, so that is also a factor as well if I like the narrator.

    • I have this complicated formula of genre + cover + ratings/reviews + supe type (i.e. are there werewolves?) + blogger recommendations +… But, this week’s question asks to pick just one factor, so I kept it simple. Hehe

  3. Pure mood. Sometimes I will glance at release dates, but I have no problem putting off arcs for a library book or a reread off my shelf. For my audio books I look for length. I library them all, and I can get through about 10 hours in the three weeks I get to check them out. So lots of YA comes from audio.

    And congratulations!

    • 10 hours in 3 weeks? That used to be me last year, now I can do that in two days. LOL

  4. LOVE hearing that audio availability is a factor for you – we need to keep making more of them, obviously! For me, books for pleasure are about balancing what I’m reading for work, and/or what I happen upon in the library.

    • If I’d answered this question a year ago, the audiobook factor wouldn’t have even been a blip on my radar. It’s crazy how quickly things can change!

  5. I’m mostly a mood reader. I have found that I have zero patience for audio books so my books have to be bound or in e-book format.

    • Thanks for participating in this week’s question post!

  6. I didn’t know you were getting married soon, that is awesome and so exciting!!!

    I do the same, I check all my blog tours and ARCs first and then go from there and grab whichever one stands out the most to be that needs to be read first, sometimes it is an easy choice but not always.

    • It’s equally exciting and nerve racking! I’m not worried about marrying # 1, more so the actual day itself. Fingers crossed that all goes well, and *knocks on wood* that it doesn’t rain.

  7. my mood is first off, then cover or title. just this week I tried to read a book that sounded cool, but stopped it. But also this week , I read all lined up because my friend read it and loved it. So bumped it up the reading pile. Lately all the books I have been reading have been on my kindle. 🙂 gotta review for books lol

    • i’m a sucker for a pretty cover, but I try to resist adding books to my TBR pile based solely on that, because the artwork can be VERY misleading.

  8. +JMJ+

    I’m a “pantser” rather than a planner in both my writing and my reading, so I tend to read whatever I’ve just gravitated to. It helps to have friends who are always name-dropping titles or authors. =) Just this evening, a friend told me that she didn’t like a certain novel but something in her description made me think that I would like it. After some quick research revealed that part of the novel was set in Atlantis, I knew I’d have to read it. You see, I had already promised someone that I’d read some Plato with him next month, and he happened to say that one of the dialogues we’d cover were those that mention Atlantis. I really like it when I can “chain read” like that.;-)

    • I like reading negative reviews for that very reason. Someone else’s beef can be your fav thing ever. You just never know!

      • +JMJ+

        Exactly! I get so much more information from negative reviews than from positive ones. I just hope my friend won’t disown me if I end up liking that book she hates. LOL!

  9. Mood. And book club schedule, though sometimes my book club reads suffer because I’m not in the mood for it. I also have started trying to consider release dates for any books I am trying to review, but mood impacts my schedule more than anything else.

    • I wish i had more freedom to be a mood reader, but alas, book blogging has ruined me. LOL

  10. I keep a calendar too and I try to stick to it. But sometimes I have to throw it out of the window… like right now, I just keep hitting books that aren’t doing it for me and I think it’s because my calendar doesn’t reflect my mood. So I wiped as much of the calendar as I could and I’m going for what I feel like reading right now, which is apparently historicals. Weird for me, but I seem to be UF burnt out right now. Oh and if it’s on audio with a good narrator, that definitely helps a book get picked for me too!

    • Sometimes it’s best to just ignore the calendar. It can take all of the fun out of reading.

  11. Oh my gosh YAY WEDDING!!!!!!! I hope you have a spectacular day Carmel, and I wish you and your husband-to-be all the best:)

    Time is definitely a deciding factor for me as well. I’m somewhat fanatical about keeping a schedule for the blog, I can’t not have a plan of attack for review books! Sometimes though I abandon the schedule completely if I’m lucky enough to get a copy of something I’ve been dying to read – then it rockets to the top of the pile and I pounce on it immediately:)

    • Thank you!! I’ve gone a little schedule crazy as of late on account of the wedding. Is it sad that I’m spending more time planning which reviews will go live while I’m on my honeymoon instead of day-of details?? 😉

  12. MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD! If I try to squeeze in something I am not in the mood for, I don’t care how good the book is I won’t love it.

    Really only 29 more days! I am very excited for you 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Yeah, but at the rate you go through audios you don’t have my time issue, so you’re lucky. YES!! I will post pics of the big day once I have ’em. 😀

  13. I am also a MOOD reader. LOL Sometimes I even switch books in the middle if I feel the book is not not matching my mood.

    • I’ve been known to put a book aside in favor of another one. Like, when a shiny new ARC lands on my doorstep for instance, but I rarely do so because of my mood.

  14. I’m a horrible mood reader. There are some I *have* to read by a certain time but mostly, it’s mood.

  15. First I look over which review books are coming close to when they have to go up, and if they’re still a few months away, I mostly go by what I’m in the mood for. If I’m in a really picky mood I won’t even consider due dates for books, just what I want to read at that moment. Sometimes I can go days without picking anything lol.

    • It’s nice to take a break sometimes, or read just for the sake of it, and not actually review the book.

  16. Lately it has mostly been which review comes first…

    • I’m happy to report that I’m currently caught-up on all of my review commitments, but now that I’ve said this, my inbox will probably get flooded with requests. LOL

  17. Congratulations on the wedding! I’m not a planner at all, more of a mood reader. I do shelf my books and ARC’s by release month in GR and I try to go through that month to see what I’m in the mood for. I also check to see if it’s available on audio.

    • Thanks! Wow, I’m surprised that so many bloggers are mood readers. I’d be lost without my calendar.

  18. ARC’s are usually looked at first for me. If I can put it off, I do-unless it’s one I have been waiting for(that happened already this week)I do have one ARC that I have had for months literally and keep putting off-but it is due in July so will have to read it soon! Other then ARC’s, mood is true for me too.

    • Sometimes I get an ARC months ahead, and put it off until the last minute while as others I read it right away. Depends on the author.

  19. It’s a balancing act! I’m a huge type A personality so basically a whole bunch of factors go into it – first review books get priority and then it depends on how I’m feeling. Luckily there’s usually a bunch of books in my to-be-reviewed pile so there’s always something to fit every mood. And then I like to mix it up a bit – like I’ll choose a UF if I haven’t read one in a while, or vary the publishers, or just any kind of variation. I never really feel the whole “I can’t decide what to read next!”

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding btw! 🙂

    • It sounds like you are very organized! And, thanks! 🙂

  20. I have turned into a planner as well, and need to get even more in depth with it, because even though I make a list of books I have gotten or requested with their pub date, I was still totally overwhelmed this month and playing catch up and stressing.

    • That’s no fun. It’s important to find a system that works for you, otherwise you can feel like you are drowning.

  21. Unless it is an author on my must read list, I consult my calendar first particularly for review books. I accept a certain amount of books each month and no more, since I am also an impulsive reader I like to be able to add impulse reads, and reads based on my mood. I just limit my choices to the books scheduled.

    • That’s a good way to look at it. I try to split it down the middle: half review books, and half personal picks.

  22. If a specific schedule (book club, review tour) doesn’t dictate what I read, I have a hard time picking the next book. Sometimes it really is eenie meenie minie moe.

    • Sometimes random picks turn out to be the best ones. 🙂

  23. I have become a slave to my calendar, and I am hoping to break away from that in the next couple of months so I can have more freedom, these days I am picking up books based on release dates and scheduled posts. I really want to just be able to pick up a book at whim. I am also doing more audiobooks with a three and five year old who require a lot of attention, I walk them daily and listen.

    • It’s important that your “me” time not feel like a job. I try to always leave room for impulse reads. 🙂

  24. The only reason I specifically read on a schedule is if the book is for a blog tour or for review. Other than that I just choose books depending on my mood, or on the hype it surrounds it. If I force myself to read a book, I won’t enjoy it.

    Also, congratulations on your big day! Planning a wedding is soooo stressful, so I hope everything turns out okay for you 🙂

    • When I first started blogging I tried to accept every review request I received, and ended up really hating what I was reading. Never again! And, thanks! 🙂

  25. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, Carmel! I’m sure you’ll have a beautiful and exciting and lovely day!

    I plan, too! As soon as I am approved for a blogtour, I schedule my review (even before I receive the book) both so I know when I have to read and review it by, and so that it shows up in my side-bar as an upcoming blogtour.

    My kindle is organized too – I have a blogtour shelf and an ARCs to read shelf on my kindle. Is that sad, or awesome?

    And since I’m incapable of choosing only one, I have to admit that in between my scheduled reads, I go with my mood – I know exactly which authors will tickle my fancy based on whether I want to read something sexy, something snarky, something sad or something paranormal 🙂

    • Thank you! 🙂 My lists haven’t yet made the leap to my Kindle shelves, but thanks for the great idea. LOL

  26. How fabulous that you are getting married! CONGRATULATIONS Carmel! ♥

    I’m not sure that I have any rhyme or reason on the way I pick my next book. I rarely do blog tours or ARC’s so it really just depends what I’m in the mood for. Sometimes if a friend says READ.THIS.NOW. I won’t read the blurb and just buy it because I trust her, you know? Other times I know what I’ve been meaning to read and there are way too many moments when I’m just like, what should I read next? See? No thought process at all! LOL 🙂

    • Such chaos! It would drive me INSANE! LOL But, if it works for you, why not. And, thanks! I’m super excited… and nervous. Hehe

  27. I definitely always check the schedule that i have which houses all the review books I’ve received split up by month. So I try to read those close to release time but sometimes more and more lately I’m behind and then those books don’t seem quite so shiny anymore and now I’m giving myself leeway to jump around and read whatever I want. I still try to stick to the list and heck lately I’ve been so behind I haven’t even had time to dip into the books that are ones I buy for myself. The pressure is on and for that reason I’ve been backing off on the number of books I’ve requested and accepted for review. Luckily my two local besties are going to be helping read and review from my mountain of review books.

    Congrats on the wedding now being less than a month away. I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding this saturday (my first time) a bit nerve racking as I haven’t come up with a speech yet!

    • Associate reviewers are lifesavers; use them well! I was a bridesmaid a few years ago at my sister’s wedding (so she’s now a matron of honor and HATES it. Haha), and it wasn’t that bad, but I didn’t have to give a speech. Good luck!

  28. I follow a schedule too! Oh, and Congratulations Carmel! ^_^

    I usually just choose a random book – “Oh, that’s interesting. YOU ARE MY NEXT VICTIM TO PRY APART AND CRITICIZE. Or Fangirl.”

    • Thank you! Sometimes it’s fun to just wake-up, one-click buy a random book, and spend all day reading it.

  29. I have to check my schedule once I finish a book so I know if I have a review coming up that I need to read. If I don’t and I’m not in the mood then I usually go by mood…do I want something funny, something sexy, something with kickass MC’s?

    • It’s definitely good to mix it up from time to time! How else would you squeeze in all of the books I push on you? 😉

  30. I’m starting to be a mood reader, if I’m in the mood for that book then yay!! Otherwise I save it for later or wait until around the release date.

    • Another mood reader! I am shocked by how many bloggers just fly by the seat of their pants.

  31. Ooh your wedding is coming up FAST! Good luck on your big day! 🙂 And I about do the same – I go by a rough schedule (rough as in I don’t have a set schedule of all books I read, but I try to read by release date for ARCs. So I’ll pick between those who are releasing next) and if I have a free spot that is not taken by an ARC I mostly go by recs from friends who I know don’t let me down. I have a long list of those so I’ll be set for a while! 🙂

    • Thank you! I’m going to need it. LOL 😉 Some of my blogger peeps just send me books. So yeah I hear ya, I’m in no danger of running out any time soon either!

  32. I’m a planner too. But this year I’ve backed off of doing too many blog tours so that I can be more of a mood reader.

    Since about 80% of my reading this year has been audio books I look at the day of the week and how long an audio is. Since I do 95% of my listening at work & on the drive to/from work I can usually get an audio that’s 9 hours or less done in a day maybe two if people feel the need to TALK to me at work and I have to pause my audios more.

    My work schedule is so that my company is closed every other Friday. So if I’m working a 4 day week and it’s Wednesday and I’m going to start another audio then I’ll pick a “short” one that 9 hours or less so that I know I can finish by the close of business on Thursday. I don’t like to stop in the middle of an audio for the weekend so I prefer to finish my current listen so that I can start a new on Mondays.

    As far as my books that I read I look at my blog calendar to see if I have any blog tour books and I’ll read them 1st so I can meet the post date. But other than that I just read what I want when I want.

    Oh, I try my best to read my Netgalley books in time for release day/week but sometimes my mood puts me behind and I’ll read something else instead.

    • I’m still in awe of you & Felicia’s audiobook listening prowness. Thanks for the long ass comment. 😉 <3

  33. It really just depends on my mood, my calendar, time, etc. I try to leave time in between scheduled reviews to read what I want and to allow for a break.

  34. I’m trying to get back to being more of a mood reader. I’ve gotten so behind on favorite series and my tbr is ginormous. I just need more time! *ha*

    29 days?? Yep, time is definitely a consideration for you, my dear! 😉

    • I’m excited for the big day, but I’m also looking forward to things going back to normal. These past few months have been crazy! I miss my books.

  35. Congrats on the coming marriage!

    If the book is coming up on my schedule, then that’s a main factor. Then by release dates. But after that, I go by feeling for that day. Which book do I feel like the most.

    • Sometimes I just ignore my inbox for a couple of days and read whatever I damn want. LOL

  36. You’re getting married? Nooo don’t do it! Kidding. How exciting! For me the #1 thing is my mood. And oh how it can flip in an instant. And then it depends on what my blogging calendar looks like. But if I’m not in the mood for it, then I’ll just end up pissed off at the book.

  37. I find if I schedule my reads too far in advance I lose interest in reading them. For me it all depends on my mood lately!! Good luck with the last of your wedding plans *exciting*

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

    • Too much scheduling can take the fun out of reading. It’s important to find a happy middle.

  38. Yeeey, 29 days!! Insanity, most likely, high stress levels I’m guessing, but yeeey!

    I plan my reads too, schedule in the review and try to stick to it or catastrophe hits, lol. Okay, not catastrophe, but suckiness happens, lol. The first decision is, if it’s part of a series, do I have time to read the books already out, or should I postpone this one for a while? If it’s a stand-alone or can be read as one, I’m gonna jump on it. If it’s an author I loved something by, I’m jumping in regardless of any schedule or anything, lol! If it’s hinting at a cool anti-hero kind of character, again, jumping right in 😀

    I don’t know how you ladies do audiobooks, I mean they take soooo freaking long to listen to! The three or four times I tried one out I ended up turning the volume down on it, kept going as background and whipped up the ebook to read ahead :)) Yes, I know, it takes someone special to do that :))

    • That’s the weirdest way I’ve ever heard of listening to audiobooks. LOL Too bad you can’t read & listen to two different novels at the same time. Now THAT would be awesome!

      • Oh My God!!! You realize now I’m gonna try that, right? :)) Seriously doubt it’ll work, but wouldn’t it be awesome though? 😀

      • Haha Good luck! I think my head would explode for information overload. LOL

  39. Mood is the main factor. Then by what I need to read the soonest. I listen to audiobooks when cleaning and driving but with two kids always talking it takes longer than I’d like to get through them.

    • I can understand why audiobooks and kids don’t mix, so I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

  40. First…Congrats on your upcoming wedding! How exciting!!! Now on to the question. Before blogging it was all about mood. Now it’s all about the calendar. It’s the first thing I check before picking out my next book to read.

  41. I’m a mood reader but lately I’ve been busy so I tend to grab a novella of something that I know will be a quicker read.

    I can’t read guide books. I get distracted and lose my place all the time lol

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

  42. I have two criteria: do I have a review coming soon? Does it fit one of my personal challenges? (This year, I’ve been trying to read old books from the TBR…some of the them have been there for 3+ years!) Whether they are available on audio is also a big plus. Listening has become so much easier than reading laterly. But sometimes, if I find that I cannot find what to pick, I just go by mood. Just today, I was looking around on my Kindle, opened the first book that looked good and voila! I read halfway before I realized it. It felt so good!

  43. I guess I pick books based on what I read recently. I don’t like to read too many books in the same genre in a row. If I’ve read too many NA contemporary books then I need to read maybe an adult romance or YA paranormal. I also do it based on how much time I have. I was avoiding long books for a while because I was in a medical program where my time was limited and I didn’t want to spend over a month on one long book. Now that I graduated maybe I’ll dive into some of those longer reads.