What’s your strategy at the library?

Here's a stack of books I got from the library. How I LOVE to read...

When choosing a library book do you (A.) plan out ahead of time what you would like to read, or do you (B.) just wander the aisles looking for something to jump out at you?

My husband Tim uses Strategy A. (He is an engineer.)Being the logical guy that he is, he has a list of the books he WANTS to read, stored on his phone. So then when he goes the library, he opens up his list and then knows exactly which books he will look for and check out. Very purposeful. Very logical.

My strategy is B. (I am NOT an engineer.)I go to the library with my mind wide open. I can get as many or as few books as I feel like. I don’t always feel the need to read all of the books either, so choosing a book is a very low-pressure endeavor for me. Very random. Very intuitive.

There are several authors I like to read, so if nothing else jumps out at me, I’ll go to the section where my favorites are located and see if there are any books I haven’t read yet.

I have just a few requirements when choosing a random book.

  1. The cover has to be well-designed (I was a graphic designer for about 10 years before I began painting full-time.)
  2. If it’s FICTION it has to be clean (I don’t want the plot to revolve around people having affairs, or being butchered, etc.)
  3. If it’s NON-Fiction it can be any random subject (I always check out the “New” section of non-fiction books first) as long as it meets the first two requirements on this list.

The last time we went to the library, I went to find a fiction book by author, Anne River Siddons. She is a Southern writer who writes a lot of novels that take place in South Carolina, so I’ve been enjoying “learning” more about this state through the eyes of her most-enjoyable stories.

So first I went to the “Sid” section of the fiction area and found a book by this author. Then I just started looking at the titles that were above and below the “Siddons” shelf. As you can see in the photo, I checked out 3 other books that were right in the same section. So by the chance of this random method, I’m going to read books by two different authors with the last name “Shreve,” one by “Shriver.” We’ll see if they’re any good or not. If not… no love lost. I’ll just return them and get something else.

Sometimes the books I get are total duds, but SOMETIMES, this strategy lets me stumble upon a brilliant author that I end up loving.

So what’s your strategy? Post a comment and let us know!

These seven books are on my shelf right now. I'm saving the novels for our trip to Florida. My perfect vacation involves LOTS of good reading.

7 thoughts on “What’s your strategy at the library?

  1. I actually use both of these methods from time to time, but I have only recently been able to return a book that I didn’t read. I have a thing about abandoning books….

    I usually enjoy a good Anita Shreve book (how have I not told you about this author before?), but I don’t think this was my favorite one of the bunch. It may not meet your second item in your list of criteria, if I remember the plot well enough.

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    • Would you be appalled then to know that I started 3 of those books within a 24 hour period before landing on one I liked enough to keep reading. I WAS on vacation, so I thought it was OK to be so choosy. The Shreve book is actually pretty good, which surprised me… I like the unusual style she’s writing in with this book.

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