The more blogs I come across, the more I enjoy hearing about how people choose which books to read. The quote "nobody promises you tomorrow" was passed on by a virtual friend of mine, and has completely stuck in my head. Let's face it - not very many people read (or do anything) as if it was the last thing they will ever do. Morbid? Perhaps, but I think it teaches us that living in the moment is more important than anything else [provided you don't have to worry about physiological or other basic needs - thanks Maslow].
The hardest thing with running a book club is what books you will read and in what order. I use a democratic selection process, where people vote first if they want to read the work or not and second, they rank the top five. Based on that, the cream floats to the top, the water falls to the bottom and then there is a hybrid of things in between. We usually revisit the list periodically depending on when the cream runs out and we start to get into the middle works. While this process continues to be refined [there are many criteria which I have removed for the sake of not running onto a tangent], it seems to work as of now.
The question that has been plaguing me (and really, this is too strong a word for such a thought), is what do I read in between our monthly selections? Along with the one book a month I read, I can usually make it to about 8 more... and I have a tough time making a judgement call on what comes next. I'd like to see what the blogging community would choose, if they were me. Keep in mind that I generally prefer classics, but we read only shorter (less than 500 page) classics and have a wide range of author choices (but not more than two works from each).
So here is what I am contemplating:
1. Do I read the book I feel most passionate first in case I get hit by a bus tomorrow?
2. Do I read longer novels since I will not get to them in the book club? Keep in mind that this limits how many books I can read and I may lose continuity if each book takes me 3 months or so (yes, I'm a slow reader).
3. Do I read books that the the book club votes down since there will be no chance for a live discussion?
4. Do I read modern books and/or non-fiction instead of classic fiction?
5. Do I try to make my way through the modern library list from 1 to 100? 100 to 1?
6. Do I go the route of a true bibliophile and read everything by one author before moving on to the next?
7. Do I just read whatever speaks to me at the time? [my current ad-hoc methodology]
What would you do?