1. Find a book shelf. Can be your own or at a book store or a library.
2. Look at all the choices you have available.
3. Get overwhelmed and cry a little.
4. Ok, actually just have a long cry.
5. Tell yourself you can actually do this.
6. Look back at the shelf.
7. Admire the pretty spines for a while. Maybe caress one or two.
8. Pull a few books off the shelf and admire and/or judge the cover art.
9. Put back all the books whose artwork doesn’t appeal to you.
10. Find some more books on the shelves and look at the artwork.
11. Once you have accumulated a giant pile of books, start reading some back cover reviews for the books in front of you and any number of the authors previous works.
12. If you are felling really adventurous, read the inside cover excerpts and summaries.
13. At this point you are likely feeling overwhelmed once more so visit Goodreads on your phone and look up some of the titles of the books in your pile. Perhaps read a review or two.
14. See another book or nine on Goodreads that you really should read since you have been meaning to for ages and try and find them on the shelf. Add to growing pile.
15. Now that you have a hoard that would satisfy a dragon, it’s time to start narrowing down the pile, you do only have one pair of eyes to read one book at a time after all.
16. Sort the books into ones you need to read right now and those that can wait a little while.
17. Hum and haw over your two piles for a while before putting back the ones that can wait.
18. Read a few first lines of each of the 3 books you must read right at this moment.
19. Narrow done the list to maybe 11.
20. Cry again because there are just too many choices! Why is the world so mean?
21. Try sorting the books alphabetically.
22. Somehow narrow down the pile to 10 books.
23. Sort them by colour. You swear you have read too many blue and red books this year and not enough green ones. Cull the list accordingly.
24. Cry some more because maybe that blue book, #7 was really the one you should read next.
25. Pull yourself together. Perhaps give yourself a pep talk: it’s only the next book, there will be many more books and you’ll get to them all at some point. You hope.
26. Finally pick a book!!
27. Watch an entire season of your favourite TV show as a reward for finally picking your next read.
28. Two days later start reading that book.
29. Read a few pages
30. Tweet about it and update your Goodreads profile to show you are reading the book. You should take an Instagram photo for good measure!
31. Read some more of the book, perhaps a whole chapter.
32. Have a break for food and to ponder if maybe you should have actually picked that other book, you know the one with the great opening line and that cover you just can’t stop thinking about.
33. Stop yourself from finding that book right then and there and read some more pages or the one you picked. You have to give it a fair chance after all.
34. Read a few more pages.
35. Tweet about being in a book slump and how you just don’t seem to be in the mood for your current read.
36. Try and read some more.
37A. Decide that this book really isn’t the next one for you and either a) pick up that other book you have been thinking about or b) start over from step 1.
37B. Or perhaps you really do like what you are reading, in which case Congratulations! You have successfully completed the step-by-step guide to picking your next read! Be sure to bookmark for when you have completed this book and need to pick your next one!