Why Picking a Book is The Worst

For someone plagued with the horrible “disease” of indecision, picking a book is basically the equivalent of pulling teeth. I’ve literally stood around bookstores – local ones, of course, because we gotta support our local bookstores – and just wandered between genres with the thought, is this what I want to read next? Almost always, the answer never comes and I usually leave with another journal to add to my collection of half full (or half empty, you choose) journals that will end up collecting dust on my personal bookshelf. Of course I do end up choosing books eventually, but the struggle to reaching that point where I finally take the plunge on a title is far too long.

I’m a Kindle user because if I were to purchase a hard copy of all the books I read throughout my short life (I am only 23) I wouldn’t have enough space to store them. So sometimes these decisions come from the comfort of my own home. Unfortunately, this does not make it any easier. The last book I chose, because it is possible for me to actually make a choice, took me 1.5 hours to finally make that decision. And to be frank, that is way too long. Can’t I just make decisions? I have no idea.

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Why is this so hard for me? I’ve literally asked myself this question a million times. There are all these places that offer recommendations of what would interest me based on my previous reads, like Goodreads, and yet this doesn’t actually help at all. Once, (the last time, if you want to know), I decided it would be smart to ask others for what they thought would be something I’d like to read. I had managed to narrow it down to some horror/thriller type of story so I sent a tweet with this message:

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 5.30.36 PMThis made it worse. Now I wasn’t plagued with having no choices to sift through, but having too many options. I had friends offering suggestions that all sounded amazing! I had gone full-circle.

What an awful way to live.

I am totally exaggerating. This is really not a horrible problem. People deal with worse shit than this; but here I am, complaining. Yeah, this is a rant of some sort, and I apologize. However, if you have to deal with indecision, you know that this problem spreads to all aspects of our lives and having to deal with it is actually the worst possible thing ever. And, picking books is so important to me! I am a literary nerd at heart. I want to be able to just indulge in some great works of fiction or non-fiction about whatever topic that sounds great. But I’m hindering myself by just not making a choice.

So, as I said, I did actually make a choice: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. I love it so far and definitely recommend it to others who love his type of writing and love The Shining. But to get to that point was horrific.

I can say that picking a book was easier once I had some suggestions to work with, but there has to be an easier way to reach that point. And this will be through lists!

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Yes, I have said it, lists. What if I make a list of each book that I will read next for the next five or ten books? I will have to suffer through the horrible experience of deciding which of the books will go on this list, but it could save me the trouble down the road. I don’t know. Maybe I could just pick a book off of my Goodreads “want to read” list by random and just read it. Maybe I could just read a goddamn book.

What a way to live, seriously. So here’s my call to all you people:
why is choosing a book so hard for you?
how do you choose books?
is it possible to overcome this issue?

Let me know! Hopefully I can update you all on my choosing next time and its improvement.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo(2); @_vanesaa/Twitter; Mikhail Pavstyuk/Unsplash

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5 comments on “Why Picking a Book is The Worst

  1. I’ve been reading consistently since 12 years old (I’m going on 31 years) and this reading “indecisiveness” has only become worse as I’ve developed tastes and preferences. More power to you if you can figure out a good way to choose books. Choosing books for me is an agonizing process that stretches across days and most times I just go back to my 1st or 2nd choice from the beginning of the search. These last few years I’ve become complacent with finding 4-5 series and letting the author dictate my reading when they publish new titles.

    • It might be that the fastest way for me to choose books is to stick with authors who I already know I love. However, I would end up feeling guilty of news authors I may not discover by sticking to this way of decision-making. Once I finish Doctor Sleep, I’ll experiment with ways on how to choose books – be it random, by first suggested first read, or something like that.

  2. I need to read more. I sort of wouldn’t mind having this problem. Lol. But, being an extremely indecisive person myself, I feel your pain. Hopefully, you’ll find a way of choosing books that doesn’t cause you so much strife! 🙂

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