I don’t know about you, but for me it can be hard to keep track of book recommendations and decide what to read next. I tried “The List” for a while, constantly adding books to a list in my phone as they were recommended until it got so overwhelmingly long that I gave up and deleted it.
Then, for some reason, I tried a variation on the list that I call “The Stack”, where I crafted a precarious stack of books by my bed which, of course, grew far faster than I could read. Not surprisingly, that strategy was even more overwhelming.
Finally, I decided that the best way to discover new books was simply to finish a book, then wait and see what piqued my interest next. No more lists, no more stacks. Sometimes this technique leaves me drifting aimlessly between books, reading a few chapters here, and a few chapters there, but sometimes it also delivers me to the perfect book at the perfect time.
The last book I read, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, is a perfect example. To keep a long story short, one night I dreamt a whole conversation with a friend in which he enthusiastically recommended A Little Life to me. The next day, not realizing this conversation had been a dream and not a real conversation, I grabbed the dauntingly large novel off the shelf and dove in. After an emotionally draining read and the unnerving realization that the entire encounter with my friend had been a dream, I finished one of the best books I’ve ever read.
I’ll save the book review for another time and for now just say that I’m convinced my new approach to finding new books is the right one for me. And if I have another delusional mix up between dream and reality, I hope it at least offers me another great read.