I’ve learned to categorize (read: rationalize) based on several criteria.
To start with, if it’s an author that I love, any of their new releases take an express elevator right to the top. Because, let’s be honest, how are you supposed to go about your daily business when you know the fate of your favorite characters hang in the balance and it is well within your power to pick up that book and race through to yet another glorious conclusion?
Another category I have is recommendations. My co-worker/bff/spouse/sibling/librarian/ _________ (fill-in the blank here with your favorite recommend-er) said that this is a book that will change my life. And, because I want to be able to discuss it with them the next time I see them, I will try to get through this list based on when I’m likely to see that person again. What I generally discover is that the people in my life have vastly different tastes in reading materials than I do, but variety is the spice of life, right?
Then there are the summer vacation reads, not to be confused with the cold winter night reads. These are books that have a certain mood, or feeling, for me. Light and fluffy reads to help improve my mood or add to a pleasurable experience (say, sitting on the beach with a fruity drink in hand and no deadlines). Those big, heavy tomes are what I want when I need to escape reality (especially perfect on a cold, snowy night).
I also have a hidden stash of ‘someday reads.’ You know the books I’m talking about. The books that you have always wanted to read, like the classic that your familiar with in theory but haven’t actually had the privilege of reading. Or the series that you’ve wanted to start but never quite got around to starting because your favorite author also released a book at the same time and by now you’re eight books behind. Someday, though. Someday I am going to have endless free time and my favorite author won’t have any books due out for a while and I will be able to tackle that stack of books that is now towering over my long-neglected fichus.
I’m sure that my ramblings have inspired you to go grab a book and make a dent in your ‘To Read’ list. So I’ll save the discussion on re-reads for another time.