March 13, 2014 • Cee • Discussion

three c's

Very important question that must be answered: What kind of book picker are you? Are you a free-spirited picker or are you a planned picker?

What makes a person a “free-spirited book picker”:

  • They aren’t restricted to a reading list
  • They essentially “go with the flow” when they pick their next book
  • Even if they have a reading list, they can’t be bothered to keep to it
  • Essentially a mood read where they choose whatever book they feel like reading.

What makes a person a “planned book picker”:

  • They plan their reads in advance. They know what book they will be reading next.
  • They’re more organized.
  • They follow through on their “read next” book.

Can you guess what type of book picker I am? If you guessed planned picker, you do not know me at all! But if you guessed free-spirited picker, how did you know? ;D

Back in December, I realized that when I plan books to read ahead of time, I don’t end up reading it 90% of the time. I said I was going to read These Broken Stars and Steelheart, but that never happened. It’s forever on my “need to read it next” list. It’s kind of sad really. I really want to read those books, but I can’t bring myself to do it. It feels to final like it’s gonna trap me in a hole. Also, forcing myself to read certain books will mostly make me put it down and I don’t like that when it happens.

It makes me do this a lot:


I have a problem following through with my planned reads. It’s really frustrating. After I read More Than This, I had planned to read Something Real since I checked it out from the library, but I didn’t actually feel like reading it. Instead, I had the sudden urge to read The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls (and read it I did)! This frequently happens — this urge to read another book that is not top priority. It’s not very ideal especially when I have library books due really soon.

I’m trying not to pick my next book in advance ’cause I’ll end up never reading it like I initially planned. I feel like when I plan my reads, I have to get into the right mind frame to fully take in the book, but of course, I am unable to do that. ARCs are a totally different story though. If I received it before the publication date, I’ll read it a week or two in advance.

At times, I feel like I’m using “free-spirit” to present a nicer image to what type of book picker I really am — a mood one. I just pick up any book that fits my fancy at that moment. If I have an urge to read a book when I look at it, then I’m gonna read it right then and there. Forget about my next planned book.

How do you pick your books? Do you tend to go with the flow and pick whatever book you feel like reading? Or do you often pick your next book in advance and stick to it?


29 Responses to “THE THREE C’S: CANDID CONVERSATIONS WITH CEE | What Kind of Book Picker Are You — Free-spirited or Planned?”

  1. Cayce says:

    I’m a mood reader, so yeah I tend to just go with the flow. :) I do have a to-be-read list, but I don’t mind straying from it. But Steelheart!! <3 I hope you'll feel up for it soon.

  2. I do a little of both. I like to plan out my books (I am a big fan of plans and lists) but I don’t always stick to those reading lists because like you, sometimes the mood just hits me to read a certain book. I get frustrated if I veer off my list too much though, but that may be my slight OCD kicking in. Whatever works for each individual reader is all that matters, any reading is better than none. :) Great discussion post!

  3. I’m like you: plan to read a certain book or to in a particular order but then almost always end up throwing that idea out the window and selecting something else altogether.

    I do need to start getting a reading plan though. Or at least half a plan… I am behind on my Netgalley ARCs and need a way to catch up on those and if I don’t have a plan I’m just going to keep choosing physical books over them…

  4. Christine says:

    I’m somewhat of a free-spirited book picker, I suppose? Though I’m more of a lazy book picker xD Normally I read in bed, and when I need a new book I usually grab whatever’s in reach, heheh. But when I do get up to pick my books (gosh, this is making me sound terrible), I do find myself picking whatever I feel like. I find that I can’t really enjoy books as much when I’m reading it because I have to because I made it so in a schedule, rather than because I want to, you know? Great discussion post!

  5. I have a basic reading schedule for the year (haha I know, I know!), but it’s not something I strictly stick to. I’ll add books to it, take books away, read a book schedule for April in February, or one scheduled for February in May because there were others books I wanted to read more etc.

    My schedule, for me, is just a rough guide of all the books I’m interested in and want to read at some point in the year, so it’s not something set-in-stone, where I plan out which order I’ll read books.

    So I suppose I’m a bit of both? A semi-organised reader? Last year I was completely disorganised and just read whatever; total free spirit. But I like the slight organisation I’ve got this year, even if it’s only listing the books I want to read in 2014.


    I’m definitely more free-spirited, I try to assign myself a TBR list each month but I fail so badly haha. It just makes reading seem more like a duty and that’s a sure way to not want to read. But it’s so hard to choose my next book to read! I’m an incredibly indecisive person so I could be wasting 10 min trying to decide between two books haha.

  7. Good for you!! At least you know whatever you read next is what you feel like reading and not something you felt obligated to read :) I do both the free-spirit pick and the planned-ish pick. I usually read what I feel like reading unless I feel guilty about review books that I feel obligated to read. Or if I go to the library… those books will automatically jump ahead of the books I own bc I’m feeling the time limit of the due dates! I need to read more of what I want when I want because that’s when I get the most fun out of reading. Unless the book is just fantastic, then I’m happy either way :)

  8. I think I’m somewhere in between leaning more to mood picker! I have a tbr list and usually pick something from there, but I don’t have an order on that list and usually pick out whichever one I feel like reading!

  9. Missie says:

    I used to be free-spirited before I started blogging and needed to review by ARC and blog tour schedules!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  10. Katie says:

    I’m more of a mood reader, but I’m trying out being a planned reader, so that I can actually get through some books I’ve been meaning to read! I made up a schedule, but tried to leave it open enough that I could still fit mood reads in. It’s only been one week, but I’m liking it so far!

  11. Rachel says:

    I would say I’m both a free spirit and a planned reader! I have a pretty solid schedule that I write up in advance every month to make sure I have ARCs read and reviews up on time, but I schedule in days where I can pick whatever I want to read so that it’s not too limiting. I don’t know if that makes sense at all, but that’s my process. It seems to work best for me that way because I have structure, but also flexibility.

  12. Michelle says:

    I think I’m a bit of both. I have a group of books that are at the forefront of my “TBR” but I will pick which ones within that group to read next based on my mood. It works for the most part, but I think I sometimes wish I could be a little more ‘free’ with it all.

  13. I like to be more planned because I’m probably a little too much into being organized, but it is nice to stray off the plan and read something that really catches my eye. Being more free-spirited is good I think because it’s more likely you’ll pick up a larger variety of reads when the planner has to get through their list first before they read something different or just released! :)

  14. I’m definitely a free-spirit, which goes together with my mood-reading :) I really like to pick up the book I feel like at that moment. It’s different with ARC’s. I read different books at the same time, so I always makes sure one of them is an ARC :)

  15. Emily says:

    Well! Haha… It’s okay I’m the same as you, Cee! :D Because most of the time when I plan to read something, things don’t go according to plan and I pick up something else instead! :) So I guess like a lot of people here, I’m a free-spirit book picker and I go according to my whims heh. I try to mix up between reading my own books and an ARC so things are more interesting for me too :)
    Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing, Cee! :D

  16. Angie F. says:

    Just thinking about being a “free-spirited book picker” makes me anxious! I cannot do this! There’s just too many books, so I get overwhelmed whenever I try to choose something myself to read at that moment!

    I plan my next, at least, 10-15 books. I stick them on my calendar and I follow that 99% of the time. Sometimes a book does catch my eye that I’d rather read instead, so my schedule is flexible for these rare events. I spend A LOT of time studying to my to-read list and carefully deciding what to read next. I actually find this fun and relaxing.

    I tried to be more spontaneous last month and it didn’t work. Instead of choosing one book off of my shelf that I felt like reading, I pulled off six and put them in the order I planned to read them. :P

  17. Aimee says:

    I have this piece of paper with books I should read next taped to my bookshelf. It’s been on there since November, and I still haven’t read 3/4 of those books, lol! I never follow any sort of schedule–I just can’t do that. I’m definitely a mood reader. Sometimes, I buy a book and put it off for a while to continue next time but never feel like reading it again! x_x

  18. Kezia says:

    I’m definitely a free-spirited reader! :D I choose books based on my current mood and sometimes I just don’t want to read certain genre for no reason >_> I realized back in January that I’m terrible at following schedules so I don’t do much planning for my reading or blogging anymore. Being organized apparently made me more stressed …

  19. I would call myself a free spirited planned picker.
    Seriously, I am half-half on this one. Sometimes, my mood will be all over the place. I’ll even WANT to read a book but my mood takes over and tells me what I don’t want to read THAT book I want to read THAT book. And of course, I am a slave to my emotions so I go with whatever my mood feels like.
    And then sometimes I am all planned up. I have my next book to read in mind before I’m even 5 pages into my current read. This usually happens when my mood + what I want coincide. Or when I have heaps of review books that I haven’t touched and the guilt is taking over so I whip myself into action and read a flurry of review books to make myself feel better.
    So there you go. I’m a fence sitter on this one, because it depends on my situation. :D

  20. I just can’t commit to anything, even to my own plans, so I pick books instantaneously. Most of the time after I finished a book I would ask myself ‘What would you like to read next’ basically I’m just following my mood.
    This year, I’m participating on a monthly book reading with my book club, where I have to read and review one book with a certain theme every month. It’s quite challenging and so far I have managed to follow it, can’t say that it’s real fun for me, though :|

  21. Katherine says:

    I will generally try to plan out my books for the month and then randomly pick what order I read those books in. However, I have been recently just wanting to pick up books when I feel like reading them, so I might try that soon!

  22. Joanna says:

    I would never call myself an organized reader. Unless it’s books I do for blog tours because then I have a limited amount of time to get to it. Those are the only books I put in order, but even then I’m flexible. If there’s one I REALLY want to read, I’ll find a way to move it up that list.
    But if it’s the books I buy to read for the heck of it, I go with my mood. The only exception is when I read Looking for Alaska, because I knew I was going to read The Fault in Our Stars right after. But that’s because I knew I was in a John Green mood, ya know?
    Otherwise, I don’t stick to the next book I plan to read. I can’t force myself to read anything either. Well, I could. But I tend to zone out more, so the book is lost on me o.o

  23. AlyssaZ says:

    I’m mostly a free spirit reader. The only books I try to schedule are the books I need to read for review from authors or NetGalley. I want to stay responsible there!

  24. I am definitely a mood reader, which is why it’s such a bad idea for me to check out multiple books from the library at once (though it hasn’t stopped me yet!). I may intend to read a certain group of books, but almost always end up changing my mind depending on the “reading mood” I’m in after I finish a book.

  25. I’d say I’m more of a free-spirited book picker =) I mostly pick what ever books I feel like reading at the time. Usually when I get books from the library those are more like planned books since I want to read through those before I have to return them. I tried to force myself to read a book once when I really just wanted to read a different book and it sort of ruined it for me :/

  26. Lindsey says:

    Once I started blogging I did plan out my reading schedule, just to give me a general idea of where to go next. But ultimately, if I’m not in the mood, then I’m not afraid to switch a book out.

    Now when it comes to shopping for books it’s a whole other story. I go in with no idea of what I will come out with, it’s all up to chance and what I see in the book store. Great post! :)

  27. I’m both, i guess. I read books usually in my TBR, but I don’t plan it. I just read whatever I can read on my TBR. I tried planning once, but I ended up hating every book I read so I stopped XD

  28. Charleen says:

    I am a crazy planner… right up until it’s time to pick the book. I have, as a sub-set of my TBR, a short list that I pick from. I can pick any book off my short list, but a book has to make it onto my short list before I can read it.

    (I also have rules for how long a book can languish on the short list before it’s kicked off if I don’t read it… like I said, crazy planner. But I still allow for mood reading.)

  29. Helen says:

    I would plan, but too lazy. ;)

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