Having just finished the nearly 800 page The Goldfinch, and feeling slight withdrawals from having had to go back to reality, I’m looking for the next great read.  There are stacks of unread books in my apartment; but how do I choose among them?  How do I decide what to read next? 

There are several ways one can break this down.  Genre, fiction or non, length, subject matter.  You could even decide based on where the author is from: Italy, Japan, Ireland, etc.  You could look at eras, such as modern, postmodern, etc.  Genre is another consideration: do you want fantasy, YA, thriller, memoir? Historical romance?  Regional?  Or do you want a classic author: Tolstoy, Dickens, Woolf?  Would poetry or short stories sate you? Graphic novels? 

Currently, I’m trying to decide between 3-4 books.  James Joyce’s Ulysses is still in the mix; I’ve considered trying to read it before Bloomsday, a goal I’ve held each year but never accomplished.  But, since I just finished a rather large novel, I might opt for something shorter, like Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler, which I started a while back and never finished.  Then there’s Kafka on the Shore, Orfeo, and Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus.  

Another option:  reading several books at once.  Or flipping a coin.  

It’s a book lover’s existential crisis.  There are at once too many books and also not enough. 

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