(This article contains affiliate links. An affiliate link takes you to the product page for the book, so you can purchase it. It doesn’t cost you anything additional, and we make a little money to support our website and writing.) The hardest part of finishing a book is choosing the next one because saying “yes” to one book means saying “no” to dozens of others. The decision-making process is often paralyzing, and as laid out in “The Paradox of Choice,” having more choices isn’t better. So, when I finished “Hidden Mickey 3: Wolf!,” I had to choose my next book.
I have recently gotten all of my books, and other items, out of storage. Many of them I have read, some I have not, and a few I’m not sure if I’ve read them or not. There are over 200 books sitting in my apartment waiting for a reader.
The choice should’ve been easy. I have “Hidden Mickey 4;” I should read it next. However, I do not have “Hidden Mickey 4.5,” and I wouldn’t want to finish book four without being able to get to the next in the series. I would also be tempted to read book five, which would be out of order, even if it doesn’t matter. I could easily order book 4.5 from Amazon, but I have to figure out what else to order around it to get the free shipping option.
Besides, I wanted a little variety, so I hemmed and hawed, looked at all my books, and couldn’t come up with what I wanted to read. I eliminated any books I couldn’t see. (With only five bookshelves, I’ve had to stack books behind other books.) I eliminated Disney books I know I have read, and any books with fewer than 250 pages, in keeping with my book reading goals. I looked at “Disneyland,” a gorgeous, full-color, table top book, tried parts of “How to Open Your Own Store,” and even picked up Hidden Mickey 4 – nothing fit my mood.
Maybe a collection of Robert Louis Stevenson stories would help me write the story of Taron Penguin: Roly Poly Secret Agent. I was pretty sure I’ve read it before, so I put it back down. Then I decided to look at “The Collected Short Stories of Louis L’Amour.” Not my typical fare but it’s good to diversify. The first word of the first chapter of the first story in this book is “Shad.” Winner! Winner! Campfire Dinner! I may not finish this book quickly, but I want to know what I’m doing in “Law of the Desert Born.”