Wednesday March 24th, 2010

John Warner Tells You What to Read Next

I find this hilarious, and pretty cool. In the most recent round of commentary at the Tournament of Books, John Warner takes up the question of how we choose what to read:

I think it’s an important and interesting question because of how limited we are in the number of books we can read in a lifetime. . . . The last two books I finished were Sam Lipsyte’s The Ask and Next by James Hynes. I read those because I loved their previous books. Their current ones delivered much the same pleasures as their last efforts. They were every bit as good as I hoped and expected, but I’d already tasted those flavors. Should I be forcing myself to be a bit more adventurous, to turn toward the unexplored territory, to occasionally pick pistachio over mint chocolate chip at Baskin-Robbins? . . . Sometimes I think we (meaning me) might be better off leaving the choice of what to read with someone or something else.

Which is why I’m thinking of starting a new free service for readers. I will choose your next book for you. In the comments, all you have to do is list the last five books you’ve read and I will tell you what to read next.

The hilarious (and cool) part is that he actually does this. Dozens of people have left comments with the last five books they’ve read, and he’s told every one of them what to read next. It’s like the literary equivalent of palm reading, except, you know, accurate. Head on over there and enjoy the fun.