Eeny, meeny, miny… Nerd

Before I write a post about the two new books I’m starting I have a little confession to make regarding how I choose new books to read.

Some of my close friends and family will know what I do….to some extent but still probably don’t know how nerdy the process has become since starting my Library and Information services studies.

I am an equal opportunity reader – I like to leave it up to chance which books I will read next, and what better method of choosing by chance then the timeless Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. If you’ve never heard of the children’s counting game this Wikipedia article is quite extensive. I use the following version of the rhyme:

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
catch a tiger by its toe,
if he hollers let him go,
eeny, meeny, miny, moe.

But after doing that for a little while, you can easily determine which book will get “moe” so I started using the “boy scout you’re out” system of elimination. If you’re also not familiar with “boy scout” it goes like this:

Boy scout
you’re out
of this game.

And this meant that I could slowly eliminate books and get down to one. However, once I was down to two, I found I always ended up with the second book and since I chose what order to lay them out in, this system wasn’t left to chance so much anymore. After starting my course I started to order the books alphabetically by author, but still I always knew the outcome. And so I started this rather complicated, but very efficient and defiantly nerdy system:

  1. Eeny, meeny, miny, moe and boy scout, with the books laid out alphabetically by author
  2. same process after one book has been eliminated, but the books are laid out alphabetically by title
  3. same again but laid out alphabetically by publisher
  4. same again but laid out by date published, from earliest date to latest
  5. same but laid out alphabetically by place of publication
  6. same but laid out by amount of pages, smallest to largest
  7. same but laid out by last number of ISBN, smallest to largest

If multiple books have the same publisher, date etc. then they are ordered alphabetically by title. And of course the amount of “rounds” depends on how many books in the pile I’m choosing from – so far 7 rounds has been the maximum.

Now, I’m sure a lot of you are now thinking “you freak!” or wondering how I can be bothered doing all that just to choose what book to read next, but I really love doing it, It allows for an element of surprise in my choices and means I don’t just pick a book willy nilly but often find a real gem that i wouldn’t have normally picked. It’s weird i know, but just like keeping a book journal, and having different piles of books, and even writing this blog, it’s a nice little ritual that makes my hobby of reading more exciting 🙂

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