This is part of the weekly Blogging Challenge over at Long and Short Reviews. If you'd like to participate, you can find the prompts here. They also put up a post every Wednesday where you go and link your response -- and see everyone else's. Check out their homepage to find it.
The challenge for this week is "How I decide what to read next."
And the only real answer is, "It depends."
Mainly, it depends on where I am personally when I'm making the decision. It's not like when we used to go on car trips when I was younger, when I'd have a selection of discount paperbacks and it was just a matter of laying them out and starting on whatever looked most interesting; I have a Kindle, and as long as I have batteries and/or a charger, I can read nearly anything I own.
So the question becomes something more like, "What am I in the mood for?" Is there some new book that I've been particularly looking forward to reading? (I just finished Set Fire To The Gods last night, which felt like it started a bit slow but really took off once it got going; and I'd definitely been looking forward to that for most of a week. The title alone is a whole 2020 mood, and the book lives up to it.) Alternatively, if I'm not in the mood to start something new, then the question becomes either, "What sounds comforting?" or "What have I recently remembered that I wanted to re-read before I move on?" (In this case, just before Set Fire To The Gods, I went back and re-read Trumps of Doom, which is actually book six in the Amber series; but the first five books are a set, and this one starts the next set of five. Older book, obviously, and it helps if you read the series in order, but it's fun to go back and look at how Zelazny plays with his text.)
Sometimes, though, I want something that's kind of in the middle: I'm in the mood for something new, but not something too new. The book I read before Trumps of Doom was one I hadn't read before, but belonged to an established series by an established author, so I had a very good idea of just what sort of story I'd be getting into here. On that account, Heritage of Cyador didn't disappoint: as book 18 (of 22, so far) in the Saga of Recluse, it did a fine job of being a new story in a familiar setting. (The later books in the series explore different areas of the world at different points in its history, so while the ground rules are the same and a lot of the places mentioned are at least passingly familiar, the story stands just fine on its own.)
It's rare that I won't be feeling like anything in particular; I essentially never find myself starting a book because it happened to be the next thing on my TBR pile. What I'll read next is almost always a function of what I'm in the mood for right now.