Reading Roulette

Want a quick and easy way to find new authors or books? Well here's a suggestion from me which works quite well. I like to call it Reading Roulette. There are six simple steps to follow:
  1. Choose a number between 1 and 100;
  2. Go to your local bookshop or library;
  3. Go to the genre section that you prefer to read in (optional);
  4. Starting from the first book in that section count along the books until you have reached your chosen number from before;
  5. Choose said book and take it to the counter for purchase/loan;
  6. Go and read it!
Couple of things you may need to work around:
  1. The book is one you've read before;
  2. The book is number three in a series and you haven't read the previous ones.
Simply choose the book directly before or after said book on the shelf.

I've done this and came across Broken Angels by Richard Morgan which I would never have picked up before. Really enjoyed it and quite enjoyed the randomness of finding a book; almost like going on a blind date. To really spice it up don't restrict yourself to a genre.

I'd love to hear from others who try this out and what books they came across; good and bad!

I'm going to plug this on Twitter with the hashtag #readingroulette and it would be great if others could share.


  1. I don't have a system, just something which operates on a gut/balance/mood type thing - the last really successful punt I took was Sarah Hall's 'How to paint a dead man' £1 from a charity shop (I do prefer to buy books whenever possible)and that was picked because of the cover picture.

  2. this looks like fun! I have two methods of buying 'real' books, 1)haunting the local second hand book shop (30,000 books) starting on the fourth floor and working my way down eventually to the horror/crime/thriller section, picking up goodies as I go. 2) trawling the charity shops (we have a lot of them...) but they don't yield as much as I would like.
    Now there is kindle, I can indulge myself. I have been reading classics I have not read before (A Clockwork Orange for one) or re-reading classics (Jane Eyre, for about the tenth time and still as good as the first time) or liking the look of something. The latest in that section, as it were, was A Matrix of Angels by Christopher Conlon. A search for the reason for childhood murder wrapped around with a search for a childhood she never had. Very tender, very insightful and very interesting. I would not have bought it in 'real' form.
    The Works had 3 books for £5 when I looked in recently, I got The Snow Garden by Christopher Rice, which is a reasonable read but I would have preferred to know it was a gay based story before I got it, The Haunting, by someone whose name has escaped me, which was lightweight (Amazon reviews slated it) and a Richard Montanaria (I think that's how you spell his name) which means a good solid thriller/serial killer read. I would not have got these if they were not on offer. Money's too tight to go to 'real proper Waterstones' type bookshops, much as I know they need the business. I can't justify £8+ for something I will read once and either put on Amazon for 1p (because 281 people have done the same thing before me) or give it to a charity shop.
    I have to limit myself to genres, outside of the classics, there are few genres I can read with any degree of pleasure. I find most of it too contrived, especially chick lit and I might end up with that, using your roulette method!!! and that would n e v e r do.


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