Do you ever have this problem? Your TBR may be overflowing and your library card recently renewed, but you just can't find anything to read?
In my case it's a matter of having too many books to choose from, so I decided to try a truly random way of choosing my next book to read. You see, I am trying to read at least 5 of my TBR books each month and I plan to use this method to choose my next book from the TBR stacks whenever I run into this problem. Since my books are all entered into a spreadsheet and I keep a separate list of TBR books and rough genre lists as well, choosing is a simple matter of deciding if I want to read from a specific genre and opening that spreadsheet and then numerically eliminating the books I have read, or opening the TBR spreadsheet if I don't mind what genre I read and choosing at random.
But how to make it truly random? Pointing a finger is hardly going to work, and while closing my eyes and deciding on a random number could theoretically work just fine, I chose to use the Random Integer Generator on the Random.org website. It is very simple: you choose the number of return numbers you want - in my case 1 - and enter it into the "Generate X random integers" box, and then you enter a range of numbers into the "Each integer should have a value between X and Z" ('X' and 'Z' stand for the boxes), which in this particular case was the exact number of books in my TBR spreadsheet.
I decided beforehand to reject any results that indicated:
a) a book I have owned for less than a year, because the principal rule of this challenge is to read books I have owned for over a year, and
b) a book over 300 pages long, because I am already reading one chunkster and I don't like to juggle more than one long book at a time.
The generator returned the number 199, which is a cosy mystery called The Irish Manor House Murder by Dicey Deere. Since it's under 300 pages, I didn't have to choose again.
Besides randomly picking your next read, the random numbers generator is very, very useful for other kinds of random drawings, and I know that many bloggers who hold contests and giveaways on their blogs use it to choose winners at random.