Friday, August 10, 2012

For the Love of Books Part Two

There are two types of readers in the world: those who can’t choose what to read next because nothing looks good, and those who can’t choose what to read next because EVERYTHING looks good. I definitely fall into the latter category. My Goodreads to-read list grows and grows every day. But how do I choose which books I want to read?

Firstly, recommendations. If a friend tells me a book is really good, then I will glance it over and 9 times out of 10 put it on the list of books to read. If I see a review that praises a book, then I do the same.

Secondly, browsing. Upon entering a library or bookstore, I usually have two or three books in mind to pick up, but often I find myself scrolling through the aisles, picking up anything that looks intriguing. There are two things I keep in mind here: previous experience and the back cover copy. Sometimes it’s hard not to judge a book by its cover, but if working in the publishing industry has taught me anything about deciding what to read, it’s that if a publisher believes whole-heartedly in a book, they will do whatever possible to make it look pretty so people will buy it. It’s important to remember, though, that oftentimes a book with an ugly cover or vague back cover copy will surprise you with how wonderful it is. By previous experience I mean knowing what types of books I like and what I don’t like, taking into consideration what those books looked like, who wrote them, by whom they were published, and numerous other factors. 

And thirdly, my mood. If I'm in a really bad mood, I will either read a depressing book or a book simple and light-hearted that I can read quickly without concentrating to much, in order to distract me. If I'm in a really good mood, I want to read everything in sight! Also, my own writing affects what I choose to read. My current manuscript's setting and characters will influence my choice; I like to read things that take place in similar locations or feature characters in similar situations, both so I can learn from the authors' successes and so I can steer my manuscript in its own way to be original rather than too close to another work.

What about you? How do you choose a book to read? Do you judge a book by its cover? Do you read book reviews?

Peace, Aimee

4 comments:

  1. I don't read book reviews. I choose books based on recommendations from friends and on what looks good in the library/ bookstore. I'm always in a good book when it comes to books, but sometimes I really feel like reading so I'll go to the library and check out 12 books. If I like any of them, I buy :)

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  2. I pick up a book because of the cover, read the back blurb then flips to the front and read the first paragraph.

    If I'm not at least intruged, it goes back on the shelf.

    Harsh, yes. But that beautiful cover made me pick it up in the first place.

    Great post. Cheers!

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  3. I do alot of browsing on Amazon. I look at books recommended for me, I look at books people bought who also bought books I love, and I look at books that are featured. I definitely read reviews, and I look for highly reviewed books that have over 100 reviews on them. That means the reviews aren't just friends of the author.

    Unless someone has 100 friends. :)

    I also have started to buy books from the blogs I read. I run into authors on blogs and websites and look at their books. I also check out books they may recommend. My TBR pile is enormous; I store it as an Amazon wish list, and it's pages long. :)

    So, I'm definitely in the second group, too!

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