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