Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Choosing Books

I was listening to a Books on The Nightstand podcast and they were discussing how you choose books and it got me thinking about how I pick books and wondering about how others do too.  I think my process has evolved as technology as changed and as I’ve grown as a reader.  I used to find books solely by browsing shelves in the library, trying to remember the name of an author I’d enjoyed before and sometimes remembering a mention by a friend.  Sometimes I’d check out the lists of books to try out that the librarians had put together.  Or I’d be in Barnes and Noble wandering and doing the same thing.  In college I’d usually pick up books on the 5.95 and lower table just because of price, the cover (gasp) and maybe what it said on the back.  If I read all of it.

I have a back cover reading problem.  The more I know about the book, sometimes I am less inclined to pick it up and read it.  Weird.  Even then, sometimes for book club I may have read a blurb about it but when I get the book in my possession I very rarely read the jacket cover or the back.  I just jump in. 

Now when choosing books I tend to utilize my friend’s on goodreads suggestions.  I’ll scroll through and notice what books they read and usually if they get a 4 star or more  I may read the blurb.  I also will read whatever book is picked for my book club.  I’ve also started using podcasts, mostly the Book Riot podcasts, to add to my growing TBR list. 

I also used to read a lot of book blogs and get suggestions from them.  Now, I don’t get as many suggestions from them only because I rarely sit down daily to read blogs anymore.  When I do catch up, there are only a few blogs where I go all the way back and see what they posted and book blogs generally aren’t the place I go now.

I am weird too in the sense that when books are ALLL THE RAGE, I shy away.  I may read them years later unless book club forces it sooner.  I feel I am more picky with those and tend to not like them for a weird reason but if I wait and read it later when it DOES sound good to me, I usually love it.

What I don’t usually do when choosing books is read the blurbs from other authors.  I don’t really care what another author says about another book. I only look at those AFTER I’ve read and loved a book to maybe get another suggestions on an author or book I should check out that may be a similar taste.

Covers also win me over.  Cheap books win me over.  Authors I’ve already enjoyed win me over.  Books a friend whose reading style fits mine who recommended it usually will win me over.  And if I glance at goodreads and it has generally good reviews, I’ll check it out too.

I have over a 1000 books on my TBR list on goodreads.  I rarely go edit it because I have the best of intentions.  Maybe someday it will resonate and I will grab that book. ;)  I do so badly at reading the books I’ve stocked up on from used book sales that I need to go looking their more often!

I think I’m pretty comfortable in my reading bubble and I know that I’ve struggled a lot in 2015 to read as much as I want so I don’t tend to try out different genres or authors or styles just because I should diversify my reading.  I get the importance of reading diversely but I also understand the importance of keeping something I enjoy, something that I enjoy.

I am going to attempt a reading challenge in 2016.  And I know that I am not good at keeping personal challenges with myself but I am trying for some accountability with my book club friends and I have shelves of books that need to be read.  More on that later.

How do you choose books? How has the process evolved? What is one way to turn you off from a book?

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