How Do You Choose A Book?
How do you choose a book (or two) as you reach up to a bookshelf? What makes you take it home or leave behind? Are you on a literary budget and need to be mindful of book spends? Or if like me, have a monthly limit and overspend anyway!
Here are my tips to help you make, ahem, wise book purchases:
Do you know what genre you like and stick to it, or are you open to broadening your horizons?
If you like a particular author's work have a look at their social media profile. They are likely to be followed by other authors, and often they list their favourite books too. It's a good way to expand your reading material. Just don't stalk them.
Recommendations from friends.
I'm always recommending books to friends and vice versa, and it's a good way to try something new. For the love of god though, if you borrow a book return to its owner. Chances are if they've recommended a book it's a favourite and they might like the chance to read again. Just sayin,' you know who you are!
How much do book reviews influence my choice? Some I would say. It's a great way to discover books you might not have otherwise have read, or debut authors who don't necessarily have a high profile yet. Mind you, more than once I've bought a hyped up book, or one the critics have raved about and been disappointed. Doesn't make it a bad read, it's not been to my taste. There's a difference.
Do you belong to a Book Club?
It can be a good way to meet up with like minded people, taking turns to recommend the 'book of the month.' I belong to an on-line Book Club but I can't keep up ~ spoilt for choice on what to read. My 'to be read' pile is getting longer and longer! A nice dilemma to have though.
Join a library!
Support your local library ~ you can read for free! Any librarian worth the name will know a lot about books and can make recommendations ~ give you the heads up on new arrivals. It's a great way to broaden your literary horizons ~ go on, take a risk!
Also it's a great way of introducing children to books and developing a reading habit. Your local library is likely to have a mini book club or weekly reading sessions ~ take advantage!
Book chains, Independent book stores or on-line?
I think there's room for all three options but my personal preference are for books you can touch and smell (or is that just me)? I support indies where I can and yes, I have a favourite chain bookstore. The criteria for me are, do they have a variety of genres ~ fiction and non-fiction? Do the staff know their books? Although if they don't, what the heck are they doing selling books anyway? Can I browse for hours if I want to, and brownie points if I can get a pot of tea as well (or is that just me)?
Do looks matter on the bookshelf?
Are you influenced by the book jacket? Since Marketing spend a lot of time and effort on the design, I would say it's an important factor ~ its intended to draw you in and sell you the product. Mind you, it's a subjective matter isn't it? I'll admit that I've ignored a book because the cover didn't grab me (how shallow is that)? I may well have missed a few gems, c'est la vie.
So how do I choose a book?
All of the above I'd say. Maybe I've read an author before and loved their work, or maybe I'll feel lucky and seek someone new. I'll read the blurb on the back cover before selecting a page in the middle. If the middle page hooks me in I'll read the opening page next ~ first pages are key in reeling you in to the story. I'm fussy with font size ~ if the page looks 'busy' I know I'll not be able to read in full. Donna Tartt's, The Goldfish, was one exception to this. With a book in my hand, do I smile? Do I get a tingle of joy from this taster read? Sold!
How do you choose your books, let me know!