Wednesday, August 4

How to Choose a Book

How do you decide if a book is worth your time?

It's often said, "So many books, so little time..." So what are the requirements for you to decide to pick up a book and read it?

I've blogged before about judging books by their covers, blurbs, first sentences.

Do readers plunge blindly into books or do they dip their toes in first? Do they do research to make sure they're making the right decision?

I always feel like I'm the last to hear about certain books, but when I do there are a few factors that peak my interest.

1. A Lot of Hype

If I have heard about - or more likely seen the cover of - a book in a lot of places, I might eventually decide to pick it up and read it. Of course, hype can sometimes be a turnoff. The more subtle it is, the more likely I am to approach it. If everyone is screaming "YAY, BOOK!" I will back away with caution.

2. Good Reviews

Some people like to sniff out a book's reviews to see if it has positive feedback from other readers, particularly their peers. I've learned about a lot of new books through blogging. If I read a positive review from an established source, it makes me more inclined to read it.

3. A Good Synopsis

Sometimes all it takes is a really intriguing/interesting/fun idea for me to want to read a book. It may or may not ultimately turn out to be something I enjoy, but I want to see if the author can pull it off.

4. Excerpts

Sometimes you can find excerpts or sample first chapters of novels online. This allows the reader to get a feel for the writing. Also, if I am in a book store and pick up a pile of novels, I'll sometimes sit down with them, reading the beginning of each to decide if I like the narrative. The ones that pass the test will usually leave the store with me.

5. Taste

Offering the book to my cat Severus and saying, 'Does this look tasty?' (What, you thought I meant my literary tastes?) Disinterest means the book probably isn't great. Smooching is a good sign. Drooling or desire to devour novel is good.

There are lots of different ways for readers to decide whether a book is worth their time. Maybe they loved the last book by the same author. Maybe they were hooked by the book's tag line.

How do you test out a book? What requirements must a novel pass before you make the final decision to read it?

1 comment:

Joycelyn said...

Awesome cover + synopsis = ZOMG I want that book!!