Rummanah Aasi
 After receiving lots of great feedback from my post regarding reluctant readers, I wanted to do a follow-up post. The one concept that was reiterated again and again is how important it is for a reader to choose what he/she wants to read. Now I'm curious as to how do you decide which book to read?
   At first I thought this was a really dumb question because I obviously pick what interests me, but once I started to break down my answer things got slightly more complicated.  As I scan my bookshelves, I noticed that I choose a book based on one or more of the following: book cover, description, author's reputation, reviews, recommendation from a friend, and/or if the book is going to be a movie soon.

Image from Great Inspirational Quotes

  • Book Covers
 Normally, the book cover is the last thing I look at when it comes to choosing a book, however, I can't deny how important it is for some readers and even the book market. The book cover is generally people's first impression. If it is eye appealing, then more often than not people will pick it up from the shelves. Even I'm not immune to reading a book because of its beautiful cover. I've actually picked up a few books (Halo, Torment) because of their gorgeous cover and unfortunately, I was disappointed with both. 

  •  Book Title & Description
    I don't know about you, but when a book title catches my eye I immediately flip to the back of the book or read the inside panel to find out what the book is about. Generally, the book's blurb will highlight themes or concepts that will capture the reader's attention. There are even some horrible ones that basically tell you the entire plot *coughTwilightcough*. If the book blurb sounds interesting, I may pick it up. There are some key descriptions such as "__ will change his/her life forever", "his/her life will never be the same again", "tale of forbidden love", "__will need to make the ultimate sacrifice" that make me roll my eyes and simply say, "No thank you". It's funny how I tend to scoff the descriptions for contemporary fiction for adults more than teens.
 
  • Author's Reputation
 I have authors who I auto-read particularly when it comes to YA such as John Green, Sarah Dessen, David Levithan, Libba Bray, etc. I enjoyed their writing style and the types of books they write. I can almost always count on them for a good read and have yet to be disappointed. At times I'll even pick a book up by a renown author just to see why people are captivated by them and whether or not, in my opinion, live up to their hype. 

  • Book Reviews
  By far, the most influential and deciding factor of picking up a book for me is how well the book is reviewed. I may be considered a book snob, but I look to see how many good reviews a book gets. The larger the number, the higher the chances that I'll add it to my to be read pile. I know there has been a lot of debate throughout the blogosphere about rating systems and their accuracy, but I do think they are important. I know that the reviews are subjective and I take that into consideration when I read. I primarily use the review and the book's rating as a way to determine whether or not the book is worth my time. Now, will I like the book as much as others? It depends. There are several books such as The Help or The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society where I thought the book was just okay while some of my colleagues absolutely adored. There is no rule that states you have to like books that other people read. Frankly, disagreements about book is what makes book discussion and blogging fun. We all have our distinct tastes and feelings toward a book which is why we write/argue/talk about them.


  • Recommendations from a friend
  Have you ever notice how sometimes people cringe when you ask them for a book recommendation? Books, like music and movies, are very personal. Some may argue that the books we choose is a reflection of our own identity. If I'm stuck as to what to read or have really bad book aftertaste, I'll ask a friend. I've read a lot of books that have been recommended, but again, I'm not guaranteed I'll like the book as much them.

  • Coming soon to a theater near you 
   I'm not going to lie. I've picked up books because I either discovered the movie's trailer and found out it was originally a book. There some cases like the Lord of the Rings trilogy where I picked up the books after watching the movie because the world was so expansive and intricate that I was afraid of getting lost. In this case, I found it much helpful to see the movie first and then read the book. I've also had the opposite happen. For instance, I hated the film adaptation of The English Patient though the movie had a great cast. On a whim I picked it up and realized it was nothing like the movie at all and actually loved it.

 These are some of my determining factors on choosing which books to read. How about you? Which of these criteria, if any, prompts you to put a book in your reading pile?
3 Responses
  1. Missie Says:

    LOL!

    Oh, Rummanah. If only I were as strong as you and considered book cover last in my decision. I'll admit to buying a book that I'd heard was awful just because I loved the cover *cough* hush, hush *cough*

    This is a great food for thought post. The reason I'm not one to run around requesting ARCs is because I hate feeling 'forced' to read. Like right now, I'm reading a book that I'm struggling to get through and I feel like I'm wasting my time with it, but because I have to read it for a tour, I don't feel like I can quit it. *sighs*

    I buy so many books based on book reviews. I consider these recs from friends. Movies haven't really influenced me. I figure if I haven't read it by the time the movie comes out, might as well watch the movie and see if I might be interested in reading the book. LOL


  2. Charlie Says:

    You are spot on with your comments. I too can pass a cover if the title and blurb grab me. Thanks for the very informative post.
    C.K. Volnek


  3. quirky girls Says:

    If I see a trailer for a movie that looks interesting and I know it is based on a book, then I will definitely want to read the book. Sometimes I read it before seeing the movie and sometimes afterward.
    I also pick up books when they come highly recommended by friends and my sister. I also write a lot of books down in my book journal from book blogger reviews. I also like to browse bookstores and see what catches my eye and I will write the titles down.
    However, deciding what to actually read is another story. There are just too many titles to choose from.

    -jehara


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