Thursday, 19 July 2018

How do You Choose Which Books to Read?

How do you choose which books to read?

My last post was about giving away books but of course I've had to acquire some new ones too. My choices come from a number of sources. I love browsing in bookshops where I might see an interesting title or cover and take a further look, perhaps at the back cover blurb or just the first page or two. A lot gets decided on looking at the writing style. I don't have particular styles that I like but there are definitely some I don't enjoy.

I used to attend a book group at my local library where members chose books, which certainly made me read more widely. One member tended to choose books that were listed in intellectual recommended lists and included some books that I thought were absolute horrors but I did learn from reading them. I learned to avoid those particular authors or follow those recommendations (the ones that keep listing the same established names over and over.) I really don't care if people think my reading doesn't measure up to Booker prize standard. I much prefer the Not the Booker Prize. I've always had a taste for Literary Pudding!

A great many of my choices come from recommendations from book friends and, of course, from book blogs and other social media. I'm a bit limited in my social media using only Twitter and to a lesser extent Facebook but I've bought a number of books because I saw something on Twitter and  followed an author I found interesting. As many have said, it's usually the authors who engage with others on their Twitter feeds who I find are the more interesting writers. I've come across some gems this way. I don't go for those who bombard their followers with ads for their books. I did once as the book looked promising but it was something of a let down with the author perhaps better suited to a career in sales than writing.

Some books receive a huge amount of media attention with lots of people listing them in their Top Tens and so on, but I've been disappointed by a large number of these so now prefer to borrow these popular titles, if I read them at all, from the library although I usually have to wait ages because they're in high demand as the publicity machine is doing a great job.

I've bought a number of books after having read short stories or flash fiction by the author. If their short work spoke to me, then the chances are that their novel will too. 

I admit I'm not one for doing many book reviews, for a reason I've mentioned in a previous post, but when I love a book or a short story, I will tweet the author telling them so. It's lovely to receive an acknowledgement and most writers do so, even though they are busy with lots of other messages because their writing is so good!  Guess what, I'm more likely to read their next book too!

How do you choose a new book?


Rae Stoltenkamp said...

As a busy author I often turn to recommendations from friends and students for my next read. Their advice is generally very good. I also made a call out for suggestions on Facebook recently and have had a fabulous amount of good reads due to it. Am also currently reading suggestions from authors on Instafreebie. Some have been great while others not so much.

I always leave a review if I have time because I know the value of a review to an independent author.

Patsy said...

I've been disappointed by a lot of the highly publicised books I've read too – but not all. If a friend suggests a book I'll often give it a try, then I know whether to take any notice of their next recommendations.

Lesley said...

I tend to try out new authors, depending on the reviews, and yes advertising works so if the cover is unattractive I probably won't look further. When I find a good book I then read everything written by that author. This is interesting, as quite often earlier works (which had been rejected, I imagine) get published once an author has a following. It's interesting to see how their writing has improved and you can see why their earlier works may have been rejected first time round. the morale of that is 'keep trying and you will improve'.

Easier to say than to do....

Lindsay said...

I too have noticed authors who've done well often have earlier work published or perhaps re-published by their current publisher and, yes, you can often see a difference!