If you are a reader, one thing you will know for certain: no matter how many hours you read each day or how fast you read or how long you live, you will never have time to read more than a mere fraction of all the books there are to be read or even of the ones you would like to read. So…how do you choose? I will be really interested in what you have to say below.
How do I choose? There is no single answer, and sometimes I don’t even know quite why I read a certain book. But here are some criteria I follow:
–I read a great deal by author. Once I have discovered a writer whose books I enjoy, I will often buy on the name alone without having to see the cover or read the blurb or look at any reviews. I am rarely if ever let down by such writers as Georgette Heyer, Louise Penny, M. C. Beaton, Donna Leon, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, or Grace Burrowes, to name just a few.
–more and more lately, thanks largely to my author Facebook page, I read by recommendation. If a reader seems really taken by a particular book, I will look it up, read about it, and decide if it might appeal to me. I have made some really great discoveries this way–Jean Webster’s Daddy Long-Legs and Graeme Simonson’s The Rosie Project, for example, and the books of Ed McBain and Patricia Wentworth.
–I have a Kindle (a museum piece which I love) and check the Kindle Daily Deal each day. I don’t buy many of the offerings, but there have been some that I have loved, most recently Kay Bratt’s The Scavenger’s Daughters. A bonus pleasure with that particular book, and, in fact, with many discoveries, is that there are sequels, which I will definitely be reading.
–It is said that we ought not to judge a book by its cover, and that can be very true, but I do get attracted by certain covers and/or titles and stop to investigate. A few days ago it was Claire Cook’s The Wildwater Walking Club, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and yesterday it was Karen McQuestion’s Hello Love, which I am loving. Both authors have other books and will be added to my automoatic-buy list. And there are the quirky titles, like The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (Jonas Jonasson) and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Rachel Joyce), both of which books are in my Kindle Favorites folder.
–and sometimes I will read a book only because I am hearing so much about it that finally I cave in to see if I can discover what all the fuss is about. I have discovered some real gems this way–the Harry Potter (J. K. Rowling) books (but only to Book 5–they were getting too long and unedited for my taste and had lost the sheer charm of the earlier offerings), The Book Thief (Marcus Zusak), The Hunger Games, to name a few.
–and then there are the books that the universe drops in my lap, not literally, perhaps, since they are books I somehow buy and read, though I can never remember afterward exactly why I did so. Why did I read Roland Merullo’s Breakfast with Buddha or Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind or Brad Willis’s Warrior Pose? I don’t know, but I am very glad I did!
Please make your own comment below. I will love reading them. To two randomly chosen persons who comment before the end of Tuesday, Sept. 30, I will send my remaining two advance reading copies (with plain covers) of ONLY ENCHANTING, one month before its publication date on October 28.