Choices, Choices, Choices…

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.




331 Replies to “Choices, Choices, Choices…”

      1. If I found an author I like I usually read all the books I can find. Like your books I love reading them and I often wish they would continue.
        Sometimes a friend will give me a book and I fall in love with the author and read everything. Other times I read the same author and it get stale and I can no longer read another one of the persons books for a long while.
        But as a child the library was my friend and my sisters also. We are all big readers and share if we can but now distance and postage has played a part in that,

    1. I select books first and foremost based upon authors. After that, I follow my favorite authors’ recommendations. Then I always read a sample. When I’m reading the sample, I go by the amount of chachter empathy I feel. Once I actually purchase the book it is rare that I ever leave one unfinished. Once I bought a book (paperback) and it was so horrible that I actually threw it away. Only once in my life have I done that. Beginning to read a book for me is like jumping out of an airplane. It’s very difficult for me to abort the mission … 🙂

    2. I stumbled across your books when I visited our county library, which was fortunate for me to be next door. Needless to say I devoured everything you had written, which they didn’t have many books but it kept me coming back to see if they received any new books in. Enjoyed them all….

    3. Dear Mary: I appreciate your recommendations and requests for recommendations: that has got me on the trail of other books and authors that I love. For example, Jean Webster’s Daddy Long Legs, and the fantastic sequel Dear Enemy. My favorite G. Heyer book is the Unknown Ajax, thanks for reminding me of it. It came up on Book Bub for $2.99 e-book so I bought a copy. I enjoy your daily Facebook posts. I used to be embarrassed to enjoy reading so much, because its not as glamorous as kayaking and mountain climbing. Take care and thank you.

    4. I read by author quite a bit, but also listen to recommendations from friends and family. Sometimes I find something new and fun from the “New Fiction” or “Staff Picks” sections of the library or book store. I share what I read on Goodreads and look to see what others have recommended there, too. Your “What are you reading” posts have become a new resource as well.

    5. My first book was Simply Love. . . .I was intrigued by a leading man having only one arm and one eye. But it made the story seem more real, imperfect people finding love, finding that they were perfect for each other, and that together the world was again their paradise. Since then I’ve enjoyed many of your books, the unique characters, with all of their quirks and foibles keep me coming back. Great stories.

    6. I got smart reading your books. I printed out a list keep it on my desk and check them off as I read them. I think I have read them all. You are a staple of mine. Glad to hear next book of the Survivor Series is almost ready, of course I will read it. Thank you for filling my hours with happiness.

    7. How do I choose? As you wrote, almost always through word of mouth, or more likely, word of pen (keystroke?). I am embarrassed to say that I had never heard of you (!) until I read a small piece in a Publishers’ Weekly newsletter a few weeks back about how authors choose their covers. The writer wrote lovingly of your books and your covers, I looked you up, borrowed “A Secret Affair” from the library, and now I’m hooked! I discovered Susan Elizabeth Phillips in a similar manner: a piece about romance writers from a husband’s perspective came in some literary newsletter, and he mentioned tolerating (!) her books. The real problem is, as always, how to find the time!!! I sometimes find myself wishing I could have the books I love hooked up to me intravenously while I go about doing other things in life (you know, silly things like working at my job, taking care of my kids, etc!). Thank you for your lovely books. I am a new, but enthusiastic fan!

    8. I tend to choose by author. If I like a book, I tend to buy and read all the author’s books. I also get random books from the book sale a local animal sanctuary organizes a couple of times a year. It’s more like lending as I tend to return most books, keeping only the really good ones but I got introduced to Johanna Lindsey and Janet Dailey, who in turn led me to Karen Hawkins, Sabrina Jeffries, Gaelen Foley, Eloisa James and Mary Balogh (you might have heard of her). It helps me find new authors and first editions of the older books. When I need new authors or books, I browse the free kindle books on amazon. Yes, you cannot judge a book by it’s cover but at some point in time everyone did it. A bright cover might have caught my eye whilst browsing a bookstore, finding an author whose style I loved such as Jo Carnegie. Also, lots of places such as hotels or coffee shops are having mini libraries were you can leave any unwanted books and take others…that’s a good place to get something different. On such occasion I fot a Cassandra Clare book and was hooked. There are those books which you read to see what the fuss is all about or because they were made into film. That’s how I read Tolkien’s books, the Twilight Series and Life of Pi, to see how dmuch they differ from film.

  1. Most of my choice is by author. There are several that I will buy because of the name. Other than that, I usually go by recommendation. Occasionally, a title will grab my eye, that’s how I started reading your Slightly. . . series.

  2. I usually choose my books by author. I have multiple favorites but always seem to go back to my original top 5. I also choose books based on the story line. If it sounds good I’ll give it a shot. So long as there’s romance and adventure (oh and handsome heroes) I’ll definitely go for it.

  3. I have 3 criteria when choosing a book to read
    1. the cover, it must grab my attention, in a good way
    2. the blurb on the back must peek my interest
    3. Even with those, if it’s an author I love, I will read it even if the cover or blurb doesn’t peek my interest.

  4. I read any book I can get by authors that I have enjoyed in the past. I also have several free Kindle sites that I go to every day and am able to find some great books that way by authors I haven’t yet read. The cover of the book also prompts me to check it out, especially if it’s from a certain period or place. Recommendations from friends an family also have introduced new authors to me. I rarely pass up a chance to read a book to see if I shall be adding another author to my list of favorites!

  5. It all depends on my mood in choosing a book to read. And the last book read. If I am reading a series I try to complete the series all in a row – if the writer let me – hate waiting months to read what happens in the next book of a series. In between I try to read from my TBR list which seems to just keep getting longer and longer, which is fin with me in case something happens and I don’t have internet access for a while – they are all downloaded (currently over 4,000) on my tablet. I would be lost without my tablet. If I have been reading about highlanders for a while, then I might switch to regency, or something else for a time. Change is good!

  6. I have no rhyme or reason to how I pick what I read. Mostly I read by synopsis, then author, then I admit I choose by cover. A prominent use of the color purple is a sure fire way to catch my attention!

  7. I first look for familiar authors, you and a couple of other writers I really love to read. I am often drawn by a title or the cover or information told on back cover.

  8. I usually choose books by author’s that I have read and loved, like you. My best friend has introduced me to several different romance authors, so I keep up with what books they have coming out, and promptly purchase them. I mainly choose books based on recommendations from friends and family. If I am at a bookstore, I will definitely pick up books with intriguing covers. I’ve also decided to read some books based on national hype.

  9. I also choose many books on the basis of the author (if I’m purchasing the book). However, at the library I often select books based on topic, and only sometimes because of the author. I think I have all of your books that have been published in the past 10 years, and some that I’ve found in the stacks of Used Books at various bookstores that were written longer ago.

  10. Great topic! So many books and so little time. Favorite authors are musts. Even with favorites, however, I may start a book, and if I reading it, and find that I really don’t care about the protagonist, I will stop reading it. This has happened with books that look great on the cover and the blurb, but if I don’t like the main character then I don’t want to waste my time continuing. (I have yet to do this with Mary’s books, however, hers I will read cover to cover and pick them up later to re-read again!)

  11. When I find a new author I love, I tend to inhale their back catalog. I use the library quite a bit, checking out hardcovers, paperbacks and e-books. I tend to read in order of what is due, but if I have been eagerly awaiting a title, it might get bumped up in the order. I get book recommendations from friends, favorite authors who blog about what they enjoy reading and from and GoodReads.

  12. I choose by author. There are authors who I will automatically want to read, a new book comes out and I want it. I also read and listen to recommendations. That has helped me find books and authors I would not have known on my own. And, because life is limited I have become a little more circumspect what I choose. I like to tell people – My name is Annette and I am a bookaholic.

  13. I usually read by author. If I find a book that I like I look for similar books by the same author. I love historical romances, but lately have become a contemporary fan. I will read anything by Emily March, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jill Shalvis they are on my automatic buy list. Historicals, I love all of your work and have most of your books. I also have read Jacquie D’Alessandro’s “Whirlwind Wedding” was a favorite. Mary Jo Putney and Stephanie Laurens are also favorites. To say that I have more books than I have room is an understatement, but I can’t bear to part with them so I try to make more room on my shelves.

  14. I ran a retail bookstore for almost ten years and grew up in a library, so I have literally a ton of books, my Kindle needs to be cleared out regularly and yet still love going to bookstores and library sales for more. I agree that certain author names are given. Glad you agree about Grace Burrows! I read through a bunch of your books obsessively a few years back. For something new or out of genre, I will rely on covers, blurbs, recommendations from friends or Facebook or Goodreads and just the simple joy of browsing whether in a store or online. Joy!

  15. Like you the number one reason I pick a particular book to read is because I have read and like the author. You are at the top of the list right now. I also read the cover to see what it might be about. I have picked books and once I started to read them wondered why I ever chose that book. I have started reading books only to decide that I wasn’t particularly crazy about the book but continued on, because I had to find out what happened. (I won’t read just the end of the book.) But now, so many choices and so little time. I read both the book and Kindle types. Which sometimes make the choices too many.

  16. I usually tend to stick to the authors whose books I’ve already read. But through this, I have looked at their websites and Facebook pages, and learned of other authors that they recommend. I also like going into my local bookshop, Waterstones, smelling the crisp, new paperbacks and having a flick through any books that take my fancy, (usually the romance and historical fiction sections). I enjoy looking on Amazon and seeing what other customers have purchased based on the books I have previously read. The free previews for Kindle are a great help in helping me decide whether or not to purchase. Book covers entice me into checking the book out. As an avid regency fan, I love the feminine pictures of our heroine in her day gown, and the dashing hero in his breeches. Something about that makes me go weak at the knees.

  17. I chose mainly on author name, but I have recently discovered a ton of books all tied together by different authors. So I check Amazon, there deals for Kindle, every single day to see if more “Montana” books are out lol

  18. I choose my books by author. If I like an authors books they’ll be put on my auto-buy list. I like to read Romance but I read across sub-genre’s. I love J.R Ward, Karen Marie Moning, Stephanie Laurens, Robyn Carr, Julia London, Roxanne St. Claire, Karen Hawkins, Lynsay Sands, to the more recent Kennedy Ryan. These are by far not all of my favorites. I tend to read novels with a HEA. Although I’ve read The Hunger Games, Twilight, House of Night and Stephanie Plum series as well and completely enjoyed them. You of course are on my auto-buy list as well. It depends on my mood weather I choose to go to 18th century London, 21century Washington, or visit the paranormal world.

  19. I tend to choose by author. Although right now I’m about to embark on a journey with Diana Gabaldon. For years friends have been recommending the Outlander books. After watching the show I’m totally hooked.

  20. I have a passion for reading, so there is not just one way for me to find books. I look at books all the time: I check out book stores; I read the articles from Barnes and Noble and Amazon; I read my friends’ recommendations on GoodReads; I watch the bestseller lists. Most of all I follow a group of authors who are always great, and I have their new books on my wish list long before the books are published.

  21. Ditto on kindle daily deals. It’s a hit and miss. But sometimes you will find gems. One book I distinctly remember that I liked was Cake Icing, Butt Budder and Tea Lids by Renee Andrews

  22. Mostly I read by author, I have my lists, and if inbetween the next release of my favorites, I check out cover and back blurb. I have all your books and just wait for your next because I know it will be great. I am a historical romance addict….. Thanks for your talents and sharing them with us.

  23. I pick a lot by author (you, Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Heather Graham, Kay Hooper, Alyssa Day, Sandra Hill, Bethany Clair (one I got started on because of a freebie).

    I also browse the free Kindle sites a lot and have found several I really like that way. I’ve gotten hooked on some series from those (Bethany Clair’s are a series of time travel books.) Morna’s Legacy is another series I started that way.

    I pick a lot by genre. I like romantic suspense, historicals and paranormals among others.

  24. I chose books first by author. I have certain authors where I read all they write. Then I go by subject. There are a few that I will read anything I can get my hands on, like Merlin or King Arthur. Then I go by recommendations from authors I know and like.

  25. I usually choose by the author and the genre. I love mystery and romance. I attend a lot of mystery conferences and buy a lot of paperback books so I can have them signed by the author. I tend to buy romance for my Kindle but occasionally buy hardcovers for gifts. I have certain authors that I preorder so I don’t miss the book when it’s released.

  26. I also tend to read by author and buy everything they write. After that it varies. I have found some really good authors through my Kindle and its free books…Nicky Charles is my favorite Kindle discovery.

  27. Until recently it was always via a friend’s recommendation – now I have ‘liked’ the fb pages of many of my favourite authors and seeing their choices and the choices of the other fans like myself has opened up a whole new library of selections – it is simply wonderful! I read Daddy Long-legs as a teen so am delighted that you enjoyed it recently – I finally read The Rosie Project because of all the online ‘buzz’ and it was an unexpected treat. I do still choose my old Georgette Heyer favourites when I am at a low ebb – instant uplift. Thank God for writers! And that means you too, Ms Balogh!

  28. To tell you the truth most of my choices for reading materials are made by what style I’m in the mood for, then what author I may like that is in that area, then what is recommended or newest released for authors if my favorites don’t have anything for me to catch up on yet. Sometimes though, a good review through the library or may catch my eye and I’ll check out the book and if I like it I may check out more from the same author. Another way is author recommendations and this is one that has increasingly gotten my attention lately through Facebook, so you never know I guess it really depends on my mood. Hope this helps Mary. 🙂

  29. I go through phases — if I find an author I love (like you, for instance), I will read everything they have written just as soon as I can get my hands on the books. Then there are times that I will stumble across a book while browsing in the public library and bring it home. Other times one of my good FB friends will recommend a book for my Kindle and I’ll buy it for later. I just love to read no matter how the book gets into my hands. 🙂

  30. First by author, my favorite auto buys. Then I have been checking out recommendations on Facebook. Also, I get notifications from BookBud daily.

  31. I read by author, by recommendation , and by what simply looks good to me when I walk through the bookstore. I love my iBook and Kindle apps on my iPad and iPhone and I always finish a book, even if I’m not crazy about it. I collect books by favorite authors (yes, I have all of yours) and I even collected all 130+ books by the late Betty Neels. My books got me through the dark days after my husband’s death. If I hadn’t been able to escape in books, the depression would have submerged me, so I believe that my voracious reading appetite saved my life. And it’s also a great source of trivia and facts which never fail to amaze my grandchildren!

  32. I start by genre but then I tend to binge on an author that I like. I use my local library’s ebook app a lot and I’ve exhausted their catalogue of digital titles for several favorite authors. (Mary Balogh was the first author that I binged on.)

  33. I generally read books by author, especially those that I like. Sometimes though, I will pick up a book on recommendation or if he title catches me, and I have found a couple of authors I like by doing this on my kindle, that my local library or bookstore do not carry. I love your work though, have nearly gone through all the books hat my library has by you. I particularly like he Bedwyn and the Huxtable series.

  34. I get a lot of recommendations from my Facebook mommy book club. Great gals and we always read something different! Thanks for the opportunity Mary!

  35. I like to read by author, title, subject, whatever strikes my fancy at the time. I have read ficitionalized history – A Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, westerns – love Zane Grey and the Sacketts series, biographies are great – Len Goodman’s bio is a good read, who’d a thunk. Science fiction & fantasy are always good as well – gives me common ground with my kids.

  36. I pick new books in many ways:
    recommendations from friends; by the author; bookstore browsing; and meandering through Goodwill. One thing for sure, I am always looking. Two recent reads are The Boys in the Boat (about the crew team of poor boys from the University of Washington who won the gold at the 1936 Olympics in Germany. It has everything: true grit, romance, loss and a happy ending, just like a Mary Balogh book, all of which I love, too)

  37. A friend recommended that I read Dean Koontz, and I am never disappointed. There is so much I want to read and wish I had more time to read it all. I always enjoy your books and never hesitate to buy and read a new one.

  38. Gosh, so many books, so little time! I love when an author names some of the authors she/he reads. I will visit the library or book store and find a book by the author; read the jacket and a few paragraphs at the beginning and then a few more somewhere in the middle of the book. If I like the book, then I will attempt to read all the books by that author.

    One of my other favorite authors is Rhys Bowen. In one of her Facebook posts, she mentioned Deborah Crombie and Cara Black. I picked up a book by Deborah Crombie and found it too “dark”, but I kept being drawn to her books. Eventually I absorbed as many of her books as I could find at the library and Half Price Book Store. The same with Cara Black’s Aimee Leduc series.

    I am really saddened when one of my favorites dies. Thank you so much for writing! Stay healthy!! : )

  39. I am a non-stop reader and have nearly 1500 books in my library. They are on shelves according to author and are in copyright date order. I also have a binder with A-Z tabs by author & their books. If the copyright date is filled in, I’ve read it. If it is blank, I still need to read it. I’m trying to read every book of each of my favorite authors until I am caught up. I have over 600 left to go! You are one of most favorite.

  40. I read a great deal by author–I’ll tend to read everything I can get my hands on by a particular author that I like. Now that the Internet has made that easier (even if a book is out of print, I don’t have to hope that my local used bookshop has a copy; I can get a copy from anywhere in the world), that informs a lot of my book purchases. I also read a lot of books because they are given to me. My father has a lot more disposable income than I do, and every few months, he ships me a box full of books he’s read. I read them because they’re there (being able to buy one book a month has really cut down on my to-be-read pile!), and while a lot of them don’t get past the first chapter (we have different tastes), I’ve discovered a lot of books I have really enjoyed that way.

  41. I am so lucky. I work as a library assistant and I see most of the new titles coming in. I spend my day reading the synopsis of the books on the book jackets and I ask the borrowers if they have enjoyed what they have read when they are returning their books. If I know that they have similar taste in genre to me then I borrow the book too. I also have my favourite authors and refer to the ‘who writes like who’ to get my inspiration. My ultimate favourite classic author is Jane Austen and I love anything with the Regency touch.

  42. I usually choose my books by authors. I love Regencies and Historicals. Some of my favorites are by Mary Balough, Stephanie Laurens, Connie Brockway to mention just a few. I also love Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, Robyn Carr and Linda Lael Miller, etc. i get daily deals from BookBub, and if it sounds interesting, I will get it, even if it is by an author I haven’t read before. If I really like it, I try to find everything else that that author has published. Love love love to read. Would be very excited to get your new book!

  43. I find books in a wide variety of ways. If I find a writer I like, I will read everything in their backlist I can find. I love finding an author’s earlier books in ebook. I have discovered new authors from fellow customers at a book store or author appearances. I have tried books based on the recommendation of authors I follow on Facebook. I will try a new author based on a Top Pick review in RT Review magazine. I also try new authors by buying cheap used books at the library book sale. If it is an author I have never read, the plot description on the back is crucial.

  44. While I read by author and recommendation, I am always on the lookout for something/someone new.I subscribe to a number of ebook sites that recommend books, and I have found some wonderful free ebooks. I also tend to look at publishing houses, as I know that some tend to carry books I enjoy. Which book I read at any moment depends on my mood… do I want romance and/or fantasy? Has a favorite author put out a new book? Is it time for a suspenseful murder mystery? Is there young adult book calling to me? Or maybe I just want to be silly and laugh.

  45. Well, I have my go to authors like you Mary, but I can’t lie my older sister has been a great source of book titles for me:) – some of the best books I’ve ever read she recommended to me. Other than that, I’m afraid I’m reduced to book type, write-up on the back and cover image to make my choice – I’m usually rewarded with this method most of the time:).

  46. I read a book or more a day so I make sure I access a lot of sites that offer books for “deals” and if the books have 4 stars or more on various websites, including Amazon. Believe me, I read authors I have never heard of and enjoy doing so. I try to get from the library genres I don’t buy, but sometimes that is just not possible because my local library has limited funds and can’t buy very many. Also I use Facebook and my favorite authors’ pages for more recommendations. Ain’t the Internet great!

  47. I used to read according to author, interest, and book cover. However, I have expanded my horizons and discovered some amazing authors in the process. I keep a list of authors and books in my Evernote app so it is always available on my phone when I am out shopping for new books. I also enjoy free Kindle books, which is where I discovered those new authors (at least they are new for me).

  48. I read Daddy Long Legs because you suggested it. I not only bought a copy for me- but one to share with my Granny. I like to find an author and then buy everything I can of theirs. I am still searching for decent priced Balogh Signet books. 🙂 I have bought a few but am hoping to come across a big selection at my local half price book store. I like your character development so much that I try to come across authors that make me feel like you do. I have found that in Judith McNaught’s historicals along with most of Lisa Kleypas’ books. When I have a good book- I can reread it often. Slightly Dangerous and The Devil In Winter/Because Your Mine (Kleypas) are three I can re-read over and over again. My goal in life is to read all the classics- but I’ll be honest- I love Austen, Bronte, Mitchell are my favorites along with Willa Cather. I re-read These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder often. I had a lovely English teacher in high school that introduced me to all those wonderful authors. Probably The Alchemist by Cohelo is the one book I just happened upon due to it being a best seller that I was able to underline great lines from it. A very thought provoking book. But….that being said…I always return to my Regency Romances. Thanks Mary for writing such great books!! Take care!!

  49. Mary,
    My reasons are just about the same as yours with 2 additions. The title of a book will catch my eye and draw me in to explore it further. Same with a cover, either a color used or its composition. If you were not on my automatic buy list, I would be drawn to look at ‘Only Enchanting’ because of the colors in the cover art. I am looking forward to reading it whether I win or not. Next on my TBR list is the ‘Slightly’ series.

  50. I will ask some of my friends for recommendations as well as just browse the various sections of the library and if a title pops out at me, I will certainly give it a whirl. I tend to stay with certain authors (such as you, Stephanie Laurens) but will often try my Amazon recommendations. I have one of the 1st generation Kindles and I check the free Top 100 frequently and have discovered new to me authors that I have loved. I also read books that receive a lot of hype such as the Harry Potter series, The Help, etc. I also love to re-read certain authors’ work. I am eagerly awaiting your new book!

  51. I choose by author, popular books that seem to be on everyone’s lips, movies that are coming out… I try and read the book first, covers that catch my eye, sometimes I even check the publisher because there are a couple that I have never read a bad romance from that publisher…at least not yet. Our library sells donated books to raise funds and I will pick up a few every time I am there, so I sometimes find a real gem for just a quarter. There are so many ways to find new books.

  52. I buy so many ebooks that it would take 10 yrs to read them all…. Oh my my hubby would kill me if he saw my whole library! Many of those books are yours 🙂
    Ok back to another good book!

  53. I admit I read by author. And I have several favorites. (You are one) Occasionally, when out of favorites, I try new authors by reading the exerpts (sp) on the back of the book (paperback) or the flyleaf (hardback). I don’t know exactly what attracts me to a particular book but as my husband can attest I have been attracted a lot. (4 large bookshelves full) I also am able to reread favorites time and time again with some separation.

  54. I have specific authors I always buy, yours are in that category. My second source has been suggested authors by the ones I like best. Suggestions from friends also rate in 2nd place and especially suggestions from my children and grandchildren.
    I would have missed so many great books without suggestions

    Now, I am thankful for the recommendations from Amazon and Audible to help point me forward.

  55. I have authors I love that I always buy: David McCullough, JD Robb, Lee Childs, Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins, you, Julia Quinn, Madeline Hunter, and a few others…

    I check out the deals, but I’m not as quick to buy the bargains as I used to be, unless it’s really a deal, from an author I know and love. There’s so much bad stuff out there now, with e-books making it easier to self-publish, I guess. But, there are certain tropes I love, so I’ll check out someone I don’t know, if the price is good, and the description sounds good.

    I definitely look at recommendations, reviews, etc, but I just know there are certain authors I like, and others that just don’t work for me. I also use my digital library membership to try out new authors. That’s how I found Cleo Coyle and the coffeehouse mysteries.

    Covers… Oh, I love good covers! I find that I often prefer the covers of romance novels as they are published in the UK (though I’m American). I’m not sure how much the cover influences whether or not I buy things, particularly now that I just buy e-books. I do set great store, though, by the book descriptions. It annoys me that they are not available to read on the e-book file (like a “back cover page”). I know I can read it elsewhere, but I’d like it to be more handy. Very often, I don’t remember a book by its title; I remember it by the description.

  56. I usually choose what I read by the author. If I have read books by a certain author and enjoy them I am likely to try to read everything he/she has written that I can get my hands on. If I am not too impressed I won’t seek their other books out. Sometimes I will read a book that my daughter or a friend or other family member recommends but will admit I am usually better satisfied with books I choose to read on my own. I like to have a synopsis and a clear idea of what the book is about more than a provocative cover to choose from. I have yet to be disappointed in a book by Mary Balogh!

  57. I generally go by author first. Especially if I’m reading a series and am constantly looking to see when it comes out. Then by cover, synopsis (it bugs me when the back cover has a picture or if the inside page has reviews). I use book bub to discover new books.

  58. When I choose a book I first look for my favorite authors and see what I haven’t read yet. Then I’ll search the covers to see if any catch my eye. If they do then I read the insert. If I find a series that’s most likely what I buy

  59. By author, definitely. Besides Balogh, there are many I read as soon as I can get my hands on them (Lackey, Quick/Krentz) and many I re-read for stress relief (Sayers, Cadell, Read). But for new or new-to-me books, it’s hard to beat serendipity from the shelves of a “real” (not virtual) library!

  60. Hello , I finally managed to get to this comment site.
    I think Mary you have a great passion for your writing. I know I have a great passion for reading and keeping them. Thank you again for all the enjoyment you give us all. Joan

  61. I read favorite authors, you named many of my favorites. I look at Amazon recommendations for me. Book Page is a monthly about books that my Library has and I I request books from that or reserve them as soon as it is available each month. I very seldom read books that everyone is reading, I am perverse that way. I read mysteries as well as romance. I only follow you as an author on face book, if I added any more authors my news feed would explode. I do quit books I don’t like after 50 or 100 pages, I do read endings too if I care enough. I binge on authors but it is frequently a mistake to read a whole series back to back as sometimes the author’s quirks become too obvious. I reread. I listen to more nonfiction than I read.

  62. I think my first criteria for choosing a book is always by author. If I have read an author and liked their style and writing, I will read everything they write and that I can find. Next, is word of mouth by my friends. If they have read something and really liked it, I will try it. Lastly, by title and/or cover. Believe it or not, if I’m looking for a book to read my eye will catch a title or cover picture and I will pick it up. The hook on the back or on the e book plurb about the story will convince me to give it a try. Sometimes I find a miss, but usually it is something worth while and I find a new author to follow.

  63. Mary, you really made me stop and think with your question because I’ve loved to read since I was 7 and and our librarian read my class Horton Hears a Who by Theodor Seuss Geisel and I’ve been reading ever since.

    My first “big” foray of finding books to read happen just a few short years later when I discovered autobiographies in our local library of women like Marie Curie and Amelia and spent the entire summer of 1956 that women could do more than just be a house wife and I haven’t stopped reading since then and in fact my first “romance” book was in the 10th grade when our teacher had the entire class read Don Quixote (the girls in the class all loved it – the boys not so much so!).

    Although I always loved history class it was my husband who got me reading history books and that lead me to historical romance but we also challenge each other to find new or new to us authors but one of the ones we ended up loving and fighting over to read first were all the Brother Cadfael mysteries! You can tell we both love to read as soon as you enter our home and look into the living room to see two huge book cases on either side of the fireplace filled and over flowing with all different types of book from history, historical, romance and even an entire set of encylopedias that not only our sons both read starting before they went to school (okay then they mostly looked at the pictures!) and now when our grandchildren come to visit they fight over who gets the chance to pick a “letter” first and that’s how they choose which one to read next!

    I guess you could say our “motto” is is: Open a book and you’ll open the world!

  64. I definitely read by author and then books/authors they recommend on social media. I have a standing order for the Persephone books and then look for other books by some of those authors. Mood also determines. Days when I am stressed after a nursing home visit, I’ll definitely grab a romance! Book reviews, neighbor reviews, book club choices, and simple serendipity in the library or bookstore.

  65. I read my favorite authors and rely on recommendations (from anywhere) on new ones. Once I get hooked, as I did with your writing, I have to read their whole backlist!

  66. I would say the first thing that draws me to a book is the cover. If it’s really pretty or unusual, I want to examine it closely. The author is one thing I look for and if it’s an author I follow and/or have heard a lot about, then I read the synopsis on the back of the book. If the plot makes me do the “big eyes and head nodding thing,” then I’m hooked. I enjoy reading a variety of genres of which historical romance novels comes first. I also like chick lit, some contemporary romance, some mysteries, biographies and the occasional non-fiction.

    I have been a Mary Balogh fan for many years and eagerly await each of your novels. As a voracious reader, I always write reviews for each and every book I read.

    I’m so looking forward to reading “Only Enchanting” and would be thrilled to receive an ARC of the novel. Thanks so much for your generous giveaway.

  67. Love to read, I inherited my love of reading from my father (Mom reads, but nothing like what Dad did). I remember coming home one night and looking for my book….couldn’t find it any where….Dad had run out of books and decided that maybe romance novels weren’t so bad. I will read most any genre of book that is printed, but my favorite is historical romance from any time period.

  68. I love finding new authors…after all you were once an unknown author to me 🙂 I borrow the books from my local library directly unto my iPad (which is fantastic)! I’m often attracted by titles or covers. The title “Cleapoatra’s Daughter” is what attracted me to Michelle Moran and I went on to read all her books which I loved (as I’m Egyptian). U can come across a lot of titles online 🙂

  69. I choose what to read in many of the same ways you do – by author, recommendations from friends who like the same types of books I do, and peer pressure. I also have to read new YA fiction, as I’m a high school English teacher; this usually pops up at school or on email lists of new books. Students telling me how wonderful “Twilight” was got me to read that; not convinced they were entirely correct on that one.

    More serendipitously, I’ve raided bookshelves of places I’ve stayed when travelling (friend’s places, hostels or hotels). I’ve had some brilliant finds *and* the time to read them. Friends’ places, even when not travelling, have revealed treasures.

    And, of course, local libraries, although more so before electronic books were so readily available. I’ll start by looking for authors I know, then check others around them, and also look at the displays librarians put up of new books. I think browsing was how I found you (being close to Jo Beverley and M C Beaton). The Aiden novel of the Bedwyn series was a revelation (the vivid description of the heroine picking through the dead on a battlefield was not something I’d come across before, and I was hooked). Library visits will often lead to purchasing when they don’t have all of a series, or don’t get them in quick enough, or don’t have all of an author’s work (and they never do!).

  70. I choose books by author, by genre, and by personnel recommendation. I select some books for personal reading (just for my own enjoyment) and others for in depth study and analysis. I’ve taught literature for many years, and I enjoy discovering new books to share with my students. We take tremendous pleasure in discovering new authors; exploring themes; and examining how authors’ choices of diction, imagery, details, language, point of view, and style reinforce the themes, intensify the characterization, and strengthen the overall effect of the novel.

  71. I always buy the newest books from
    authors I love. Then others that the
    cover grabs me, to look at it and
    see what it’s about. Also when
    everybody is talking about one,
    reading The Maze Runner now
    after seeing the movie.
    Carla from Utah

  72. When choosing books to read I first look for my favorite authors. Then I read the inserts until I find something that catches my eye. I really love reading a series. That way I am able to keep up with what everyone is doing in their life.

  73. I choose my books the same way you choose yours: by author, because a friend recommended the author/book, because a cover appealed to me, because everyone seems to be talking about it. Usually that last category is serious non-fiction: titles such as 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus and The New Jim Crow and The Sixth Extinction. But I also choose according to health. As a person with a chronic illness, when I feel a spell coming on, I crave the comfort of humor, romance and happy endings!

  74. I choose books by Author (I love series…), by subject (romance, mystery, sci-fi) and sometimes, just by the covers…..
    It’s always fun to discover new to me authors and their writing styles.

  75. I buy most of my books by author, but I try out new authors at the second-hand bookstore or at book sales. When I find a new author I like, I add her to my buying list.

  76. I choose my books I read by first the author, if I know and like the author than chances are I will love their work, than I will look for a story I would enjoy and if I’m having a hard time choosing, than why not get them all, I sometimes go by peoples opinion (except for my friend who suggested twilight was a good read) and when in doubt I will look up a book, and in the end if I can’t find a new one I’ll go back to a old one I have read, or series if I’m feeling really dedicated to a good long read

  77. The way I choose a book varies. I have my auto-buys, though those are few. But those are authors whose books I’ll buy no matter what reviews say. The cover of a book may catch my eye, but it will lead to my reading the blurb, which is a big decider for me. It’s the same with a title – the interesting ones will lead me to the blurb.
    But recently, a big factor for me is reviews on Audible, Amazon, or Goodreads. A blurb may sound really, really interesting but sometimes it turns out to be a great concept poorly executed. Reading reviews by regular people is a great indicator. Granted, someone may hate a book that others have loved, and vice versa, but then I look at their usual reading pattern to see if our reading tastes are similar. I read reviews of people I follow on GR and Audible, but also random reviews. That’s my big decider. I have found that I enjoy the book more when I see what others have enjoyed about it.
    The most influential in my trying books by new to me authors is FB. I have my usual authors I follow, but it isn’t so much the books they are plugging, but the authors with whom they are friends. For instance, I look at your friends list and see other authors there. I go to their page and become friends and start to follow their posts. I look up what they’ve written, and buy a book to see if I like their style. But it’s that feeling of relationship that can get me invested in someone’s career. I know that my buying the one copy per book published won’t make or break a career, but my honest reviews of the books I read on GR, and recommendations to friends might help them along.
    I also talk to people on GR to get ideas for different genres. I was all Regency romanced out (and none of my author auto-buys was releasing anything right at the moment), and someone recommended a Paranormal author, which led me to other paranormals. Then I followed up with a different recommendation of a steampunk book, which led me to a ton of others, and now I’m just into bizarre with 14 by Peter Clines. Maybe I’ll try a graphic novel next…

  78. I love your books…as an English major (many years ago), it figures, right? Unfortunately, I am also a VERY fast reader, so I have to save up each series to read after the last book is published. Then, I can go back and read them again from the beginning at any time. Keep on writing – just write faster…lol!

  79. I usually chose by authors I know and have read before. I love the sequel books to find out what happens next.
    Right now, I just finished The Escape and enjoyed knowing what happened to Benedict!
    Now I am reading JD Robb’s latest, Festive in Death, as I don’t miss one of those, or a Balogh, or Quick!!

  80. I chose books by title, author and some time just by the cover art. I love history and historical novels give me a touch of historic fact with the I wonder what would happen if this were the case.

  81. as you stated, you can’t read all the books, you want so how do you choose?
    1) i started by chance lol : i bought a book by Stéphanie Laurens, one of the cynster’s books and i was hooked.
    2) i started to look around: amazon suggestions, blogs. and bingo i found a second author i liked…you!
    3) then somebody mentioned Julia Quinn
    4) the ball began to roll. i discovered Eloisa James, Katharine Ashe, Gaelen Foley, Sarah Maclean, Julianna Mclean,…
    5) now it’s more easy: you have facebook, the authors are active and you can interact with them, You appreciate them not only for their books but also for the little items they want to share with their fans, you have blogs, reviews,….
    6) but at the same time it becomes more difficult so you return to those authors you soo loved in teh start, and you follow them, read evrything they publish, pre-order and wait for the next installement. that’s why i love series

    keep up the good work, give us words, in good sentences, with a great plot
    thank you!!

    kind regards,

  82. I have loved reading all of your books! I can’t wait for the new ones to be released! You have a way of taking me into the story like I am right there.

  83. Anything by Kate Atkinson.
    Lately read “Where Have You Gone, Bernadette?” by Maria Semple.
    Also, of course, anything by Mary Balogh.

  84. I choose my books by genre — i am a diehard historical fan; also by author and reading the excerpts at the back. Whilst I am not always right….who cares…. If it’s my favourite author I read it!

  85. My three favorite ways to choose: my favorite author, my mom or sister sends it to me, or I read it to know what the kids are talking about!

  86. Mostly I get books from the library, the ones I really like I end up buying (ex: the slightly series were all bought after I had read them)
    I look at Goodreads and their recommendations
    I look at people’s lists (ex:20 best historical fiction novels)
    And sometimes I get recommendations from friends.

  87. I read by recommendation (my friends who read know what kind of books I like, but sometimes they fall in love with books outside my usual genres and suggest I give them a try), by author (I love checking for your books in bookstores to see if I can find more by you I haven’t read yet!), by genre (historical romance and mystery for sure), and sometimes just because something has a really interesting cover/title. If something attracts a lot of popular attention I might pick it up in a bookstore or library or Kindle sample just to read the first little bit, but I can often tell whether I’m going to like a book pretty quickly. I love going to used bookstores because I often find interesting, quirky books that way, and when I fall in love with an author, then I’ll usually buy newer books at original or sale price in stores. I have to say, though, the author method works best for me. I might love an author regardless of genre (Stephen King, for example; I don’t read a lot of horror, other than his).

  88. I usually go by author, I have a word document saved that lists all my favorite authors and their books. I then add their next book and cross it off when I have read it. I also list series that way too. I also go by recommendations either from an author’s facebook page or their website. I will mark it down, do a search and see if it sounds appealing which of course, they all are!

  89. Like those commenting before, I often read based on the author. When I find one I like, I continue to read their books until they stop publishing them. Our Community Library has flip cards on a ring in several spots that list current authors and offer suggestions for other authors with similar writing styles. I will scan these lists, and then go read the jackets on the suggested books to see if it clicks with me. I also have 3 Kindle and a Nook that I adore. They are wonderful sources for suggestions on what I might enjoy reading next. My Mum also makes frequent suggestions. She reads about 6 books a week. At 87 they are her primary entertainment. She and I pass your books back and forth whenever we find one we haven’t read. Thanks for continuing to present us with new ones to enjoy. 🙂

  90. I think we all choose based on mood. One week I’ll focus on a romance, the next it will be suspense, comedy, drama, or fantasy. There are so many choices, and yet so little time to read them all, which is all too real for me at the moment. I’ve been collecting books for years. Recently I admitted that I don’t have enough room for all the books I’ve collected (especially since I’m still collecting). There are those that I will read over and over again, and those that I’ll read once and that’s it. I’m trying to be ruthless in my decision-making, but there are some that just cannot be removed from the collection. Of course, I’m keeping all my Mary B. books, as well as those written by Jane A., Debbie M., etc. But there are also some stand-alone favourites, like Robert McCammon’s Swan Song, Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent, Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture, and John Grogan’s Marley & Me (which, ironically, my dog ate part of). It’s time to give others the opportunity to enjoy some of these books, and to give me more space to continue building my collection… 😕 So many choices…so little time…

  91. When I decide on a book to sink myself into, I look a lot at the cover, read about the author, then make a quick decision to jump in…. Hahaha, I love all books, especially yours.

  92. I peruse the local libraries and used bookstores for things to catch my eye. I read so much, and so often I actually have trouble finding things I haven’t already read. Which is why I am overjoyed you have a new title coming out, I cannot wait to get my hands on it! I love getting lost in your stories. Thanks Mary, for writing so well I truly do lose myself in them.

  93. I’m a Hugh fan of Jane Austen so any author that is to the writing and creativeness of Jane Austen, like Mary I will read every book.

  94. I’d never thought about how I choose what to read before so thank you for making me think about it! After putting some thought into this question, I find I have two favorite ways to choose:
    1) recommendations from friends
    2) I just pick a book off the shelf in libraries and book stores, open the book to a random page and read it. If a page from a book makes me want to find out the rest of the story, I get it!

    The second choice above is my go-to.

  95. I gravitate towards a book by it’s cover first. Then I read the synopsis. If both are favorable, then I make my purchase. I tend to by books that are part of a series that I already have. I haven’t gone out and randomly bought a book on a whim in a while.

  96. I pick books by reading the jackets. I’ve stumbled onto some good reads that way.
    Certain authors books become automatic reads. I’ve rarely been disappointed by my favorite authors.

  97. Like you there was never a rhyme or reason, or so I thought. Last year for my birthday my husband bought me a truckload of 2,500 books off of a swap. All romance! Love him! Now 1 year later I still have only read a few… why you may ask? I have favorite authors who are always coming out with something new and I buy them instead of choosing one of the others. Incidently the books I’ve read off the shelves of books I now have are all older books from authors I love and had not yet read. PS. I almost never re-read a book, there are too many new ones to explore.

  98. Sometimes authors I know or their recommendations. Others serendipity…a blurb on NPR or in an online review or sometimes a book will catch my eye at a yard sale or a book sale…

  99. I buy books based on if the cover intriques me enough to pull it out, then read the blurb. if the blurb sounds up my alley, and I have the money, it comes home. Same with thrift store, ex-library, etc. Then from those, I choose what appeals to me that day. It might be thriller, cozy, regency, mystery, SF, or YA. I get recommendations from all over – I subscribe to all kinds of book lists, belong to Goodreads, where I get tons of stuff that sounds great, newspapers, magazine (RT, PW), and anywhere. Some books keep popping up, and I will get them based on that alone. And sometimes they sit there for years after buying them – one of my all time favorites was one such. When I finally read it (The Eight by Katherine Neville), I was blown away and wondered why it took me so long. And if I like an author well enough, I buy their new books, sight unseen (or blurb read). Or I surf the new releases at the library and take home those that speak to me, or if it’s book #2, I go and find Book #1 as well. That’s why I have such a huge personal stash – I never know what is going to pique my interest that day, and make me want to read it. Having so many on hand, I put the most likely ones on top of piles, or in front of others. Sadly, I may never be able to read them all. But I will die knowing I tried.

  100. My selection process is by author. Every now and then I will choose one based on the cover or the plot line. Occasionally I’m surprised and find a new author to add to my must read list. I’m in a funk right now waiting for your next book. Thankfully for me a few of my favorite authors have new books coming out in October. You are at the top of my list.

  101. I always pick a book by author first, then by recommendation of a few bookish friends and sometimes book media, and finally by my curiosity about the story. I liked a lot of Oprah Winfrey’s book selections, but most of those stories were darn depressing. I don’t go for popular books much, I have yet to read the DaVinci Code and the 50 Shades of Gray books; an exception to this is the Harry Potter books which I loved very much.

  102. Been reading your books since the very first one you published years ago and I picked it up at the Kipling Drugstore! They just get better and better Mary. I know that I will always get lost in one of your adventures. Thanks for that!

  103. I love to read synopsis on book sites , NYT lists etc and look for my favorite authors and similar story , characters, genre. I am in a great book club with international members that come up with lots of choices I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen, but often enjoy .

  104. I choose my reading material based on author, subject (depending on what I currently obsessing over), and genre. I live recency, but have also been reading a lot about the Bible as an historic document and an archeological one.

  105. I choose my books mostly by authors and suggestions. When I go to the library I always have a habit of picking at least one book randomly without any particular purpose and that’s how I found your books and decided to continue the habit. Am from India and I love your books. 🙂

  106. The bulk of the books I read are chosen by author. You and Grace Burrowes are my favorite historical authors. You both are wonderful writers. “Slightly Dangerous” is my favorite. I have read it numerous times. I also enjoy reading contemporary novels. I especially like the books about small towns. I’m looking forward to reading “Only Enchanting”

  107. How to choose? That is tough. I have authors I like and I will usually read anything by him or her. I like to wander the bookstore and look at displays. I also ask friends what they are reading. Sometimes I start reading a bok that someone left in a doctor’s office and continue later.
    I like all genres. I like the classics, romances, historical non fiction (i.e Barbara Tuchman), mysteries (Christie, PD James), suspense, and–as a teacher–children’s books. I will read anything.

  108. I have been with you from the beginning, and I have saved all your books (which I re-read when I have a lag in getting new books). I also love mysteries. Some of my favorite authors are: Imogen Robertson, Tessa Harris, Anna Lee Huber, C S Harris, Will Thomas and Charles Finch. I also enjoy reading Michael Connelly, Elizabeth George, P D James, Susan Hill, and Martha Grimes. I love love love to read. One of the greatest inspirations a teacher gave me was learning to love reading. She was my 5th grade teacher, and she had a small library in her classroom (our grade school had no library). By the end of the year, I had read all her books. My favorites were the Nancy Drew mysteries.

  109. I have always loved the library – and still do. Unfortunately, because of a bad back and knee, it is difficult the roam the aisles, just picking books at random to scan like I used to. But I am extremely fortunate that I live in the computer age and I’m able scan the books on-line. Our county library has a wonderful website that allows me to order books and then just pick them up. That’s where I found your books Mary. I enjoyed them so much that I wanted to have my own copies. That means, that in my opinion, you are “shelf worthy”. As are a handful of other authors, whose books I will actually purchase.

    I have a kindle and shop the kindle library much the same way I do the public library. I also visit other author websites for ideas. On Grace Burrowes website she actually prints excerpts from her books. I like that a lot.

    When I was younger my reading was more varied. Nowadays I read mostly romance (mostly historical), mysteries, and biographies. And evey now and then I feel the need for a chuckle. I recently re-discovered Barbara Metzger. Just finished reading A LOYAL COMPANION – what a hoot!

  110. Some writers never disappoint (Georgette Heyer, Mary Balough, Julia Quinn, Emily Dickinson, e. e. cummings) and selecting their works is automatic. Others are usually liked so I seek out their books and then read the synopsis to make thefinal decision. Still others attract me by the title or cover art. I read a great deal for my nonfiction writing and those selections are based upon how they expand my understanding and how they challenge me to think outside the box. For those life moments of stress or pain, I reread something from my first group. Their books are not only old friends; they offer a hug while reminding me I believe in happily ever after.

  111. I start with the front cover and if that catches my eye I read the description of the story and I always look for my favorite author……you are one of my favorites

  112. I have a very long list of favorite authors ( of course you are near the top) whom I just have to read. Then my sister and I are always comparing notes about what we are reading and that introduces me to even more books, then there is the NY Times top 10 list. And my list goes on.

  113. I usually read by author. Have a long list of authors that are must read. Am always looking for new authors. Follow authors on facebook and find new authors by their recommendations. Also have friends and family with whom I share books and find new authors.

  114. I also read by author once I find one I like, and snatch up their newest regardless of what the blurb says. Lately I seem to be on quite a streak of reading novels that are being adapted into movies or TV series – I think I always like to see how the adaptation compares to the book.

  115. I usually end up reading full lines of an author if I like one or two of their books, then when I run out I find a new one. My local librarian likes to recommend authors for me to try as while, and if I see one that someone else is checking out that looks interesting I have a tendency to try those as well. I also check out authors recommended by friends. I really enjoy your books too . 🙂

  116. So many factors! I have my authors (everyone does it seems). I will always pick up a JK Rowling novel, along with Philippa Gregory, Kate Pearce, Jess Michaels, Orson Scott Card, etc.

    I get recommendations from friends and blogs.My recent project has been to read Outlander (the whole series) and I found them because my boss insisted I would love them (I did). Another friend sent me a book called Sex on the Moon which is so far really great.

    I live in China, so I miss out sometimes on this last one, but I love going into bookstores and just finding books that look great. I’m currently reading a novel about a family in Israel that I found while browsing one of my favorite book stores in Hong Kong.

    So, now I have several piles of books (and a queue on my ereader) that I am racing to read to meet my Goodreads challenge for this year.

  117. I have a huge collection of print books at home, sorted by authors alphabetically. I try to collect all titles, old and new of my favorites (like Mary Balogh). I also have books on Audible and over 5000 titles in my Kindle Library. The ‘easy’ choices are when I have selected a book for review, although that is hard too because of the many offerings. I try to select variety in genre when I am reviewing: romance, sci fi, mystery, etc. Picking from my collection and TBR are a little harder. If I haven’t read a print from my own shelves for a while I will often go with and older title of one of my favorite authors. I also try to pick up at least one book a month from many books I have won over the past five years. Then I add to my monthly reading at least one free kindle title. I might pick that by a theme: holiday event like Halloween or a color. I even hold giveaways for bloggers to pick a word and I pick a title with that word.
    Sorry for the long answer. I pick new books by blurb looking for some action or mystery and a little romance.
    Thank you for your fine books which provide nice romances with good characters and plots.

  118. As always, it is a pleasure to read your thoughts. I read books because of their genre, author, or because they were recommended by someone. I believe, that I actually get to take credit for recommending Sharon Draper’s book, Out of My Mind, to you. 😉 I remember how thrilled I was when I read on Facebook that you read Draper’s book a few weeks after I recommended it to you. I’m glad you loved that book as much as I did, it is wonderful.

  119. I started keeping a log of the authors I enjoy and which books of theirs I have. I had a bad habit of buying duplicate books. I love when my favorite authors have new books, it makes my day. It’s nice that the eBook stores send emails when authors I have purchased before have a new book coming out.

  120. I choose what to read next mostly by author and genre. I am always looking for books by my favorite authors, especially their new books. Recommendations from friends, or from online book groups such as Goodreads. I get daily recommendations from Bookpage, Barnes & Noble, Fresh Fiction, Bookbub etc, new release emails from Penguin, Random House, Berkeley Prime, “Stop You’re Killing Me”, RT Book reviews among others as well as. I also follow some of my favorite authors on Facebook or via emails. I have rather eclectic tastes in books. Believe it or not some of the books that I have seen featured on Book TV on C-span 2 & on American History TV on C-span 3 on the weekend have been very good. So on any particular day I may be reading a romance (historical or Regency), cozy mystery, biography, history (especially local) or how to books. I am newly retired so I do keep my local library busy with my requests. We have a great interlibrary loan process. As soon as I read or hear about a book that seems interesting I can go to the library website & put in a request. The only frustrating part is when none of the connected libraries have the particular book listed in the system yet. I also have found books mentioned or connected with a TV program especially on PBS. I have been reading your books for some time & look forward to all the new ones. This past summer I joined the adult summer reading program at my local library & during our rap up meeting found my self writing down lots of books mentioned by the other members that I have to read! Too many books & not enough time!!

  121. Depends on what I’m in the mood for. Paranormal romance, contemporary romance or historical romance. I’m never in the mood for biographies or self help books. I usually start in the new books looking for my favorite authors. If a cover catches my eye of an author I haven’t tried before and it sounds good I might buy it to try a new author. Rarely am I disappointed by this method of selection.

  122. I have a nook. I will look at new releases, cheap books, favorite author. When checking out a book I like, I check out what other people bought that is similar, ( a nice option the nook has). I look for recogmendations from friends and book clubs. Library, book stores, computer sights….

  123. I find an author I like and will then read everything written by him or her. It gets difficult waiting for the next book when I have read everything by the author. Then, I search for another author and repeat the process!

  124. I generally read a book because of the author…but that can change if the author doesn’t continue to offer well written stories. At other times I read something because I became intrigued by either the subject, the presentation, or the convenience. I’ve picked up books before just because I needed something quick (like while being bored waiting on a doctor…and then found myself either accidentally walking out with the book or buying it at a bookstore because I just have to finish it.) I don’t often read on recommendation unless I know the person who is making the recommendation really well. I used to do that, but encountered some horrible books. I also steer clear of self-published books mostly because editing errors drive me completely out of the story and irritate me. I have also read books because someone close to me read them and I want to know what they are talking. This way I can participate in a conversation about something they love or admire.

  125. I discovered you by accident and cannot put your books down. I have to make sure I get all my chores done before I treat myself to your stories. I even get irritated my husband can not be as romantic as your characters.

  126. I usually stick to authors that I enjoy as the first step. After that I choose a cover that’s enticing and then read the synopsis. This is not the same for your books now. I’m working my way through the collections until I get up to date.
    For new authors it is a combination of cover and synopsis so it’s important that both are done well. I don’t often read reviews bease different boks appeal to different readers. I also like a Happy ending because life has enough challenges without reading about negative endings. Please continue to write as long as you can.

  127. Interesting question, because I have never before actually thought how I choose what I read. First thing I choose is the language, sometimes I prefer Finnish and sometimes I want to read English. I’ve noticed that translated books often lose some of their charm and there is a lot of books that never get translated in Finnish anyway. Author is important, if I like the first book I always check what else that author has written. My friends recommend books to me, but because I read more books every month than they read whole year I rarely find anything new that way. I usually read several books from the same subject or genre in a row and sometimes I search books that fit my current mania. And then there are my “birthday books”. I have a habit of buying myself a book as a birthday present and the point is to pick the first book that looks interesting and if possible it must be from author I haven’t read before. This year I was in a hurry and took the first historical romance I saw. I was out of the bookstore five minutes later and had The Proposal in my bag…

  128. My first choice is usually author too and I use the aid of the website Goodreads and my library to find other author recommendations on the genre/author of books I love to read. I’ve also just been known to scour books in charity shops for titles/covers that ‘jump out’ at me! Cover designs pay a big part for me too, as does the summary on the back cover.

  129. Author first, genre second, blurb and reviews. I subscribe to and they send me a list of discounted books every day. Not a day goes by that I don’t get at least one. As to which book I choose, depends .. Love romantic adventure, thrillers (spy type, not gory), some psychic or slightly si fi and it all depends on my mood.

    And, if I get one on my Kindle that I have pre-ordered and it shows up – HALLELUIAH! I start reading instantly … And do NOT bother me til I’m done!

  130. For me, favorite authors are a start (I love books in a series…keeps the characters alive longer)…when the authors I enjoy suggest another writer on Facebook, I may read something by that person, too. (By the way, they may have become my favorite authors when I browsed their book at a local book store or checked out new books at the library)…With all the bad news & evil happenings, I often escape to the world of Romance esp. Historical ones…it gives me a chance to refresh my soul & face the world on a daily basis…Ev Bedard

  131. I am at the age where I now prefer to pick up books by author. Automatic buys include Mary Balogh, Stephanie Lauren’s, Julia Quinn, and Eloisa James. Nora Roberts, and Amanda Scott, I have stocked up on their paperbacks for leisure time. And I now keep a kindle for road trips. Love to pick up more!

  132. I have some authors that I love so I read all of their books. I ask my librarians and they have good suggestions. Also if my kids recommend a book I usually like it because they know me. My son even sent me a box of books from 1 of his favorite authors from South Carolina to me in Iowa. We are a reading family and pass the books around.

  133. I choose books by author primarily, but if it’s an unfamiliar author, anything goes. Sometimes I’ll read by recommendation, cover, blurb, or just because something undefinable appeals to me.

  134. i love the quote! so true. i choose authors first and the genre and expand from there.
    i would love to try a free book of yours! lately due to these book promotions; i’ve joined the bandwagon on what’s popular, fifty shades of grey, bared to you, twilight, outlander… guilty! hahaha!

  135. Just like many others on this blog, I choose reading a book by author. And I have a list of them and I always read any book they write. Then I’m always doing research on the web to find new authors. When I hit a dry spot I re-read the many special books I’ve bought by my favorite authors. I always read romance both historical and contemporary. I’ve just branched out for the first time to romantic mysteries by Karen Robards. Some authors I love just get better and better. Some seem to have only a certain series that is outstanding and then write poorly after that. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one. Her Chicago Stars series was wonderful. I couldn’t get through her latest book. I thought it was just awful.
    Mary Balogh is one author that never disappoints. She also is the reason I came back to reading after several years when I had no time to read….due to a very hectic schedule( my husband and I ran our own business.) She continues to be my favorite author and I’m so thankful, Mary that you continue to write. We are all so fortunate to have authors like you. You are a gift to thousands of readers. What would we do without you and other great writers? Life without a good book to read would be very dark indeed.

  136. I generally pick by author, if I’ve enjoyed one of their books I assume I will enjoy others so will buy the others. If I’m looking for a new author to read I pick by cover. I know that might seem a bit shallow but usually the ones with a gorgeous cover are generally good books.

  137. Just like everyone else, I follow my favorite authors. But sometimes when I am in a bookstore I will read the first page or two of a book by an author who is new to me. I do tho without reading the back of the book so I am completely unbiased. If the writing grabs me, I will buy the book. I have found a lot of great books/authors this way.

  138. I have some auto-buy authors (you were my first!), and some I buy because of title or cover art – but I always read the blurb to make sure I’ll enjoy the story. I have also found authors through recommendations; Grace Burrowes was one of your recommendations! I have a few favorites left over from high school English class, some of which I would NEVER have read on my own (Northwest Passage by Kenneth Roberts), and some were passed along to me second hand and are now favorites – Lynn Kurland and Janet Chapman are in that group. On the other hand, there are some books that I will just never try no matter how much buzz there is about them. Popularity is not in itself a good enough recommendation to me.

  139. First and foremost I buy authors I love, one of which is you. After that or through a dry spell I browse the shelves looking for a cover or title that grabs me. Suggestions are always worth considering as well.

  140. Whenever I’m in the lucky position to read, my choice will often depend on 1.) the amount of time I have to devote to new book and 2.) what kind of mood I’m in. If I know that I will be reading in spurts, then I will probably choose a book that’s a “page turner”, with lots of action. If I have a nice chunk of time, or I abandon my lengthy to-do list, I will pick a book that develops more slowly.
    I’m a sampler. I’ll read a few pages, but if a character doesn’t speak to me, if there’s no spark, then I’ll try something else. A lot depends on my mood as well. If I’m feeling nostalgic, I may re-read a classic. I’ve read Jane Eyre ten times at least. It’s like a familiar foreign land. I always find something new there, though.
    I like strong female characters. Not Amazonian, but strongly interesting. Her story must be compelling. Wit will work wonders to keep me intrigued. Because I rail against the way society has messed with many a young woman’s body image, I will connect with a curvy girl first.
    Of course, anything written by Mary Balogh is top of the list!

  141. I have my favorite authors like you, Karen Hawkins, Julia Quinn, Mary Jo Putney, and a few others but I have been getting free Ebooks from Bookbub and freebooksy. I have found some great authors. I end up getting more books from them. I like all kinds of genders. From historical romance to contempary romance to erotica. Straight to LBGT. Not a big fan of shifter or paranormal though. but my all time favorite are Historical Romance.

  142. I absolutely love your books and reading in general. There is nothing like curling up on the couch with a good book and getting lost in the pages. Every book that I but I keep and reread them. My dream is to one day have a library in my house, a little corner of my house where I can go in and relax and dive into a good book!!!!

  143. I chose the books I read by authors I have read and love. I also use Bookbub and other online vendors, these I read recommendations before deciding. I also get recommendations from family and friends. I love to read and spend hours researching books for my students to read for novel units or a read alouds. Hoping to pass on my love of the written word to future generations

  144. I tend to read the classics, romance and I try to keep up with books that a teen would read since I am a teacher. I have instilled my love of reading in my son who introduced me to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. I just completed my second reading on all the Harry Potter books and I have started on the Percy Jackson series again since it has been a long while since I read them last.
    At times, the illustrations on the front of the book will tempt me to read it; however, many times, I will take a recommendation from a friend when I do not have a book from one of my favorite authors available. One of my students offered her Divergent books to me last spring and I read those just in time for the first movie to come out. At the time I was looking for something different to read and it filled that void.
    I love to read and I can spend hours in a book store or online shopping or browsing and making a list of the books I want to read later.

  145. I love your regency novels. I have read most of them. When I’m tired after a long day a perfect way to rest is getting lost in a book with a cup of coffee. I’m thankful for ebooks, because they are the only way to have those book and enjoy them as the rest of the world. Thank you!! Best wishes from Paraguay, South America.

  146. I almost always choose by author. Once I find an author I like, I read everything in his or her body of work. I’ve had a few who have disappointed me, and they get crossed of the list. But there are those who never disappoint (you, Mary!). How do I find these authors that I like? Various ways. Word of mouth recommendation is powerful. I do a lot of book browsing, too. I start with genre and title. I read the back cover, then the first few pages. (Was I drawn into the story?) The cover sometimes draws me in, but it’s more the story, the characters that decide it for me. I read a few books a week and always have a nice stack on my bedside table.

  147. I choose my books: (1) by author – I definitely have a number of authors that I will always read the books they come out with. I usually try to read all of their backlist as well. (2) by recommendation – from other authors, from my friends, from book blogs. (3) by my book clubs’ selection process -10% of the time a book will turn out to be a stinker or just not my cu of tea, but the rest of the time I either enjoy the book or it was so great that I then have a new author to follow. and (4) just because either the cover caught my eye, the title tickled my fancy, or the description sounded intriguing.

  148. I too follow many of your methods, but (and I am not sure why) I try to limit my summer reading to canadian authors. I don’t even know how that started but in the library where I was living years ago they put a maple leaf on the spine of canadian titles and I guess it started as a challenge one year and has continued since then. I have read a number of books that I doubt I would ever have read otherwise.

  149. Mostly I choose what to read next by 1) author’s I’ve already read and loved 2) author’s I’ve seen recommended by other people who enjoy the same authors I do 3) genre, I switch between romance, mystery and fantasy / sf depending on my mood, and finally 4) books that look interesting when I’m browsing either online or more likely in a bookstore. I’ve used the ‘interesting title’ method too, sometimes it works and sometimes not, like everything else in life 🙂

  150. Mostly I choose based on author (especially for e-books), but I do take note on those blurbs (i.e. the preview) on the book cover (mostly on the back, but sometimes I also read the tiny details on the book spine or something).

  151. I believe I have all of your books, I truly look forward to them!
    I may have to stop buying them in hardback, I am running out of room!

  152. My first choice is simply favourite authors. My second honest choice is based on my finances, usually anything under 99p this still allows a very wide choice. So the recommendations of bargains are ideal 🙂

  153. I am almost exclusively a historical romance reader. I need a happy ending or I worry too much about the characters’ lives. I have my auto buy authors whose books I love. I also choose a story if the subject interests me even if I don’t know the author, but it almost always is a romance. I enjoy mail order bride stories very much but too many of them are cheesy, without depth- but I keep reading them.

  154. most of what you said applies to me . my main reasons for reading a book are :

    1. i’ve read a good book by the same author before
    2. its a a trilogy
    3. i like the book cover
    4. my friends recommend it to me
    5. a random buy at the airport or supermarket
    6. facebook reviews
    7. i’m bored or upset and just want a book..

    will look forward to getting your book for you fall in category 1

  155. Hi! I started reading books in my early school days. I have been reading since. Today i usually check books by its cover. If i like the characters on the cover, then i read the short story on the back of the book. If the story is intriguing i usually take it, reagardles of the author. I’m a keen book reader and i love good books. I have a small library at home and i daily vitis the book shops to check for new upcommings. THe sad story is that i live in Slovenia /Europe and there aren’t so many translations of you guys from US or outside the Europe, therefore i’m reading lots of books in english. That is also the way to practice english, since here we don’t speak it so often 🙁

    I’m sending you all guys and girls a big hug and kiss from Slovenia


    1. Hugs and greetings right back to you Emina, from another Mary Balogh fan in the USA. I have always admired people who have learned a second language. I can barely manage the one I know.

      Mary T
      St. Louis Missouri

  156. There are some books I will choose based on a snippet seen in the book reviews…just because they seem interesting. And there are some books whose titles draw me The sweetness at the bottom of the pie. “…..intriguing title for a murder mystery. Some books I come upon during a leisurely stroll through the local used bookstore…a favorite past time. But I have specific historical romance writers who have captured my heart with one novel, and I will seek out their works – new and old. Yes….you are among them madame…

  157. For an author I completely trust, I won’t even read the jacket blurb because I want the story to be a total surprise. For new books, reviews, recommendations from people with similar taste and sometimes the cover art will make me want to give a book a try.

  158. I choose books based on author, first and foremost. I also choose titles that attract my attention and read the summary and if I am intrigued then I will go ahead and read that book. Recommendations are important to me, but I also recognize how different my reading tastes can be from friends. I am willing to try new things, however … I have come across some favorites that way (David Eddings, for example).

  159. How do I choose the books I’ll buy/read? 78% of the time it’s by author recognition. I’ve long been a regency/historical romance fan so Jo Beverley, Julia Quinn, Stephanie Laurens, Eloisa James Mary Balogh, and Lauren Willig are staples on my bookshelf. They always deliver high quality writing, well-developed characters, and plots that are both funny, adventurous and emotional. 12% of my choices are friend recommendations (such as the YA novel Moon Over Manifest and the adult mystery series Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WInspear) or from reviews/synopsis found in Book Page or in magazines, GoodReads or Facebook (I discovered Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy and Alex Myer’s Revolutionary from these sources). 8% comes from checking out the cover then the back cover blurb. If it strikes a chord, I’ll buy or borrow from the library, which is how I recently discovered Sarah MacLean and Katie MacAlister’s historical romances. I’m glad I did because I love their style! The last 2% of choices come from curiosity generated by the raving public: Harry Potter (so glad I caved) and 50 Shades (what a waste of my time). I’m grateful for all these ways to discover books to read, but it also makes me sad to think I’ll never read every book I’d like to. But…I am nothing if not motivated.

  160. I first discovered ur books about a year ago and I have to say that I have read all of ur books except the first snowdrop I want to so bad I just have come off the money and buy it from Amazon!i love ur writing style and all that u do!!!you have turned me into a historical romance junkie I have read so many and I can not get enough lol!!!so thank u miss baloigh for reeginitimg my passion for books!!!!u truly are a wonderful writer and I love ur work!!!!

  161. I choose books at times just because the cover catches my eye. At other times I get books others have raved about. Lastly once I find an author I can get lost in their books I will read everything just because I love their style! Have a blessed day!

  162. Like you Mary, I often choose by favorites authors alone. The books always have to have a happy ever after or I feel like I’ve been robbed. I do love the cover art if it’s done to actually match the story. The art at least gets me to read the description of the story. I often read by recommendation (I have been furiously wrong down authors and books from this blog posting alone) ;p with the advent of kindles I also read – with a questioning eye – reader recommendations. I read the best and the worst reviews. If someone makes a comment about something in the book they didn’t like that I know would also drive me crazy (such as too stupid to live heroines or b!tchy heroines) I take a pass. Mean or badly behaved people drive me crazy so I sure don’t like reading about them. I do love authors who are good at character development. It makes the novels so rich and the stories so satisfying. So I pick by author, recommendations, reviews, art and description that catches my interest.

  163. With a little one around I’ve been trying to read more ebooks…for some reason it just works better. I chose from what’s available by cover/title/favorite author. If I find a new author with a book I like, I’ll go through everything I can by that person…Like I did with the Mary Balogh books. 🙂 Sometimes the “recommended for you” helps too.

  164. I generally read by author, friend suggestions, or (who am I kidding) whatever happens to catch my attention whether it’s the title, cover picture, back cover, or reviews in other books! I’ll read just about anything I can get my hands on though I do have my preferences.

  165. I choose books by author a lot of the time (you’re one of my favorites!). Also, I look at titles, covers, and book descriptions. Sometimes recommendations from friends or relatives. I work at a library and check out more books nearly every day – I don’t have a problem finding more to read! I also reread books – your books especially. I tend to buy only those books I already like. Am looking forward to reading the next Survivor story and next year’s reprints.

  166. I love your books!
    I also have found a few new authors from the daily Kindle buffet freebies – but
    for the most part – I just depend on recommendations from friends who I know read
    similar types of books that i read – which means most any book!

  167. I choose a lot by author and series…but even those I don’t have enough time to read, it seems like! I also get recommendations from the Internet–right now I’m listening to the audio version of a book that one of the authors on Read a Romance Month recommended–it’s the third rec from the site that I’ve read so far since August 🙂

    (BTW, I know it’s not supposed to matter–but such a pretty cover! Thanks for the contest :))

  168. I read the first line and the last line of a book. Well the last line only if the first line doesn’t engage me from the first. I have a fairly strict 90 page rule…. I am not really reading the book until I am past age 90 and in for the final countdown. Till then I am deciding, or waffling as my daughter says. The last line hardly ever gives away an ending. But you learn a lot about tone and style. The worst last line? They lived happily ever after… Sense of humor or a hack? Sometimes I’ll read just to find out.

  169. I choose books in very much the same manner that you describe. I find an author who I love and then after I’ve read through all their available works I wait for their next book. I do read from recommendations as well but only if I know the person has good reading taste. I enjoy finding unexpected good books but I’m also leery of wasting my time when I have so many still to read that I already know I will enjoy. I can’t wait for your new book to come out I love what I’ve seen of Flavian so far!

  170. Obviously, I will grab anything and everything by my favorite writers. When it comes to other selections, I admit that the cover is very important. I am sure I have missed out on some amazing adventures simply because a cover put me off vs drawing me in.

  171. Genre usually comes first for me, followed by author. Lisa Kleypas’ historicals, the Julias (Quinn and London), and of course yours, are my favorites for historicals. I have read several Georgette Heyer novels, which I came across accidentally because the covers were so pretty. Some books I have come to through movie or television: Gone with the Wind, Jane Austen’s books, and Jane Eyre were all movies to me before I decided to read the books. With Downton Abbey’s popularity, I’ve noticed a lot of books written in that vein. I liked Faye Weldon’s recent trilogy, and learned she was a writer for Upstairs Downstairs (the original Downton Abbey?). Finally, some of my favorite books have been those which I was first required to read for classes. I first discovered Edgar Allen Poe in High School English, and Grapes of Wrath (one of my very favorites – how bout that ending?!) was required reading in college.

    This is my first visit to your blog, but I really enjoy keeping up with you on Facebook. Keep the good reads coming! 🙂

  172. If I have run out of books by authors I know and love (although I am not above reading their books over and over again; I am talking to you Mary Balogh!), I will search out reviews on Amazon or reading blogs that mention authors similar to those whom I have enjoyed. I also belong to a book club with a diverse membership and so have been introduced to authors/books I might never have otherwise read. Life is short though and books are many, so I now if I cannot get into a book within the first couple of chapters, I move on!

  173. It is interesting how my choice of books has evolved since I first read books on my own at age 5+. First it was for the pictures, then by age ten, it was EVERYTHING! I read ALL the books in the children’s library–so much so that I was granted “adult” borrowing privileges early. (And in those days of youthful memory, I could recite the title, author, and subject of each book. Boy, was I a freak!) “But there’s nothing here I haven’t read or re-read!” I whined to the librarians. We are talking 10 + books two or three times a week. My mother used to say, “I just TOOK you to the library!” “But I’ve finished them all!”, I’d complain. So when they let me upstairs, it was like an “Open Sesame” moment. Science, art, architecture, archaeology, history, novels, all filled my selection stacks each week.I especially like exploring the stacks for crumbling old books from the 1800’s–which at that time, in the ’50s and ’60s, had not been purged yet to make room for modern acquisitions. High school and college introduced the assigned book lists, which for some reason, I resisted. I wanted to choose what I read! Now, as I have aged badly, like an old wine that’s gone vinegary with old age, only certain themes catch my eye. Romance is Number 1, followed by Science Fiction as Number 2. I follow authors I know and love, I’ll try others that hook me within the first few pages. I’ll read a little of the middle to see if it holds up. And ALWAYS I read the end–don’t want any more books where the major characters are killed off at the conclusion. Now that income is limited, cheaper eBooks are where I look first, and I am a sucker for the 99 cent and $1.99 Kindle deals. Used books from Goodwill and Salvation Army fill out the shelf. Yeah, I’ll still buy just-published from the local B & N, or Wal-mart. I am now willing to part with books, either by gift or re-sale or donation–far fewer keepers these days. Phew, aren’t you sorry you asked THIS question!

  174. I enjoy reading and I love a book that engages me, takes me some place I’ve never been and makes me laugh. A little history, a little drama, some mystery but characters that hold your imagination. Thank you for sharing your stories with the world.

  175. I, too, read by author. Those are usually discovered on the recommendation of friends or of an author I already like.
    In the ebook era, I am increasingly likely to give a new author a chance on a bargain book or by borrowing the ebook from my library.

  176. I was privileged to meet you many years ago at a small New Jersey Romance Writers convention. You were charming, sweet and I was thrilled to meet you. I have read all your books and would love to receive your next one.

  177. You got it right on! If I find an author I love, I raid my local used in book store and Amazon for every book they wrote, reccomondations from my fave authors on facebook, or I’ll just browse a book stores romance section and grab titles that jump out at me!

  178. I buy books based on reviews and recommendations. There are endless choices on my TBR list. And how do I choose from this list to read next? Good question, because I am in between books right now and as always am a bit lost. I usually like to alternate reading books of different time periods; Regency, contemporary and medieval / historical. I’ve just finished Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher series (Personal). So next, maybe a medieval love story though I’m still scratching my head to decide which one. There are quite a few in the list. However, whichever book I end up reading next I hope I’ll be able to finish it just in time for your new “Only Enchanting”.

  179. Hi, Mary. I choose my books using very similar methods to yours, especially following favorite authors. I also tend to stick to the same genres. But one other thing I’ve done over the years is go back and read the “classics” that might have been required in high school or college, but with an “older adult” viewpoint. It’s amazing how that changes one’s reading experience of the books!

  180. I have always loved to read and will give almost any kind of book/author a try. I have always loved mystery novels and read tons of Boxcar children and Nancy Drew as a child. That has now developed into a full love of the great mystery writers and I will read and re-read almost anything by either James Patterson and Agatha Christie! I started reading romance novels in college and I just LOVE the regency period of England. I found your books and those of Stephanie Laurens and the rest is history. I own almost all of both of your books and can read them over and over again. With two children, I find my time so limited to read these days, I tend to stick with what I know, so I am proud to say that I wait with much excitement for your next book!

  181. I choose my books by author. Once I find an author I like I will read everything from that author. That’s how I found you Mary. I stumbled across one of your books at work. I work in at a home for the aged and when one of my patrons was done reading your book she asked me if I would like to read it. I said yes and the rest is history. I fell in love. I have read most of your books thus far. A few of your older ones are hard to find but I come across them every now and again at my local thrift store and buy them immediately. I do the same with other authors that I really like. I just love series! Thank you, thank you, thank you Mary for sharing your creativity with the world. I am obviously a huge fan as well as so many others. We just love you!!!

  182. I like to read reviews of books on Amazon before making a decision. Also, my voracious reading habit would bankrupt me if I didn’t make decisions based on price. Sometimes I wait until a book goes on sale or there is a deal on it before I purchase it.

  183. I make my choices by the back of the book, the subject (romances-contempoary, historical, suspens,-time travel). The look of the cover helps! It has to start speaking to me or be part of a series. I love series. The re are more reasons; these are just a few.

  184. When I taught high school, I always tried to read the books my students were reading for English class if I hadn’t already, because they often came to me for help with their assignments or for interpreting the texts. It was always fascinating for me to observe how literary trends had changed since I was a high school student and since I studied literature of another language, it was a really good way for me to be introduced to other authors. I love old classics and new.

  185. I have a list of favorite authors and I snap up each new publication of theirs that comes out. I follow their publications on Amazon and Fantastic Fiction. I choose other books by recommendations from my favorite authors (thanks for the ones you listed!), and from recommendations from friends. My favorite pastime is spending time in my public library, reading jackets and excerpts from their new titles and placing the ones that appeal to me on hold.

  186. Just like many others, I most often pick by author now, since I have so many favorites. However, those range between several genres – favorite being historical fiction, romance, and mystery. I love to browse the bookstore to see what’s just been released. Also, I get recommendations from several websites where people share their weekly reading titles – have learned about so many good books this way!

    Thanks for a chance to share.

  187. Mary:

    Usually I begin by choosing what I am in the mood for and sometimes the title can be just as intriguing as the cover. If the title is clever, or silly or doesn’t quite match the cover art I will give it a closer look. Some of my favorite stories have been selected that way. I started reading Lynsay Sands “Argeneau Series” by selecting “Tall, Dark and Hungry” and have been a fan every since.

    Sometimes I even select a book by the endorsements. I selected the “Iron Druid Chronicles” by Kevin Hearne based on an endorsement that compared it to another of my favorite authors; Jim Butcher. It seems a shame not to use the tools that publishers use to get you reading doesn’t it? Covers, titles and endorsements can tell you a lot about a book.

    I like the hardback cover for “The Proposal” and the cover for “A Matter of Class” (which is one of my favorites – totally unexpected and wonderful).

    Thank you for sharing with us your methods for choosing.

  188. I choose books a lot you do. I used to only read romance. Period. (And Harry Potter). But now I’ll read anything I can get my hands on. I have so many want to read lists, its unreal. If I go to the library without a plan and I have time to browse, I’ll usually walk out with around ten books of various genres and sizes. My library has this awesome thing where if you want to borrow anything off of these spindles, you don’t have to return them by a certain. Time. You take as long as you need to with them. I have 5 that I’ve had for a few months, just waiting for me to be without another book to read. If I go and I don’t have time, then I look at the readers/librarians selections section or the new fiction section and pick out four or five. I’ve found some amazing books that way. I definitely do recommendations and sometimes what’s hot. I also am becoming more interested in YA. It seems to be more expansive than it was when I was a teen. And my favorite yet is my kindle app and my Nook. I’m broke (hence the library frequency) so I can really only download free books, which are usually filled with self published authors. There are some really amazing writers out there that aren’t traditionally published! Don’t get me wrong, there are some awful ones too, but I haven’t been too disappointed. My favorite self pubbed author that I discovered through kindle is Jana DeLeon. She writes mystery books and they are quite funny too. Oh, I also have this thing going on where I’m trying to make sure I read the classics that most people read in high school. We did Shakespeare and the Scarlett Letter, but not much more than that so I’m trying to fit in more of the classics. I’m almost done with Jane Austen (I just love her). No idea what I’m going to read next though.

  189. Lately, I have been reading books by author. I start with her (I tend to read books by females) first book published and keep reading. This has served me well, since my most recent books weren’t really listed as a series, but have some of the same places and characters in them so I am glad I read them by order of publication. I do often judge by the covers of books too. I like historical books and can often tell the time period during which the book takes place by the clothing pictured haha.

  190. I generally read by author. Usually I find those authors through recommendations from other authors. And because of you, Mary Balogh, I am addicted to historical romance novels.

  191. When I was young I went by recommendations or by reading back covers. Then by chance I discovered historical romances. I would read any thing that said historical romance on the spine. After awhile I found myself buying a second copy of something I already read so I started paying attention to authors a little more. After 20 years of reading historicals and with newer authors style changes I read only by author. I get new author recommends from friends, anthologies and when my favorite authors recommend some one. Really I only read historicals and biographies now which drive my other now historical reader friends crazy.

  192. There are certain authors that I always look for, especially if I know a new book is coming out. I also use Goodreads recommendations, friends lists and even what’s on the free or almost free lists for my Kindle. When I “discover” a new to me author, I will want to quickly read through the whole backlist.

  193. When choosing the books I read first of all I pick the authors that I love. Right now the list is really short, but those on it are definite auto-buy and I know that no matter what, I always enjoy them. You are on that list, Nora Roberts and Joey W Hill.
    I also read by recommendation, especially from people who match my taste in reading, or from other interesting new people that make me curious, so automatically I try to read what they read, because, you know, you get to know people this way… 🙂
    The recommending works in reverse too, I tend to avoid books recommended by people that I don’t trust or dislike in some way. I have been proved wrong about this, of course, but I still do it…
    If there is a big hype about a book I might read it or not, it depends… Sometimes I like to be able to talk about what everyone is talking about and sometimes I don’t want to be one of the crowd so I avoid it like a pest 🙂 Also, if there is a big hype about a movie based on a book I might read the book first…

  194. I choose book by luck and of course by sale-price. I don;t have money to buy alot so when I spot a sale I will buy 1 or 5 books and it’s just random picks. Mostly are romance novels and since I just started reading they’re all thin barely reaching 300 pages. However I went to a sale and saw your book Dark angel with Lord Carew’s Bride, I thought that it’s pretty thick (not my usual style) and It’s the first actual historical romance novel I encountered. It was beside another book that I liked but since the cover is prettier I bought it . After that I was a fan I started reading your books while branching out to thicker books and trying authors like Susan Elizabeth Philipps and some others. I even was so intrigued by Jane Austen, I started reading her books and it’s so lovely.After that I choose books by movies, since the movie is great then the book must be fantastic. I encountered The Help by Katheryn Stocket and it’s so nice. 🙂 Though now I am read really by author as long as what she writes I’ll buy it and I really prefer historical novel whether it be the 1800’s or the 1950’s- contemporary book loose touch on me .Lastly, thank you for your books because of them I really branched out, your book was a start to a beautiful reading life 🙂 ;D <3

  195. Thank Goodness for public libraries! It was about five years ago I was browsing the previously loved books now on sale by donations at my local library. I had never really expanded beyond mysteries, cozy mysteries or biographies until I set my eyes on What Happens in London by Julia Quinn. For some odd reason I was instantly attracted to that novel just based on the cover. Since then I feel a wee bit giddy when I see a historical romance novel. Fast forward to spring 2014… I had been very ill with an abscess, I was off work & bored out of my gourd so when the doctor gave me the permission to slowly get back to normal my first stop was the local library’s book sale. Again I was right away drawn to Simply Love! The hardcover in its lovely shade of blue just called me. I read it (and have to admit I rarly get this feeling). I was sad it was over… I passed the book on to my mum who now adores your novels as much as I do! since we both loved the story so much I had to order two more from the Simply sieries.. Thanks to public libraries for getting me addicted to Regency Romance novels!.

  196. I try to keep up what’s new in amazon and from that I meander away.
    I love it when I find a for me new author and then I can discover more books.
    I must admit that I have bought books soley for their covers and to be utterly disappointed.
    But then I have bought books with toe-curling embarrasing covers, covered the offending bit, and very much enjoyed the book.
    For me choosing a book depends very much of the mood of my day, do I need to laugh?

  197. What a beautiful color! Your books are the firsts I’d ever picked up and I was hooked… Now I have so many I can’t count but I still read the Simply Quartet over and over again.

  198. I chanced upon your books in my local library when I found “The Proposal” in the audiobook section. I have been intrigued since then and love the Survivor’s Club stories. I look forward to the release of this new novel and any moving forward.

  199. I love this series. I picked up The Proposal at the library and I was hooked both on the series and, of course, the author. Every one is a keeper.

  200. I always go by author first! Then if a title catches my eye, I will read the synopsis. If I’m still debating if I want to read a particular book, I will read the reviews (good and bad). You, however, are one of my favorite authors and I just click 🙂

  201. I choose authors I’ve read before first typically. And then (gasp!) I check out the cover! I want a book where the title and cover art grabs me. Next I read the blurb and lastly I want to know how long it is? I really am not a fan of novellas often, so I have to really like the blurb to pick a novella. That being said sometimes the blurb makes up for the cover art or the title does. Really its whatever I’m in the mood for too! Especially if I’m choosing between a historical or a contemporary novel.

  202. I definitely go by the cover for new authors. Sometimes the title will grab me. After That, I go by authors I previously read.

  203. I have always been a reader and read a variety of books and authors. I retired from my job as secretary/librarian of our local school after 31 years and am enjoying having that much more time to read. I found some Mary Balogh books years ago and love them! I frequently check our local library site for new additions. I do have a Kindle but nothing beats the actual feel and smell of a new book; looking forward to cracking a lot of them open this winter.

  204. I first look for my favorite authors and if they do not have anything new out I look at the covers and then read what the story us about.

  205. As always….I am looking forward to your new books. I run to the store on release date! And they are one of the few that remain on my shelf.

  206. I guess I pick a book just like you do, because you covered every base very well. Sometimes it’s just the mood I’m in that picks the book, and with my Kindle, I find I’m often reading more than one at a time now because I read according to the mood. I do go by authors first though, usually. Thanks for giving us an opportunity to read you for free!!! If I win, my daughter will get it, because she’s even more a fan of yours than I am!

  207. I look forward to each new book you publish as for me it’s a sense of stepping back into time and reconnecting with friends. I often hear disparaging comments regarding the romance genre but for me it’s pure pleasure and enjoyment when so many other genres just add to my stress load. I’ll be buying a paperback and audiobook. One to sink into and the other to enjoy while driving.

  208. I choose what to read bases on authors and also on the recommendation of what my favorites like. It also depends ony mood, sometimes I love the grandeur of historical romances and other times I prefer more contemporary stories, but regardless I love a story that can make me laugh

  209. am anxiously awaiting the next installment of the “Survivor” series. Such strong, beautifully “perfect” in their imperfections. Thank you for tackling this subject matter.

  210. I agree that I purchase books from authors I know and love and I get book recommendations from my local paper (Chicago Tribune), Good Reads, my sister’s book shelves, recommendations from my library’s online checkout system, at I look for the “people who bought this item also bought…”, I also subscribe to some newsletters from Amazon and Goodreads and choose one’s that interest me from the news letter. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  211. It’s really hard for me to choose what to read. And I’m a librarian, so it’s so easy for me to get books, and I find myself checking out way more stuff than I have time to read. Even worse, I have a hard time resisting buying books that I think might be keepers, based on the author/blurb/reviews. It would be really embarrassing to go through my bookshelves and my Kindle to see how many books I have that I’ve never read.

    I used to try to plow through things that I wasn’t enjoying, either because I wanted to get my money’s worth or because it was something I thought I ought to read. Now, if a book doesn’t grab me pretty quickly, I move on to the next.

    Oh, well, at least I’ll never run out of things to read.

  212. I stumble on to a lot of new authors mostly by the title. I first look for authors that I like and skim the titles for something new or for an old favorite. Then browse if nothing appeals. Always search for your books. I have found several of your early books and enjoy them too!

  213. My first choice for fiction is based on the author. For non-fiction it would be subject first and author second. I also use recommendations, titles, locations, kindle bargain books and I always read the blurbs. If I am unsure I occasionally read the reviews. I almost never use bestseller or most popular lists.

  214. I have some authors I select by name only (Mary Balogh being one of them!) and other authors I stumble upon. Goodreads giveaways have introduced me to many, and recommendations from a friend. Also networking at conferences, getting to know authors on a different level. But yes, once I’ve found one that I like, I will buy their books without regard to reviews or descriptions because I know what I’m getting. I would love to read your new books, Mary!

  215. I just recently bought Dorothy Must Die (Danielle Paige) and Unnatural Creatures (Neil Gaiman). I’m looking forward to reading them, but I’m stuck reading some badly written and edited books. *sigh*

  216. I choose books based on numerous means, but with no particular one being prominent…it just depends on the time, how I am feeling, etc. Some of the means are the author, the genre, or a recommendation by a friend or a favorite author. I rarely go by the books on the bestseller list as those books are sometimes not as good as they are built up to be. I frequently find new authors I like by buying off the Kindle bargain or free listslists.

  217. Have been a loyal fan for years & always look forward to your books. Your stories always transport me away from my rather mundane life as a mom to a wonderful world filled with romance & intrigue. Can’t wait to be transported with your new creation!

  218. LOVE the Survivors…and can’t wait to read Flavian’s story…head injuries are so perplexing even in this modern age…no two are identical, it leaves me boggled how they could be diagnosed and understood earlier in time…I am most anxious for this story, not only for the romance and reunion with these loved guys ( and gal and the spouses ) but your research is so right on that as a nurse I love the glimpses of early medicine!

  219. I love books. They pull me into their world and surround me with wonder, drama and love. I especially love your stories and I can’t wait to get this. The cover is exceptionally beautiful as well.

  220. I choose books based on favorite authors (you are one!), recommendations from friends, buzz on Facebook and Twitter, and covers that catch my eye on the shelf. I usually read books from the library first and then purchase the ones I can’t live without–my way to make my budget and bookshelf space stretch farther! 🙂

  221. I usually read by author, then genre. I started with Historical romances in my teens ( Nancy Drew etc. in grade school) and my Dad was a reader so I read Louis L’Amour too. Then I discovered the regency and was pretty exclusive for about 10 years with you and all the writers you mentioned . Once in a while I would try science fiction . I never went for too much mystery. I’ve been really fortunate to have been reading for the past 50 years, there have been so many types of writing and stories and now I read as much as I can , Balogh ,Beverley, Phillips, Roberts/ Robb , Andrews, Briggs, Butcher, Wilks are “auto-buys” now. I’ve picked up some nonfiction on occasion. I’ve been a user and supporter of Public Libraries all of my life, they are the most important thing for me after family ! I agree with Cindy ,above, the bestseller lists are normally of no interest to me. Bridges Of Madison County being a good example of over-hype in my opinion.

  222. I read omnivorously. I always have at least one book going. In the past I usually had one long non-fiction going while I devoured historical romance. I discovered your books in that period and I’ve read every one I can get my hands on ever since. I do choose by author first. I had the fortune of reading Dorothy Dunnett’s The Game of Kings the year it came out and had to wait and wait between books for the sequels. I hate that. I’m currently waiting impatiently for all The Survivor’s Club members stories. Genre comes next. History, historical romance, historical children’s novels, and lately historical mysteries. If I scan the Amazon or book store bargain bins, a great cover and a blurb with a hook will catch my fancy. I’m usually the recommender among my friends, probably because I did readers’ advisory in the public library, but I have a few friends whose recommendations I take in a heartbeat.

  223. I also choose books by author first (the first ever romance novel I read was by Bertrice Small when I was 12!) If none of my favourite authors has a new book out, I have been known to ask other people, perusing the romance section, what THEIR favourite authors are to get new ideas. I also decided to get a couple of Grace Burrowes’ novels on your recommendation. Currently I’m reading The Proposal as I picked up The Arrangement and wanted to “refresh” myself onnthe storyline 🙂

  224. You have been one of my favorite authors for years. I look forward to all your new writings. I’m so excited your giving away copies, I would love to have one, but whoever gets it will be lucky. I really look forward to reading this one, and all the ones too come!!! Thank you for being such a great writer!!!

  225. Grace Burrowes is one of my favorite authors that I buy because of the name and not the blurb as well as Katharine Ashe, and just like you I’m never disappointed.

  226. First I want to say that I love your books!! You are an amazing writer!!!
    I choose books based on the authors I like , and then I try other books based on the story and how other people have rated them. Once I like a book , I will go an try to get other books from the same author. I just read an excellent book for the first time from Christie Caldwell and it was so good that I’m now planing to get her previous books.

  227. Mary, I usually choose by the author. But, I am always searching for something different. My daughter recently recommended a book so we could go together to watch the story at the movies. I’ve tried twice to read this particular book, being assured by my daughter that I will be pleasantly surprised. I have yet to get past page ten. What to do? I will read the book, of course!

  228. There are a handful of authors who never disappoint me. And these same authors are the ones I go back and read over and over and over, because they create characters who become friends. I especially love to see them pop up as secondary or even tertiary characters in other books. Your books always deliver!

  229. I first heard about you when I was looking for a good historical romance and most of my favorite authors weren’t finished writing their new projects. I found one of your “slightly” series books was in a top 10 list. It was Slightly Dangerous and was the last in the series at the time. So I bought all of them including A Summer to Remember when all the siblings first appeared. I’ve loved reading your books ever since. I’ve gone to your backlist and read most of those and I didn’t know if you could top your Slightly or Simply series, but this new Survivors Club series is currently one of my favorites. Thank you for being so true to the characters. I find your warm wit refreshing and every time I see a new book of yours at the store, it’s in my cart.
    P.S. – I also love your posts on facebook. A relaxing place to read – that’s for me.

  230. I love reading mysteries set in different countries, with their cultures, languages, quirks – Donna Leon, Andrea Camilleri, Henning Mankel, Frederique Vargas, Karin Fossum, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir… plus Tony Hillerman, Margaret Coel – who both cover the complex challenges of religion/culture with particular First Nations Indians. And then I can drop into Regency and Victorian romances… or there’s Anne Perry’s Inspector Monk series – wonerful. I read a book a day no matter what (my 4 kids learned it was a necessity for life!). I love all your books, but Simply Love is my all-time favourite. Cheers from Canada (Vancouver)

  231. Authors that I trust or browsing bookstores, either real of virtual. Friend recommendations, sometimes. The One-Hundred Year Old Man also intrigued me and I’m very glad I read it. A hilarious book.

  232. Aligned with your readers, I follow some authors and read all their books. I’m in a Book Club so that expands my reading repertoire. I enjoy Book Store browsing yet retail store fronts are regrettably hovering at ‘only the stalwart’. I also search online. My mother reads Regency Romance so I am also a genre reader for her favorite category and my own professional book genre sprinkled with YA, SciFi, Fantasy, Fairytale and a deep love for beautiful children’s books. I greatly appreciate recommendations and will read best sellers if the description and reviews are interesting. For the binding ingredient in my mixture, I’ll read classics–often linked to NPR interviews and suggestions. Thank you Ms. Balogh (for all) and readers for your recommendations in this thread.

  233. Often chosen by author – Louise Penny, Kevin Hearne, you. Sometimes but rarely by cover – usually this works for me on fantasy novels, for some reason. Mostly, though, by word of mouth – I belong to a couple of book clubs and know lots of readers. We know each others’ tastes fairly well and know when and to whom to recommend something. Also know when to recommend even when outside my/their comfort zone just because the book is so good.

  234. I rely heavily on recommendations from friends and websites. I love being able to read book after book by a trusted author like you. I’m extremely picky about romance novels, so I pay attention when you mention things!

  235. I rely heavily on the recommendation of favorite authors… Like Mary Blough… to make choices on new reads., but I love winning a book I would never have considered and falling in love all over again. I make it a hobby to enter Goodreads giveaways for that reason.

  236. Oh gosh, Mary, all of your reasons are mine too. My mood at the moment. Someone just suggested it as I was writing the review for the previous book. I am totally a ”judge a book by its cover” girl. Totally. Author, there are some authors I will automatically give a chance to.
    You are right, years ago, my ‘to be read’ book collection, reader and pb, got way bigger than I can ever have any hope of reading in my lifetime. But I will never stop buying. Sometimes I buy with the absolute intention of reading. Sometimes I by from a new writer, just because it might encourage her. The reasons are endless.

  237. I usually choose my books by author but I’m more than open to suggestions and recommendations from others. Sometimes it’s mood and sometimes it’s just whatever I have on hand. I love your books and would love to read “Only Enchanting”. I love that you are a Canadian author too!!

  238. As long as I am enjoying what I am reading, I don’t get too concerned about all there is to read! For example, I just started a book that someone recommended & got up to page 75 & just couldn’t get into the characters or storyline (plus some language was offensive to me)…so I began another book…Life is too short to get “bogged down” with books that I am not fully enjoying…Ev Bedard

  239. i usually choose first by author. My sister is also an avid reader and tends to branch out into the new authors more choosing by covers. Of course, we share our books with each other then discuss them. Love reading; love my sister!

  240. Only two authors consistently grace my coffee table. They are Nicholas Sparks and you. I usually stick to authors I have read and enjoyed. And your books have never disappointed me. I often can not put them down . Thank you.

  241. Right now I’ve been picking a lot of books based on authors I’ve previously read and really enjoyed. With doing school work I have limited time to read, so I want to read what I know I’ll enjoy.

    The others I must admit I’ve been judging on titles and covers. I go through the library’s “on order” and “new arrivals” list and pick books that have a cover I like or an interesting title. Some work out, some don’t. But I have found new authors that way (including you).

  242. I absolutely love your writing. I got started by accident when I picked up First Comes Marriage. I’ve been hooked since then. I was so happy when Constantine got a story. I was afraid we wouldn’t read about him! I’ve felt so bad for each and everyone one of the Survivor’s Club. It is always so nice to read how you turn their horrors into love stories. And I’ve back tracked to the Bedwyn’s of course!

  243. Even though I know my time is limited, I can’t resist re-reading some well-loved books by writers whose work I always enjoy. Yours are among that select list. I’m really looking forward to your next entry, and will probably at least scan through the first volumes in the series before plunging into the new one. Favourite writers, recommendations — yes, and sometimes in the library I’ll just pull a book down at random and give it a try. You just never know when you’re going to fall in love with a random book.

  244. Sometimes I choose the book by the cover, especially if they have beautiful dresses. Lame, huh? I have certain authors (like you) whom I always read. Some of my friends recommend certain books. When I found out that Starz was doing Outlander, I started reading the series. I love it! (The series is even hotter than the books- if possible. Must be Jamie- Sam Heughan.) If it has anything to do with Pride and Prejudice or Jane Austen, it is an automatic given that I will read it. If I find out that Colin Firth is going to be in a movie, I look to see if there is a book and read it prior to seeing the movie. (That’s how I found Before I Go to Sleep, The Railway Man, and Devil’s Knot: three very different books, but all wonderful.) I still try to knock off some of the classics. I’m going to make another stab at trying to get through Middlemarch and Portrait of a Lady. I try to collect every edition I can find of Pride and Prejudice and Dracula. (I know that is a weird combination.) I also like book reviews in People Mag. and the NY Times Mag. I especially like browsing the shelves at Barnes and Noble and the electronic shelves at Amazon. Yard sales and used book stores are also a treasure trove for lost gems. And then there is the good old public library- it’s still free and oh, so enticing. When I was in Library School at Indiana University, one of my professors told us that if we read one book every day and lived to be 100, we would only be able to manage to read a certain amount. One of the reasons I get so little sleep is because I’m trying to make a liar out of her. Then there are the books I keep re-reading. Don’t even ask how many times I have re-read your Dark Angel or Pride and Prejudice or some of Abilgail Reynolds’s P and P variations. I’d rather read than eat- and that’s saying a lot.

  245. for many years I have been attached to reading books by authors I have met, including Gail Bowen from Regina, Debbie Macomber, and you, Mary. During that time I worked in a library. So many wonderful books came across my desk and I began to keep a list. Plus patrons would return books and insist that it was a must read. The list grew very long. Somewhere in the move from Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia the list was misplaced. Darn. Lately I have been rereading books I own and passing them along to friends and family. I am overdue to read something from the pen of Mary Balogh.

  246. Sometimes the choice is easy. There are some authors whose new books I pre-order and read as soon as I can get my hands on them (yours, Susan E. Phillips, Elizabeth George, Tony Hillerman, Louise Allen and some others). And the internet makes it so much easier to get the information. But how did I find these authors?
    One (and the most by far): I browse along the shelves in an old-fashioned book store (or second-hand books store). Maybe a title catches my interest or the summary on the back of a book. That is how I found your stories. I was on a holiday in Canada and went in a book store in Calgary. The book I bought was Simply Love (which is still one of my favourite books).
    Two: There are certain genres I give a wide berth, e.g. fantasy or horror, even if I get a recommendation about a certain book (I can understand that people like JRR Tolkien, but he is not for me).
    Three: The local library displays new or popular books on a special wall which I might read and eventually get hooked.
    Four: I use the online recommendations of online book stores. There are certain key words I look for or books that are part of a series, because I like to get to know the characters better.
    Five: A few are recommendations of friends or books mentioned in books (e.g. the heroine or the hero reads them).
    And at last: I never go with the recommendations of critics who write about books in daily newspapers and political magazines because they tend to recommend books which “cover the problems of the world” (And I like to read for pleasure).

    What’s wrong with a good written love story? Or an honest old fashioned whodunit?

  247. I LOVE to walk thru book stores and libraries like I’m on a treasure hunt. I look at covers and read the inside flaps to see if a book is speaking to me. You just know when you find that special book!
    I was in the library when I first spotted, A SUMMER TO REMEMBER. It spoke to me because summer was just around the corner. I loved it and realized I had jumped in on a series. I was so excited that there was so much more to be read. What a wonderful summer that was. Thank you Mary 😀

  248. I chose reading my books based on a few criteria:
    1) romance, history, and biography;
    2) bad and average star reviews, never based on 5 stars – I don’t buy those; and by
    3) word of the mouth.
    Simple and concise.

  249. Even though I have enough unread books of my own at home to last at least 2 lifetimes, I’m always buying new books to read. It’s almost a compulsion that I don’t ever want to stop. Of course, like so many others here, I purchase by favorite authors when a new book comes out. If you want your favorite author to keep on getting contracts for new books, you MUST by those books as they come out. Borrowing or swapping books will not help. All readers need to vote with their pocketbooks. If you can’t afford to do that, then make sure your library buys multiple copies. That helps the authors too. I also rely on reputable reviewers whose opinions I’ve followed previously. But the main questions I ask myself when buying a book are: 1) Is it historical? (I’ve had a passion for history since I was a child.) 2) Is it set in my preferred time periods? 3) Have I enjoyed the author’s previous books? 4) Do I enjoy the books of authors whose blurbs are recorded on the back? 5) Does the synopsis on the back or the inside flap intrigue me? 6) And this one is recent due to the advent of book technology: Can I get it more cheaply for my Kindle? I love my Kindle because I can buy new books without overflowing my house with them.

  250. I wish I had enough time to read more books. I generally choose favorite authors and read as many of theirs as possible. Also sometimes I like reading anthologies and choosing authors from within those.

  251. I read a lot. Most of what I read is Mary’s books.i go all the time to check and see what new book is out. Then in one day I read it.hoping the next one will be out soon. I now need a bigger bookcase to hold all of Mary’s books that I have read.i love the feeling of going back in time. Thank you Mary,I’d be lost without you.

  252. I’ve chosen books for many reasons: because I’ve liked the cover; I’ve seen a movie or series preview; my children or abother has read it and I wanted to discuss it with them, or simply it was a classic that I should know. But I also read for loyalty. Someone I know personally or feel I know through the quality of her work will be at the top of my reading list.

  253. I read any new book by my favorite authors. I have way too many to name, though, of course, you are at the top of the list! If there are no new books out, I will look to find new authors that look interesting. I read only historicals. So looking forward to your new book!

  254. I found you through an anthology. From there, I looked for your books. I’ve never been disappointed.
    Looking forward to your latest offering.

  255. All of the books I read have chosen me. They captured me in the first couple of pages and I still return to some of my early favourites that I sought, found and lovingly homed from garage sales and secondhand stores. Z for Zachariah, A rag, a bone and a hank of hair, the omni classics Murder in orbit, the sandkings,the Bachmann Books (Stephen King), My Sweet Audrina- Virginia Andrews, Heaven, All for one. I could go on. Some of these are short stories and some are novels, but the journey is what I keep coming back for.

  256. I first picked up one of your books at a yard sale I was having. My mom had a duplicate copy of The Ideal Wife in with the books. I picked it up and have been a huge fan of your writing ever since. I remember getting frustrated when people would come because I didn’t want to put the book down for a second. And I was super disappointed in my mom for holding out on me!! 🙂 I now have 60 of your books currently in my collection with the others on my “WANTED” list. I love going to used book sales in hopes that I can find a buried treasure…one of your books that I don’t have. Please keep them coming as many of us are anxious for more!!

  257. I first fell in love with your work when I was 17 years old, I’m now about to be 32 and I’m still in love with your characters, there is not a single one of them that haven’t drawn tears, wistful smiles, and out loud laughs!! Thank you so much for the adventures, keep them coming…

  258. A lot of what I read is by recommendation. My parents and siblings all read pretty voraciously so we’ll pass around things we enjoy. They’ve introduced me to author like Terry Pratchett, Diana Gabaldon, Veronica Roth and so many more. The other way I find things is by seeing an eye catching cover and then reading reading blurb. Thats how I found your books. I do tend to read as much of an author’s work as I can if I like what I try first!

  259. Love your books and I wish you could write them as fast as I read them. I hate finishing bc I never know how long it’s going to be until you have a new one out. I’ve already pre-ordered from amazon.

  260. I love your books. I usually choose by authors that I have read but have found some great authors by recommendations by authors themselves. I also like to read a book if I find out it will be on tv or a movie. I reads all of the Cedar Cove books because I heard it was coming to tv. I want to read Charlaine Harris mystery series Aurora Teagarden books because they are coming to the Hallmark Channel. I love her writing anyway. Would love to win your book.

  261. I have gone by recommendation. A co-worker turned me onto Laurell K Hamilton and she has become a favorite. I found Christine Feehan and Jane feather as they are side by side in my local library. Sherrilyn Kenyon by accident. I will pick up a book and try to read it. If I like it I finish it. If I don’t, I try the last few chapters. If I can’t get interested by then, I put the book down and go on to others. Books appeal to me. I love to be surrounded by them. I walk into my sewing room and I have shelves of books, in my living room I have books. I love old books and new. I love my e-reader and audio book reader. Books are a very real part of who I am, so I just pick them.

  262. I find I sort the recommendations by the type of friend or acquaintance who makes them–a window into what gives them quiet pleasure!

  263. Thank you so much for the suggested authors. I love your writing style and your ability to make me escape. It will be fun to see what you enjoy.

  264. How do I chose what I will read. That depends on who the author is really. I love looking for what is really the story. I like reading what is on the back cover and the teaser on the inside. I also look at the cover and the title, this has to grab my attention. If none of this really grabs me then I read the first page. Most likely if this does not look good to read I will wait find one that I am more interested in to read. Some of the best books I have found is because of the Title and Cover.

  265. Whether I win an advance copy or not, I can’t wait to read your latest novel. Your books always speak to my heart and have left me breathless from the intensity of the emotion between the characters. Amazing to feel this way while reading a book. Thanks for the experience and keep them coming!!!

  266. My first instinct on entering a library or bookstore (physical or virtual) is to look up my favourite authors to see if there is anything new. Of course those will be my first picks. When I was in school the first friend I always made at my new school and in my new neighbourhood was the librarian. Every new author recommended was an adventure and I would work my way through my favourites until I had absorbed everything I could find. So after I’ve secured the latest offerings from my dear friends, I look for recommendations. Most of the librarians and bookstore denizens I encounter are happy to share and then I’m off on a new journey of discovery!l

  267. I pick up interesting covers…random Kindle free books…books I have heard mentioned in the paper…just finished the escape…loved it.

  268. I have been reading you for years (regency romance book days) I found most of the authors I read every book they publish from the 10 for a $1.00 rack at our half price bookstore, buying most all English, Scottish or Viking books to start of the romance selections. P.S. You really should read Harry Potter 6 & 7. They are worth it.

  269. I agree with you on Georgette Heyer. I’ve read all of her books, and I’ve never once been let down by anything she wrote.

    It’s generally the story description of a book in the cover blurb that will get me interested in cracking open the cover and jumping in. If a few short paragraphs can pique my attention, then I figure that the book will most definitely keep me interested.

    And, as you said, there are some instances where I’ll read anything by certain authors, just because I’ve read some of their past works and I love them so much. (Actually, your writing falls into that category for me — if your name is on it, I’ll read it.) There are just some writers who never disappoint me, and who I know I can always count on for a great read.

    This may sound strange, but a lot of the time, I’ll go out of my way to read reviews (mainly Goodreads & Amazon), and if a book has a lot of bad reviews, I’ll make sure to read it! I have a tendency to love things that others hate, so negative reviews will usually rev up my interest in a book. I guess I kind of feel sorry for a poor little book that seems to be universally disliked and I feel like it needs a friend who supports it.

  270. It may be strange that a 70 year old widow would enjoy your romance books so much, but I do. I cannot begin to imagine how you can invent so many fabulous characters with such varied personalities. I am sure I have driven my local library
    crazy putting Mary Balogh books on hold and requesting many to be sent from other libraries so that I don’t miss any.
    Now that I have read authors you favor, I will certainly check them out. I am retired and usually read about 4 books a week, my favorite pastime.
    So far, none of your heroines have remained virginal, and even though that is the case, none of them get pregnant before
    marriage. Isn’t this unusual.

  271. I choose by authors first then the covers. I’ll also check out the best sellers if they catch my attention. I have a few ebooks on phone but I love collecting books. I must say you are definately in my top 3 in historical romance authors. I also enjoy reading Eloisa James, Johanna Lindsay, Julia Quinn, and well a lot more. I also love sequels or series. I enjoyed your slightly and the simply series very much. I also hope you finish out the Harry Potter books. They are long, but I love how the story builds. I think you’ll like/love it as much as I do. I love to read! And since there’s a slim chance I’d win I will go out as always to the book store and buy your book first thing.

  272. I’m primarily answering for my mother who is the original Mary Balogh fan in the family. She reads in the specific category–Regency Romance. Because of Mom’s devotion to that time period of sensibilities and wit, my Father began to read romances and I did as well. Mom passed along the best examples of that genre for me to also read. Now that years have passed, I am the one who attempts to keep Mom supplied with books. She has her favorites that we pre-order or make a trip to the bookstore on the release date. To expand options, we will try recommendations from authors such as yourself. If there could be a Regency Romance Christmas story collection every year, my mother would be thrilled. Thanks for the recommendations Ms. Balogh!

  273. I agree with you completely about being a bit sad when the series draws to a close. And I would not want a multigenerational series. But, I would like a kind of epilogue at the end to bring more closure to some of the questions I have about the couples. My burning desire is to know if Hugo and Gwen have children. Theirs is one of my all-time favorite stories and I just want to know they really do have a completely happy future.

  274. I just finished “The Arrangement” about Vincent from the Survivor’s Club and enjoyed it very much; which I assumed I would since I enjoy your work. I have the books on the Bedwyn’s and others. I want to get all the books about the members of the SC – I know there are 7 but see only four books. I’m hoping others will be forthcoming. I look forward to reading them all. A little bit of a look back wouldn’t be too bad, as Nancy Reed suggests. I was hoping throughout “The Arrangement” that Vincent would get his sight back as he did his hearing. It wouldn’t be that far fetched. Since I’ve been having problems with my own eye sight this Fall, I can feel for this character. It reminds me of the picture I saw of the Duchess of Cambridge sitting with some Scouts trying to ice a cake or eat a cake (can’t recall which) with a handkerchief over her eyes.

    1. Yes, Judy, four of the books are out–THE PROPOSAL (Hugo), THE ARRANGEMENT (Vincent), THE ESCAPE (Ben), ONLY ENCHANTING (Flavian). Three are still to come–ONLY A PROMISE (Ralph) on June 9, 2015, ONLY A KISS (Imogen) in September or November, 2015, and ONLY BELOVED (George) probably in February, 2016.

  275. Mary, I am so glad I added you on facebook and have been so impressed by the effort you put into maintaining contact with and responding to your fans. I am also excited because I just stumbled onto your books a couple months ago through my local library and very quickly read everything they had of yours. I was depressed after finishing all they had until after seeing your page and facebook that there are so many more that I haven’t read yet! Can’t wait to read the next one!

  276. Hello Ms. Balogh,

    I just finished your book “Only Enchanting”. It was wonderful. I have read all of your books and I am extremely partial to “Dark Angel” and “The First Snowdrop” which I have read multiple times. I just felt after reading “Only Enchanting” that Dora Debbins should have a happy ending too and would probably be great for George “Duke of Stanbrook”. I cannot wait to read his story.

    Thank you,

  277. Dear Mrs. Balogh,
    There is no other living historic romance author like you. You have a powerful writing, making your characters so real they seem to be alive. There is so much sweetness, mildness, passion and love in all your books that I can hardly put them down to perform basic activities of living while I am reading one of them. I fell in love for all your books and fell depressed when a series come to an end (I can hardly believe that the Survival’s club last book will come soon; I have mixed feelings about it). The books that are more special to me are: One night for love, The secret pearl, The temporary wife and, of course, Slightly dangerous (I am never tired of the Duke of Bewcastle and still have hope that at some point you are going to include him again in other of your series).
    Having said all that, I fell very honored to be your contemporary fan. You are marvelous!

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