3.20.2014

Choosing A Great Read

If you follow me on Twitter, than you know there's been a lot of book talk lately. I've always been a big fan of the written word and actual books are still my favorite...although my iPad library has a nice collection too. And as a self-proclaimed writer, with book ideas of my own floating around my brain and Word docs on my computer, books are important to me. So I thought I'd share with you all how I decide on which books to read, since I think it's a bit unique or weird, however you want to look at it!


1. If it's recommended, consider the source and then more than likely read it right away.
A lot of my friends are big readers too, and I always like to know what great books they've recently finished and I take these recommendations very seriously. People don't usually recommend books that don't make you feel something or that just flat out suck. I've got a great group of friends, and none of them are anything like the next one, so this always makes for an interesting selection of books. From new age stuff to deep theology, and the current best seller to some trashy romance novel, my friends have read them all. And it's always nice to read something from a new or interesting perspective. Although I admit that I'm behind on this list of recommendations.

2. Judge the cover.
Yep. You read that right. I judge the cover of books. I'm part graphic designer, how could I not? If I don't like the design or if I think I could have made it better in an easy way, I don't read it. Or I look to see if there are other cover designs for it...thank you Amazon! Also, if a book was made into a movie and the actors are on the cover, that is not the one I pick. I like the original art better, although I did make an exception for my copy of The Help. And if it's an old book without the cover sleeve...even better! Nothing to judge if it's not there!

3. Feel it up. 
This kind of goes along with the design in general but if I book is awkward to hold or just doesn't feel right, I'll look for it in a different form. I prefer books in soft covers simply because they are easier to hold and seem more comfortable. Packaging is important, people!

4. Read the first paragraph.
If you're not drawn in after that first paragraph, you're not going to want to continue reading the whole book. Authors kill themselves over that first paragraph, it's obviously one of the most important pieces.

5. Read the last sentence.
I'm serious. It gives you just enough of a juicy stopping point that you wonder what happened to lead up to that moment and it's just as important as that first paragraph...if not more. And if you end up getting the book, you'll more than likely forget what it said by the time you finish reading the book anyway. Since it's so short it's not like you are ruining the ending for yourself.

6. Turn to a page and read a random paragraph.
I stole this one from one of my favorite professors at Seton Hill who has actually recommended books to me that are now some of my favorites. He always picked page 58 (if I'm remembering correctly) but I've decided to pick the page with my age. So until July, every author better hope that their 24th page is a knockout. And again, it's not like you're giving anything away, reading a couple sentences from a random page isn't going to tell you everything about the characters or give up a major plot twist and you will more than likely forget what you've read once you get into it. But if you're hooked because of those few sentences, you'll more than likely be hooked through the whole book.

It's not science, but it helps. Especially if you're choosing between two random books you found at the library that you've never heard of - like me earlier this week, when all the books recommended to me were checked out at the library. How do you decide on what to read?


Book reviews previously posted:

31 comments:

  1. I also judge a book by its cover (and I love it when I spot books that are reusing old cover image art). That being said, I do love reading old books with the plain colored covers and no summary on the back---it's like Russian roulette with books.

    Brittney

    Another Beautiful Thing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Yes, exactly! I love when old books don't have their covers!

      Delete
  2. i love this post! i fall in and out of reading phases, so it's always good to have a process to be purposeful about picking it (and a book!) back up. my current recommendation for anyone who will listen is tiny beautiful things by cheryl strayed. read it. you won't regret it.

    xo nicole
    writeslikeagirlblog.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nicole! I will add that one to my list! I'm sure it's a good one coming from you!

      Delete
  3. Oh I totally judge a cover- and I put a lot of consideration into the Amazon reviews.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fantastic post! I've been looking for a good read and haven't been able to find antyhing that truely satisfies me. Hopefully these ideas will help!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great tips!! I am going on vacation this weekend and such a hard time picking a book to bring, I'm glad I came across this post for future reference

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad I could help you out! Have a great trip!

      Delete
  6. such good tips!. I like the idea of reading a random passage to get the feel of the way the book is written and whether or not you think you'll like it. =D
    xo,
    nancy

    http://www.adoretoadorn.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nancy! It at least gives you the feel for the writing to know if you like it.

      Delete
  7. Hey :)
    Your blog is really great-i love it so much. Maybe you're interested in following each other ? I would love it ❤ Pls let me know in a comment on my blog
    kisses, Anna ♥

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great Tips to judge a book by! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. These are great tips! I always have so many books on my to-read list, it's crazy.

    Sarah
    aroseinthecity0.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sarah! I do too, I need to take a year off from everything to just read haha

      Delete
  10. oooh good ideas! I usually end up reading books others have recommended or getting sucked into series and just reading those! I should try some of these ideas so I can find new different books to read.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like this! The only one I don't do is #5. I'm pretty good at figuring out what's going to happen from just a few sentences, so I had to stop doing that. I always regret it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were only a couple times that I remembered the ending, but that was because I was so hooked and read right through in one day haha

      Delete
  12. Never thought of picking a random page and reading it... What a great idea! My favorite book of all time (re-readable) is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon... Maybe it's the timelessness of a soulmate, but I have read the 7+ book series at least 6 times. Let me know if you do/have read it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll certainly add it to my list! Sounds like a juicy one! Thanks!

      Delete
  13. These tips are great! I have found most of my books recently through friend recommendations, although I am starting to use Goodreads more and am looking into their recommendations. I like the idea of reading the page of one's age - and bonus because that page is likely to be closer to the beginning than any of the dramatic climaxes of the book, so there's less possibility for spoilers!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Unless I really like the actors that are portraying the characters of a book, I always always choose the original cover!! I hate the movie poster covers! Great tips for finding good books!
    ~Sara

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, I definitely judge the cover too & I just realized I also judge the star-count, which usually is a good indicator-- but not always!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I use to read the back of a book first, but I don't do that anymore! I actually bought 3 books that were on sale- I have a nook to save paper and space, so it's not common for me to buy actual books anymore- and I am trying to read a little bit here and there. Also "Eat, Pray, Love" was a great book! -Jess L

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yeah, I don't read the back anymore because they all start to sound the same to me, to be honest. But I love Eat, Pray, Love! It's always one I go back to read again.

    ReplyDelete

I love you for leaving a comment and do my best to reply to each one! I no longer accept anonymous commenting because of the amount of spam I was getting - I hope this isn't a problem for you. Thanks for checking out my blog :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...