Choosing Books

A book is a gift you can open again and again – Garrison Keillor

untitledBetween 600,000 and 1 million books are published in the U.S. every year. Even if you could read at birth, you would never be able to consume all of those books in your lifetime. And that’s just one year. Everyone who reads has preferences about what they read. I have been thinking lately about how I choose the books I read. In thinking about that, I have realized it’s kind of a complicated process.

I read several mystery and thriller series, so the first consideration I have when buying or reading a book is whether it’s part of a series I read or a new series I’m going to try. I read roughly 20 different series. So, when those books come out, I pick them up and read them as quickly as possible.

The second consideration is whether the author is someone I’ve read before, who doesn’t write a series. Abi Waxman, Susan Reiger are examples. I like their writing and will read just about anything they write.

The third consideration is subject matter. Is it something I’m interested in reading? My reading topics vary. I like mystery/thriller, chick lit, legal thrillers, good stories, history, true crime, etc. If it is a subject I’m interested in, I’m likely to pick up the book.

If it’s an author I’m not familiar with, I look at all of the following: the cover art; the blurbs from critics, authors, etc;  the first paragraph; and the last sentence. To me, those are good indicators of whether I will like the book. It’s not foolproof, but most of the time, it works. I have discovered some really good books and authors that way.

I enter to win a lot of books. And I win a lot of books. Sometimes, I read them and don’t care for them and sometimes I read them and find a new author to add to my growing list of people whose books I will read no matter what. But I try to read and review them all. It keeps me in books and reading and busy. Busy is good.

So, how do you choose what you read? What considerations do you have when choosing books? I’m interested to hear how other people choose their books.


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