Friday, May 4, 2012

How do you choose a book?

We writers are in love with words. Others and ours. Not just write, we all love to read too. Nothing can absorb us so wholeheartedly as a world of words.

You guessed right. I am talking about books. When I am reading, I can disappear for hours inside the pages of a good book. When I am in the company of a good book, I don’t miss human company at all. I have stayed up till 2:30 a.m at night reading thrillers.

But, when it comes to choosing a book, I go for word of mouth. If the book has garnered rave reviews in all the media, then it definitely lands up in my TBR pile. Or if a friend has recommended it.

Sometimes, I pick up a book going by the blurb. If the blurb is intriguing, and ensnares me big time, then it will land up in my house. Though, beautiful book covers attract me, I seldom pick a book solely relying on the enticing factor of the book cover.

Sometimes, I am attracted by book titles too. If the title has really intrigued me, I turn the book over, read the blurb and then drop the book in my purchase bag.

If I am confused about picking a book, I try to read the first paragraph or two, just to get a faint idea of what to expect in the book. During those times, I act a bit like an agent. Interesting first lines can hook me big time. Many times, after an interesting first few pages, the rest of the book has disappointed me.

I also pick up books by writers whose earlier books I have enjoyed. In that case I am solely going by their track record.

What about you all? How do you choose your books? Which books land up in your TBR pile? How do you decide which book you want to read next?  

 P.S. In the month of May, I will posting only once a week, on Fridays, as I have set a deadline for the first draft of my Half-blood Angels and Devils book. I need to complete the first draft by the end of this month. I will still be visiting all your blogs. If I complete the draft before that, I will revert back to my usual blog schedule of twice a week. 

25 comments:

mooderino said...

I tend to rely on the blurb and the central premise of the book. I like ideas I haven't seen before or aren't predictable (so pretty easy to sport).

mood
Moody Writing
@mooderino
The Funnily Enough

Carole Anne Carr said...

Hope you make it, Rachna, I have a deadline, publish by the end of July, forlorn hope! :0)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You'll make the deadline!
Cover art attracts me first. Then I read the blurb.
Of course, I also buy a lot of my blogger buddies' books.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

You've nailed the ways I pick books. Recommendations from friends with the same taste as me tromp all. Plus I support my author friends.

Slamdunk said...

Best wishes with your writing goals Rachna.

I usually pick by just browsing. I have different tastes so my mood and what topic is fresh in my mind is a driver. Also, when I find an author I like, I look for his/her other works.

Rahul Bhatia said...

I like to read anything which can hold my attention! Earlier it was the famed writers but now anything readable is just fine:)

Rachna Chhabria said...

@ Mooderino, I too like to read the blurb and then decide about the book.

@ Carole, I badly want to make the deadline. I hope you make your deadline too.

@ Alex, thanks for the faith (that I will make the deadline). I too read quite a few of my blog buddies books.

@ Stina, recommendations from other writers makes me discover great books.

@ Slamdunk, thanks for the wishes, I need them if I have to get that first draft complete by the end of this month.

@ Rahul, hmm...anything that can hold your attention will definitely keep you hooked.

Lydia Kang said...

I go by titles and blurbs. If it looks fantastic right there, I'll get it. If I'm unsure, I'll check out the reviews and let them decide for me.

But if it has anything to do with a similar story I'm writing, for good or bad, I usually read it to see what competition I have. :)

Misha Gericke said...

I try to get books written by friends, then I buy books that draw me. Not sure how to explain it, though.

Finally, I go for big name authors and authors that I read before and liked.

Kenda Turner said...

Wow, so many choices--and most of the time it all depends on my writing project. Historical fiction? Other fiction of same era, biography, or research books. Middle grade? Lots of times I'll go for a Newbery. Picture book? I depend on several book review blogs for ideas there. Or I might take a day and head to the library and just see what catches my eye. Great topic, Rachna. And good luck on your first draft!

Medeia Sharif said...

I find great books to read in every way: library sales, Kindle sales, word of mouth, blog posts, covers that grab my attention, etc.

Julia Hones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia Hones said...

I think the books find me. Sometimes it is that first paragraph that captivates me. It is a strange kind of attraction.

Andrea Mack said...

Lately, I find a lot of the books I read through recommendations on blogs. I often will wait and read a book from the library, though, before I decide whether to purchase.

Reading the first page while browsing in a store can sometimes get me hooked.

Julie Musil said...

I choose most of my books through word of mouth. Right now I'm reading Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, which is amazing. A good writer friend recommended it!

Good luck on your draft!

Life Unordinary said...

Always a referral, friend or anyone. When I'm at the library, I always ask the librarians for recommendations on whatever genre I'm looking for.

Dave King said...

Mostly I'm with you: it's word of mouth. But I also like to browse and read a few paras and will choose a book on spec. I have even been known to choose books by their titles alone. I've come unstuck with this method, but I've also found some treasures.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Nice question to think about. Generally I, too, go by word of mouth often. But I also have an eye out for favorite authors. And sometimes, in the library or a book store, I'll quickly browse a first chapter and the blurbs. Titles intrigue me, too. A good title will make me take a book by an author I haven't read off the shelf to take a peek.

Terri Tiffany said...

I am like you--I look at books friends recommend and also at the blurb followed by reading a first or second paragraph.

Alka Gurha said...

Blurbs are misleading these days...referral works fine with me.

alexia said...

I go by word-of-mouth, too. I also admit that beautiful covers pull me in if I'm in the bookstore or online, and then I'll read a couple snippets and see if I like the writing style. Usually the first page and then somewhere in the middle.

Karen Lange said...

I choose books much like you do. I will also go on a friend's recommendation.

Have a good writing week!

Lydia Kang said...

There are so many factors on how I choose books. Often, I let my gut instinct pull me to the newest one.

Mark Noce said...

I find it's all a matter of mood. I have to be in the right mood for a book in order for it to reach me.

Wendy Lu said...

What an interesting question you bring up! I'm currently reading The Hunger Games trilogy, but only because of all the raving reviews I've heard from, well, basically everybody! Plus, movies had been made of these books so they must have some value! Normally I go by word of mouth as well, and it's also a significant factor if a book is by one of my favorite authors! :)

~Wendy Lu

The Red Angel Blog