Monday, November 21, 2011

Musing Mondays: My 4-Point Approach

Time for the Musing Mondays question, brought to us by Should Be Reading. Today's question(s):

How do you decide to read a book by an author you haven’t read before? What sort of recommendations count most highly in making that decision?

I rarely care about the "author" when I'm choosing a book - I simply go by the actual book. Sometimes I will look to see if the author is female or male depending on the story, but that is very rare. The only time I ever care about the author is if I love the book - then I go looking for them, and more of their work.

So how do I decide to pick up a book? I have a "4-Point Approach":

1. Cover. Unless it is by a very favored author, my choice to pick up a book begins primarily with the cover. Yes, I totally "judge a book by its cover." At the bookstore or library I mainly browse anything facing forward - if just the spine is showing, it will have a very hard time grabbing my attention (unless the title is so off the wall and in such big letters I can't help but notice it).

2. Title. After cover comes title. If it's too weird, long, or plain, I'll skip right over it if the cover doesn't really grab me. One-word titles are all the rage right now, which could be considered too plain, but they are doing a pretty good job of making them unique and interesting (Paranormalcy anyone? ;).

3. Summary. And I'm not talking about the inside flap or the back cover description - I'm talking the one-two sentence summary on the back of the title page. If a book does not have this, I will most likely put it back - simple as that. Unless the cover/title looks exactly like something I'd read, I don't have the time to stop and skim the book description. If the summary really intrigues me, though, I may scan the description afterwards, just to make sure it is what it seems.

4. Subjects. If the summary is too vague, I'll glance at the subjects. These give me a better idea of just what exactly I'll be getting into. If most are to my usual tastes I'll give the book a try, but if they are all "familial relationships" and "vampires" then I have no interest in even trying.

As for Recommendations...I rarely listen to them. If someone recommends a book I've never heard of but sounds intriguing then I may look for it at the bookstore/library -  but it will get the same 4-Point Approach like any other possible read. If I'm already interested in a book but unsure if it'll be any good I may scan through a trusted review or ask someone who's read it, but otherwise I go simply on my own tastes.

This is all, of course, within the context of my favored genres, which consist mainly of Young Adult, and Suspense & Urban Fantasy trade paperbacks ("t-ps" are a genre to me ;). I rarely browse genres I don't read, and even more rarely pick up something in them for perusal.

So how do you choose what you read?

1 comment:

  1. I haven't really thought much about my approach, but now that I am, I have a similar one to yours. I judge covers and titles (and after that, blurbs) in the bookstores. Other than bookstores, I get recommendations from other readers, friends, and sometimes look up stuff on Goodreads. I don't always take the recommendations unless they're within the genres I read, or I've heard of the book already and was curious.