Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Discussion: How Do YOU Choose the Books You Read?

People ask me all the time how I choose the books I buy and read, and I never have a definite answer for them. There are several factors that can play into me choosing a book, or not choosing it for that matter. It really just depends on my mood at the time, and what the circumstances are. Here are different ways that I choose my books:
The Cover
The cover of a book is extremely influential when I am choosing books. I know, I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s really hard not to! There are some absolutely gorgeous covers out there that practically beg me to buy them. Sometimes I barely even glance at what the book is about, I just buy it because I want the cover on my shelf. A little selfish, I know, but it has its drawbacks. A good cover doesn't equal a good book, unfortunately. I've gotten burned a few times by going simply on what the cover looks like. Conversely, I've also read books that I absolutely loved to bits and pieces, but whose covers I could not stand. So, going by a book's cover is the most 'dangerous' method, I would say, because it really could go either way.
      For instance, I'm much more likely                                      Than one that looks like this:
    to pick up a book that looks like this:
                                                           

BUT, that just goes to show you, you can and you can't judge a book by it's cover. The cover for The Girl in the Steel Corset is gorgeous, and the book is bloody amazing as well.There you have a case where, if you were just going on appearances alone, you'd still have a fantastic read in your hands.

Whereas the cover for Wild Child is... well, it's a big turn off for me when I see it, but I really enjoyed the book. It was a great read, and I definitely recommend Wild Child to anyone who wants a quick thriller read.
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The Author
I also like to choose books from authors that I have already read before and that I know I like. For example, I know for a fact that I will buy anything with Cassandra Clare's name on it, even if I have no idea what it's about. Same thing with Libba Bray, Rachel Caine, Richelle Mead, and a billion other authors that I'm very familiar with. This usually, but not always, guarantees a good book, since it's from a good author.
Cayla Kluver, author of Legacy

Another way that an author could influence whether I pick up their books or not is if there's a unique story behind them, or something really interesting about them. A great example would be Cayla Kluver, the author of Legacy which was published recently by Harlequin Teen. But the story behind the writing and publishing of Legacy is a very interesting one. Cayla was only 14 years old when she wrote Legacy, and after trying for a very long time, her and her mother finally self-published it using their own publishing company which her mother started just for Legacy. (The company was called Forsooth Publishing.) Once I read that about Cayla, I immediately ordered the book and read it, and loved it! That was about 3 years ago. Since then Cayla has done really damn well for herself and Legacy, which is why I'm going to  buy this new version and re-read it. 
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The Summary
Of course, there's nothing like reading the summary for a book and thinking, 'Wow, this sounds great, I need to get it!' This is usually how I choose books from debut authors, or authors that I've never read before. Knowing what a book is about plays a huge role in me picking it. (But not always, as stated above, lol.)

Take, for instance, the description for Fateful by Claudia Gray.

In Fateful, eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, overbearing family she works for. Once the ship they’re sailing on reaches the United States, she’ll strike out on her own. Then she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets....

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves are real and they’re stalking him—and now Tess, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.

Featuring the opulent backdrop of the Titanic, Fateful’s publication is poised to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the ship’s doomed maiden voyage. It is sure to be a hit among Titanic buffs and fans of paranormal romance alike.


Okay, so what did we get from that summary? WEREWOLVES ON THE TITANIC. WEREWOLVES. ON. THE. FREAKING. TITANIC. This is definitely a case of the summary making me want to read a book!
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The Reviews/Book Blogs
Honestly, about 50% of the books I buy now are because I've seen them reviewed or featured on a book blog. There are so many books that I have that I never would have even known existed, or probably wouldn't have bought, unless I had seen it on a blog. That's one of the many reasons why I love blogging, and I love the blogging community! There are a hundreds of bloggers that I follow and who have greatly influenced me in buying books, one of the foremost being The Story Siren. Anyone who says that "bloggers don't sell books" are most definitely incorrect, because my book purchasing has sky rocketed ever since I started getting involved in the blogging community.
Those are the most common ways that I use to choose my books. What about you? Do you use any of the above ways? If not, what do you do? Tell me about it!

6 comments:

  1. This may sound really harsh, but I have to admit that I could never read Wild Child. Even if it had only five star reviews and everyone told me it was a must-read. The whole reading experience would be me skimming through the text while unwillingly thinking about the cover :D

    I mostly choose the books I buy by the story. I read the summary and some reviews and if I find it interesting, I get the book. Also, if I've recently read a great book, I like to check out other books by the same author. The cover doesn't play that big of a role in my choosing progress, because I get all my books from Amazon. If I purchased books from a bookstore, I would be drawn by all the beautiful covers all over the store, but buying books from Amazon is sadly a very different experience. :)

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  2. I'll admit I'm a cover-slut and I don't care! A pretty cover is sure to make me at least check out the summary and if it sounds weird I'll probably still consider reading it. While Wild Child would stay where it was, because that cover is just awful!
    What I read is also largely influenced by the other things you mention, especially book blogs!

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  3. I find that lately most of the books I choose are coming from reviews posted by other bloggers. I do a lot of reading on my Kindle, and while searching for books online is relatively easy, it's not as exciting as walking the aisles of the ever illusive book store. So, I rely heavily on the recommendations of my fellow bibliophiles who haven't steered me wrong yet when looking for a new series or author!

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  4. I would say that I really go by the summary of the book and by bloggers recommendations. If I love the summary of a book I will keep my eye out for reviews on the book in the blogging world. After reading 5-10 reviews, if I can find that many, I will decide if I should get the book or not.

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  5. I am easily influenced by the cover..but can tell you as a reviewer, that I have read fantastic novels with the wrong cover...so i try not to judge. Years ago, I stuck to one genre, and my fav authors...now I read every genre, and am influenced by book clubs, sites and fellow readers.
    Great blog :) I am a new follower. Stop by and ck out my blog, when you have the time. I review all genres including YA. I think you would like The Demon Lover(beautiful cover) and Johnny doesn't Drink Champagne (perfect example of a crappy cover)
    http://www.kimbathecaffeinatedbookreviewer.blogspot.com/

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