How to Choose a Good Book

So a lot of you may wonder how I choose what I want to read, or what I’m going to read next. BCD aside, (that’s Book-reading Compulsive Disorder for all you non-followers *tsk tsk*) I have a few different methods for picking the next in my line-up. Here are a few easy ways to find the right book for you:

  • Recognize Your Interests– This should be a no-brainer. If you don’t like vampires, if you don’t like teen romance, then why would you read Twilight? Duh. Just because your friend says, OMIGOSHYOUHAVETOREADTHISBOOKIT’SSOAWESOME doesn’t mean you’re going to feel the same way. I had a really difficult time getting through The Lord of the Rings, but some people love it. Same with Sword of Shanera. Hated it. Doesn’t mean you will, though. But it also means I’m probably never going to read Game of Thrones. Easy.
  • Look at the Cover– I know the old adage is to never judge a book by it’s cover, but come on. We all do it. We do it with people, with products, with books, with movies. Everything. Why stop now? Do you like sword-fighting? If there’s a picture of two swarthy dudes fencing over a lovely maiden’s bound body, then hmm… you might want to proceed to the next step, which is:
  • Read the Jacket Insert– The jacket insert, or inside little flappy thingie, is there to give you an idea about the plot and tease you about what might happen to the characters inside. I can usually tell within the first few sentences of the teaser if I’m going to give a damn about the book. This can also be found on the back of some books.
  • Research a Favorite Author’s Other Work– Did you know that Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games trilogy also has a kid’s fiction series? I didn’t think so. Or that Ernest Hemingway did in fact write something other than The Old Man and the Sea? Odds are if you like their style with one novel, it will translate to their other works. Look it up, this is the internet for Pete’s sake. Use it wisely, young Jedi.
  • See What Others Have to Say– Look at a different book review blogs *ahem.* Often, if you get a feel of the blogger’s personality, you can tell if their interests match yours. This gives them better credibility when helping you choose something. Ask around. Please tell me someone else in your family reads, right? Right? Feel free to ask me. I LOVE telling people what they should read next! You can also look at the author quotes on the book cover. If you like or recognize any of the authors recommending that book, then you might like it too. (When all else fails, see how many stars Amazon gives it.)
  • Get Outside Your Comfort Zone– I tend to gravitate towards fiction, teen fiction, and the paranormal but I have been pleasantly surprised by other outside genres. I was super hesitant to pick up Freakanomics, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. If all you ever read are Westerns, try a zombie romance. If you only read fiction, try the biography of someone you’re interested in. (For the love of Pete, not Snooki, though. Anyone but that.) Try the kid’s section. They’ve got a lot of neat action adventure stories that aren’t bogged down by all the terrible grown-up drama. Have fun. Reading is about exploring new territories from the safety of your own home.
Picking the right book is like anything else in this life. A pain in the ass until you know what you’re doing. It can be difficult until you have the skill set to know what you like and what to look for. You might get so frustrated you want to give up. Don’t you dare! A movie will never replace a good book, I don’t care what anyone says. Until then, take a few of these tips and go to town. Trial and error is key. The princess did have to kiss a few frogs, after all.

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