How I Choose Books

picking-a-bookHonestly, choosing books can be a daunting task, especially for a prolific reader like myself. So, what do I do when I want to read a book but I’m unsure of exactly the right book to choose? Here are some ways I choose books:

  1. Library-hopping. It’s a tradition I created shortly after moving to upstate New York involving a day where I travel to at least four libraries in the area, sometimes with my wife and sometimes not. I don’t leave any of the libraries without at least one book from their “New Book” racks.
  2. Library-stopping. Libraries are amazing because they offer a wide selection of books for absolutely no money. Library-stopping means going to just one library and randomly choosing a row of books to peruse and choose from. I could spend from an hour to three hours leafing through books, but when I leave the area I will have at least three books to read further.
  3. Book store visit. I haven’t been to a book store in ages, but when I went more often it was definitely an interesting experience. The glory of a book store is getting to see and hear others talking about and exploring new books. That’s the one advantage of going to a book store, all of the new books.
  4. On-line. I’m huge into goodreads, and having that network of friends online who are also big readers, it’s a great experience. Reading reviews and seeing fresh new books in every genre, including the bestsellers and the niche books, all in one place is an eye-opener. The only issue of on-line browsing is that it’s either go with the eBook versions or try to find the physical books after the fact in a library.
  5. Friends, family, and co-workers. Recommendations, recommendations, and more recommendations. They work both ways, too. If someone tells me they really loved a book and it’s worth my time, I will add it to my list to read. I’ll also put it on my list to read of they say it was a horrible read and I should totally avoid it. I like to make up my own mind, and if the book was so polarizing to them, what was it? I place those books even higher up in my queue. The only books I don’t read are the ones they say were “just okay.”

Take today, for example. I stopped at one of the local libraries, one I hadn’t visited in a while. I took a good long look at their new books and brought two home with me, even though I’m already in the middle of reading two books. It doesn’t hurt to have the books here in the house waiting for me. I’ve waited long enough for them.

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