I've decided to try my hand at a discussion post again and I want to aim at making those a more frequent feature if I can. I really enjoyed the last one, where we talked about romance.
Today's topic is something I think about quite a lot and find really interesting to compare with other poeple.
What ultimately makes you decide you want to read/buy a book?
I'm not talking about finding it vaguely interesting, I mean that moment when you really make the decision 'I am buying this instead of the 10+ others around it' at the bookstore or put it on your 'I really really want to read this' list or the moment you choose it from the unread ones on your shelves. How do you decide what to read and what to pass on?
I think that's an important point for many people. We do judge books by their covers, for better or worse. Is it pretty? Shocking? Appealing? Does it stand out because of colors/font? Quite often I need only look at the cover to guess the genre.
Personally, I love looking at pretty covers. They often make me pick up a book and turn it around to read the description. But that doesn't mean I auto-buy the book. If I read the description and I'm not convinced, I won't buy the book unless I've read some great reviews. I've heard of people preordering/buying books by virtue of the cover alone though. How do you handle it?
I think that's the most important thing to me. If the book sounds like 3 other ones I've already read (very frequent in YA paranormals/dystopians), I will get bored. If it sounds like tons of drama, I'll put it away. But if it intrigues me, I will buy it no matter how ugly I think fhe cover is. So one of my absolute pet peeves is books who have a lot of review quotes on their back instead of actual info of what they are about! I don't care what these people thought, the publishers only put the positive reviews on there anyway!
How do you feel about descriptions? Do you read them? Does a book sounding similar to another one you've already read make you more or less likely to buy it?
This is tricky. If the cover got my attention, I often don't read the title before I've read the description on the back. I tend to skip big, bold text and get to the details immediately. Weird, I know. I often skip newspaper headlines. However, if the book is not lying on one of those tables but on the shelf, all you have is the title on the back of the book. So then it really depends on whether it sounds interesting to me. Is it funny? Does it have some of my favorite words in it? That will make me pull out the book to see what it's all about.
Length / how 'big' the book is
|I don't own this picture. Source.|
Some people like huge tomes, others feel daunted by that and prefer thinner volumes. As a teen I felt that anything shorter than 300 pages wasn't worth my time. Now I get fidgety at everything over 500 pages and have learned to appreciate shorter ones. Ultimately though, I don't really care as long as it sounds interesting and is well written.
Reviews / hype
If a book got great reviews from people I trust, I'm more likely to give it a shot even if it's not what I usually read. But I get a bit weary of a book being hyped too much or compared to other, really successful books. ('The new Twilight/Hunger Games!' Even if it has zero to do wit the book that sticker or whatever is on)
How do you feel about that? Does a hype attract you or put you off?
I don't know how to properly describe this but it's actually the most important thing to me. Call me superstitious but some books just call out to me. I see them and I know 'I have to read this'. It's like a jolt. When I read the description, I just know that I'm going to love it and I am right about 90% of the time. It's happened a few times that a lot of people got all excited about a title that just made me shrug my shoulders... and then the negative reviews began to trickle in and they pointed out all the bad stuff I had feared about the book.
Does any one else get this type of hunch about books? Or, you know, for some inexplicable reason pull one from the shelf only to think 'oh my god this sounds amazing'? Call me silly but I think that for each of us, there are books we are just meant to read, and they will find their way to us somehow.
There are many more factors that I think come into play, such as having read the author's other work, read an interview, the genre, your mood... feel free to discuss those too, or anything else you think I have forgotten! I'd really love to hear how you pick your reads :)