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How do you pick books to read?... : Book Discussion • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

How do you pick books to read?...

Read a good book lately? Want to discuss it with others? Share what you're reading and find out what should be on your bookshelf.
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petsnponies
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How do you pick books to read?...

Postby petsnponies » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:34 pm

I tend to look at the reviews on amazon! (Is that bad?).

Have however read some great books lately by searching according to highest ratings instead of genre or popularity.

So, how do you pick what to read?

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MookyMcD
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Re: How do you pick books to read?...

Postby MookyMcD » Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:15 pm

There are soooooooo many books I want to read, most of them 5 or more years old, that finding one I want to read is the least of my worries. I have a day job, I'm writing books of my own, I'm editing two other people's books as a CP right now, and I decided to fill in the blanks on my Elmore Leonard upon his death. I've never read any Terry Pratchett but keep having his name come up in conversations, so that needs to happen...

For me it feels more like keeping my thumb in the dike than looking for water.

James A. Ritchie
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Re: How do you pick books to read?...

Postby James A. Ritchie » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:16 pm

I never go by reviews. I've been disappointed far too many times to rely on reviews. This is especially true for Amazon reviews that are too often put up by friends of the writer, or even by the writer himself. Or, just as bad, by people who hate the writer.

I go first for books by writers I know and trust. I like a bunch of the established writers out there, and I grab every new book by these writers when it comes out. Second comes from word of mouth, paying attention to reader friends first, and the general rave about the book second. After this come the bestseller lists. I find them pretty reliable, as long as I go by genre. I find a lot of new writers I like this way.

Lastly, but as important as any method, comes the public library. There is no better place for finding and trying new writers because I can read a book by a new writer without having to buy it. And I first discovered some of my favorite writers just by wandering through the stacks reading titles.

I found Noel Perrin, one of my favorite essay writers this way. While wandering through the stacks, I chanced on the title First Person Rural. How could a writer not pick up such a book? When I pulled the book down, I discovered the subtitle was Essays of a Sometime Farmer. I loved the book, learned there was also a Second Person Rural, a Third Person Rural, and a Last Person Rural.

A professor at Dartmouth college, Perrin bought a place in very rural Vermont, began learning to farm, and to raise some livestock. These books were some of my best finds, and I found them just by wandering the stacks, reading titles.

But like MookyMcD, finding good books to read is the least of my worries. I already have thousands of books in my TBR piles, boxes, closets, etc. I probably won't live long enough to read these, let alone all the new books my favorite writers publish each year, and all the books by as yet undiscovered favorite writers.

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DrG2
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Re: How do you pick books to read?...

Postby DrG2 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:10 pm

I think reviews can be useful. Amazon has many of really insightful reviewers and they can at least give me a good idea of the type of book.
Even numerical ratings can be helpful - - when I decide to read something by a particular author I gravitate towards those with highest numbers: at the very least they will steer you to the books the author is best-known for.

I do look for successful writers (reputation, sales and awards).

Reading the first paragraph is a good way to eliminate options for me. Of course, many great books start poorly, imo, so I might be missing out on some great stories.

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LMGilbert
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Re: How do you pick books to read?...

Postby LMGilbert » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:42 am

I browse the library shelves, looking for my old favourites, & often find something with an interesting title or cover that draws my attention.

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MookyMcD
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Re: How do you pick books to read?...

Postby MookyMcD » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:45 am

This is OT, but am I the only one who just seen an enormous blank box where LMG's avatar would be?

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updog
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Re: How do you pick books to read?...

Postby updog » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:00 pm

"Is it weird in here, or is it just me?" ~ Steven Wright



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DrG2
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Re: How do you pick books to read?...

Postby DrG2 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:32 pm

i see no avatar at all. using firefox on a mac

sandracollin1985
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Re: How do you pick books to read?...

Postby sandracollin1985 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:41 am

I love books and have so many for the past years. I don't see myself as a collector but I love the fact of owning some good books and really invest on them. In picking or choosing books I like something that will teach us a lesson so when it comes to categories of books it usually depend on what I like to read.

irishnovel
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Re: How do you pick books to read?...

Postby irishnovel » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:19 am

i like historical books and novels.and i see avatar and title of the book because title is the main part that describes whole story.






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