If it's nonfiction and on a particular subject I'm familiar with, it has to be able to say something new/different from what I've already heard. If it's a subject I am not familiar with but would like to learn more about, it needs to offer me the possiblity to bring about positive change in my life. If it's fiction, it has to have a great story line, with true to life characters that make me feel like I'm watching them in real time. Good question.
I do not spend time trying to choose a book , I want to know of the author and I do not want a thick book ,I do not have time to spend reading that much, I like Janette Oke books , she doesn't drag them on like some others do .and you get a decent story, I do not read just to have something to do , I do not like to waste my time that way.
Choose a classic that you've yet to read! Nonfiction suits my tastes more, so I check out favorite authors of mine; Hitchens, Dawkins etc.
Most often I choose a book that answers a question or tends to a specific situation I have. There are times I choose based on a passion of mine or the recommendation of someone I respect.
Of course I can stay with a subject that I am familiar with and authors that I had read but I often just want something different.
I check out the flap then just open a few places at random and read a couple of chapters.
If I see dialog I will read some to see how well it flows.
AT that point I either like their style or I don't.
These days I read mostly online and ebooks.
It is always hard to find English language books in foreign countries.
I speak Spanish so, so and reading Chinese is impossible so I really want to read in English when I am reading for pleasure.
I choose a book a couple of ways...
1. Usually it just finds me. I see a review or just a picture of a book in a magazine or newspaper or see the book on a shelf or table at the book store and it just jumps out at me. I'm drawn to it instantly.
2. A friend (either online or off) recommends a book that they really enjoyed.
3. I get a promo for a book, via email, that looks interesting. Since I don't want hundreds of free gifts (way too overwhelming) - I usually see if the book is at the library.
4. I take a look at the 'Fast Read' area of the library as the new, hot books are usually there. Since you can only take them out for a week - I hope they're not too long!
I tend to go with authors I know or have heard are good. Recommendations from family and friends go a long way as well. Also, I used to seek out hidden gems in the bargain bins at Borders, may they rest in peace. I believe I came across one of my favorite novels, Blindness, by Jose Saramago, that way.
I look at the books. Have I read the author before? Does the story interest me? For good measure, I read the first few pages to see how the author writes. I'm quite picky about my books.
I look at the syllabi for English literature classes at different universities. If I like the topic of the class I go down the required text list and pick a title.
I have a 13 page reading list that I choose from, otherwise I wander the library or bookstore and pick books up either by title or author. Sometimes I choose randomly, read the back and if it looks good, I add it to the pile, if not, back on the shelf it goes.
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