How Do You Choose Your Next Read?

This is a subject I have been pondering lately – especially since I have started requesting books  from NetGalley and The Reading Room and GoodReads. In the past I have tended to look for authors I have read before, who have proved their worth and lately with my venture into ebooks (how readily available and how cheap they can be compared to paper backs) have been inspired to look for series – so I can read book after book in the same series and really enjoy the character development and have some idea of the type of read I  am about to embark on next.

I searched websites for “best of 20xx” lists, looked at book bloggers reviews etc and soon had a list of authors I was interested in reading. However i quickly ran out of options… if work is slow (and the past 12 months or so it has been very slow) I have had a lot of time to read and found I was reading 8 or 9 book in  a week – I was quickly reading through my list of preferred reads and lists of series. Over Christmas I read the CJ Box 10 book series of the wildlife officer Joe Pickett thriller/crime novels (there is one more recently published), I read the John Connolly Charlie Parker series (11 books), the Jo Nesbo  Harry Hole series (a great read aside from the first which has just been translated- stay tuned for my review), the Tess Gerritsen Rizzoli and Isles series ( 10 books)…and a quite a few others including several new releases from authors I follow including  Karin Slaughter, Micheal Connelly etc that released books for the holiday season. I read and consume books with great enjoyment and vigor.

I then discovered the world of NetGalley and was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new releases largely from authors I was not familiar with. So how do I choose what to read? Having spent some time thinking about this I have discovered just how important the cover of a book is to my sensibilities and tastes – I was surprised out how much impact a book cover has on my desire to learn more about the story and decision to read or not.

For some reason unknown to myself I am not remotely interested in books with covers that allude to them being written forty or fifty years ago – you know the sort of thing – the style is outdated (has an op shop tone), sometimes the colours are faded yellows (a deliberate choice)…I cant quite explain it….maybe an example is needed; the cover of this book has no appeal yet may be  a perfectly good read.

Yet I have read some recently re released books from the 80’s and they have been great reads eg False Witness Dorothy Uhnak – I cannot recall the cover but it must have been appealing,

I search by genre first ( mystery/thrillers/crime) then by the cover that appealed and then read the synopsis/description and finally make my decision.

I dont like romances (I think I read to many as a teenager and quickly out grew their predictability and formulaic structure) hence any book that remotely look “typical” of this  genre is out – see below.

I almost passed on the great read -Keep No Secrets – because of it’s cover reminding me of a romance style.

So how do you pick you next read?  As you can see I like crime/thrillers but I like almost any book that is well written and interesting. What are you reading and what do you recommend?

** The covers I have used here as references (aside from Keep No Secrets) I have not read and have no knowledge of. It is not my intention to rate these books or review them – they are merely examples of covers I personally don’t like – no offence is intended to the authors or the publishers.

8 thoughts on “How Do You Choose Your Next Read?

  1. I definitely do the same with regards to romance – I flick past any book with pictures of hunky men and beautiful women gazing soulfully, or worse, lustfully, at each other. I don’t think I’m influenced by covers on crime books though – then it’s the blurb and reviews, either blog or Amazon, that influence me. And for literary fiction, though I love finding great covers (Equilateral for instance), it’s generally the author’s name and/or reviews that suck me in. Or a particularly interesting blurb.

    But I don’t read anywhere near as much as you, so I always have a huge list to fall back on of books that are parts of series I’d like to follow up.

    • Sometimes I think I read to much – I need to move more:) I read in the afternoons ( after I persuade myself I have done my work for the day (paid or house) and most evenings the TV programming is pretty woeful and so I read. Trouble is if I start a really good book in the evening I usually sit up and read till it is finished.

  2. You know, I can’t help but wonder just who it IS who is reading the romances (14 year olds?) Apologies to offended 14 year olds and others. Mind you, I also avoid covers if it looks like there will be a lot of dismemberment and violence! – I by-passed SUTTON because the cover on Vine was a man with a gun, as, like the romances, i assume (wrongly) that the genre may just be about violence, (and the romance, just about mildly violent kissing..

    I can sometimes see some sort of pattern going on in my reading e.g. good, heavy lit fic which has wrung me out, made me think a lot – something easy to read but well written till I recover from the world of the lit fic. I’m rather attracted to the old (looks kindly at herself in mirror) – so I’ve been hesitating over the Sebag!

  3. Gosh that’s fascinating! I must start writing a romantic novel Pauses, to consider the best title “Kissing amongst the Kangaroos” versus “Passion amongst the Pigs” I think the first packs more of a punch…………

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