Monday, August 10, 2015

How do you decide what book to read next?

If you’re like me, you love to read. In fact, it’s quite possible I spend more time looking for the next book to read than actually reading. Part of that might be because I’m picky reader. I want a book to consume me. I want to fall in love, I want to be enchanted, I want to be transported. (I don’t ask for much, do I?) The writing needs to be beautiful, the characters must be both believable and tormented, and the story must be compelling.

I want a book that I can’t put down. I want to start reading in the afternoon and collapse somewhere around 2 or 3 in the morning, because I can’t force myself to stay awake any longer.

As a result, it isn’t always easy for me to find the next, fantastic book to read. So these are some things I’ve started doing...

Find Like Minds:
About a year ago, I joined a Meet Up group where the members first read a book, then we all go see the movie version of that book together. After viewing the film, we eat lunch and chat about the two versions of the “same” story. I’d never gotten together with a group of people like this before and it really opened my horizons. Since then, I’ve started checking out books that have been made into movies (and TV shows). Here’s a list of amazing books that I discovered along the way: Gone Girl, Child 44, Z for Zacharia, Wayward Pines, Outlander, Cold Mountain, Into the Heart of the Sea, The Strain, The Road, and The Vampire Diaries.

Follow Your Heart:
I already have a list of authors that I adore, so I started following them online (mainly on Twitter) to find out when/if they had a new book coming out soon. I found this list of books, all written by my favorite authors, that way: Doll Bones, The Darkest Part of the Forest, The Raven Boys, The Young Elites, 17 & Gone, Six of Crows, and Ismeni.

Ask For Help:
This can be done face-to-face, like when chatting with a like-minded friend or with a local librarian or bookstore employee, or even with a friend online. The results can be off-the-chart amazing, because you might find yourself reading something you never would have considered otherwise. Books that fall in this category for me are: The Road, Bone Gap, and Ironskin.

Random Chance:
This one can be the most fun, because it feels like a treasure hunt. You might stumble upon a book review on Goodreads or a blog; you might notice a book acquired by an editor/agent you admire; or you could type in a search (like I did below) looking for a particular book, only to discover a long list of books worth checking out. From the list below, I ended up buying/reading The Girl Who Loved Tom Gorden, but I plan to read more from that random list too.

How about you? Do you have any special techniques for finding the next book you want to read? And what was the last book you read that totally and completely consumed you?

Merrie Destefano reads more often than she writes. You can follow her online on Twitter and Facebook and you can view her website here.


Helen Lowe said...

Great tips, Merrie. I must confess to still being a good, old fashioned "shelf browser." Whether in a bookstore or library I love to work my way along the shelf, looking first for the cover that appeals and will be supported by the backcover text and my subsequent perusal of the first few pages. If all these indicators gel, then I will most likely take the book home. :)

Kim Falconer said...

I Agree with Helen's browsing technique.

I also belong to a few different book clubs, with a monthly suggestion and discussion, which is fun.

When I meet a new author that I adore, in person, or on FB or Twitter, I tend to read everything they ever wrote, which sparks new books and genres for me.

Most recently I was looking for one book and spotted a new book cover I felt drawn to. I bought that book instead and read the entire series. That's never happened to me before.

Random Chance indeed!