Sources of Reading: Where Do You Find Your Books?
Book lovers enjoy many bookish things, but the feeling of discovering a wonderful new book or author might be one of the most satisfying ones in the book lover’s existence. When I was thinking about what books to put on my Christmas wishlist today, I started to wonder – how do I decide what books I want to have? How do I discover new books, and how do I differentiate between and navigate through the hundreds of books published every month?
The way I picture it, books form a vast network. Some books are connected by having the same author – others have similar subject matter, genre, tropes, or maybe even the publisher is of import. There are websites like Goodreads or Amazon that can be used to follow the strands of this complex web of interconnected books. Even such a humble little blog as mine has a role to play in this system. If you have noticed you have a similar taste in books as me, you might check out other books I also enjoyed. Other ways of discovering books might include random book shop or library browsing, or asking for recommendations on Twitter).
Through these ways we are all faced with an onslaught of titles, covers, and blurbs. When I think about how I pick the books I read, I realize that I often judge books by their covers. Not even necessarily on the basis of what I find to be a “pretty” cover, but the kind of cover a book has says a lot about a book. Epic fantasies tend to have illustrated cinematic covers, while young-adult fantasies are often more abstract or stylized. A cover says a lot about what a book is about. Secondly, I like checking on what shelves the book is shelved on Goodreads. I don’t like highly romantic books in general, which sometimes is obscured in the blurb. But the shelves never lie – so when a book is shelved as “romance” very often, I often decide not to bother.
But all of these techniques and methods aside, discovering a book seems to be part chance. You just have to “bump into” the right book. And like I’ve written about before, reading books is just like falling in love – sometimes everything is awesome, but other times, it just doesn’t work out. All in all, I’ve got some great experiences with finding books through Goodreads and the recommendations of bloggers, and even though I’m in a bit of a slump right now, I like most books I read.
How do you discover new books?