It’s so easy to get in a reading rut. It’s even easier to not realize you’re in one. The key to reading more and often is choosing good books.
“OBVIOUSLY, JENNY,” you say.
“OBVIOUSLY, READER,” I counter.
But how do you choose good books? I don’t know how you do it, but here’s my convoluted method.
I am a member of the Goodreads community. I started by logging all the books I’ve read – alllll the way back to my grade-school days (I loved reading then, too, but took a long break when school got more intense).
1. Goodreads offers suggestions based on what you’ve read and rated.
2. I pick a book I’ve read and liked and read the reviews other Goodreads community members wrote for it. If I agree with their opinion, I click on their profile and browse their book selections.
3. I listen to my friends. We don’t all share the same taste in books, but a really great book often transcends typical preferences, and some of my favorite books have been ones that were forced on me by excited friends.
4. I’m a serial reader. If I find an author I love, I read everything that author writes, including books co-authored with other people, whose books I then read. I follow that author on Twitter, and I read books that author recommends. I read books by authors with whom that author interacts. It’s a giant snowballing process of awesome books and authors, and while it doesn’t always turn out five-star reads, it does always introduce me more books.
5. I get out there and look at physical books. I browse cover art, jacket synopses and worn library books. If it looks interesting, I visit Goodreads for a quick rating check (I don’t bother with books with a high number of low ratings, even though it might be a book I end up loving – I’m not generally a risk taker and prefer reading books with some sort of clout).
6. I’m a sucker for sales. I follow several publishing companies, authors and book bloggers on Twitter. They alert me to eBook sales. I browse local bargain stores and the library’s book sales. If a book is $2.99 or less and looks/sounds good, I buy it.
7. I subsidize my reading habit with the library. I’d read far less if I had to pay for each book I read. Public libraries are amazing places. My county’s public library lacks a lot of what I want to read, so I pay an annual fee for access to a neighboring county’s system. The cost/savings ratio is ridiculously tipped in favor of savings.
To be perfectly honest, I use all seven “methods” together. I cross reference, cross multiply, carry the one, subtract the four and multiply by the power of infinity because a good book is worth the extra hunting effort.
Are we friends on Goodreads yet? If not, WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM?