Your Next Read: How to Choose the Perfect Book to Read

Bookstores and libraries are stacked with a sea of books. And there are times when it is hard for the reader to decide which book to read. In this blog, I will guide you through the process of finding your next perfect read using my method.


Cover

Firstly, believe 'them' when they tell you a book is judged by its cover. Because upon entering a shop, having picked the genre I want, I scan for the cover (or jacket) that catches my eye. Call me superficial, but jackets have a knack for reeling me in.


For me, less is more. I like to be intrigued. Challenged. And I always hope the author will not give it all away before I open the book to read. In other words, arouse my curiosity and then please give me a puzzle to assemble as I unravel the tale.


Title

The title can make or break a book. Speaking from a reader's perspective, I am drawn to short, punchy titles. And I gravitate towards titles that begin with the word 'The' (definite noun) as they grab my attention and arouse my curiosity more than those that start with 'A'. So, for example, The Cabin instead of A Cabin. 'The', to me, suggests something specific. Something I must know - a promise of a secret known by the author.

As an author whose first novel starts with the word 'A', I wish I had paid more attention to this. That is not to say that people won't read books with titles beginning with 'A'.


Blurb

Once I pick a title that draws my attention, I flip the book over and zoom in on the blurb. It is true what those in the know say about the hook. As the writer walks me through the journey towards the clincher, I am always looking for something with which to grapple - will they or will they not? I want to know now, but I also want to experience the ups and downs. Therefore, the blurb should intrigue and pique my interest. I like the promise of what's to come - the reason I would feel compelled to keep reading.

Reviews

Of course, books need reviews. But as we know, opinions are subjective by nature and can make or break an author. You better believe it. Some reviewers are fair when leaving their thoughts about a book. Some, however, can be darn obnoxious. Nevertheless, I am sympathetic when reading reviews. So, before dismissing a book, I read both the good and the bad reviews and consider who is writing those reviews and what is being said because one man's meat is another man's poison.


Language

The author's use of language is of great importance to me. Once I have the book in my hand before walking to the counter to make a purchase, I flip through random pages to pore over some paragraphs, sampling the author's writing style. By doing this, I am trying to see if I resonate with the author's voice. The author and I must establish some chemistry through words. I love books that are simple yet sophisticated. I do not want the distraction of deciphering the author's intended meaning (Ernest Hemmingway will be spinning in his grave). Don't get me wrong - I'm all for elevating one's vocabulary, but surely, expecting me to reach for a dictionary after each paragraph is asking for too much.


Word of mouth

Of course, other ways steer me toward a particular book. Word of mouth is a great example. Sometimes, a book is on everyone's lips, creating hype on social media, radio and television. All these channels guide me to my next read.



Interests and mood

I am drawn to stories that appeal to my emotions. For starters, I am a sucker for love and love a good cry. I also love some classic 'whodunnits'. Nothing like a good murder to get my heart racing. Besides these two genres, I also love real stories. Stories that teach me a thing or two about life, expand my horizon and make me want to explore beyond my comfort zone and view the world differently.


Sometimes I crave tales that inject some degree of nostalgia into me. Those familiar stories from way back when. Stories that, after reading, make me sigh and sit in silence as I allow my mind to wander back in time. Therefore, my mood sometimes dictates which book to read.


I hope I was able to nudge you in the right direction. Remember, readers are leaders!




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