Monday, September 1, 2008

How I Choose Books for my TBR Pile

Tip of the Day: Have a safe and happy Labor Day, and keep your eye on the Weather Channel.

Today I'm thinking like a reader, and wondering if you writers would be interested in how I select books to put on my "To Be Read" pile. Here's how I find out about the books I read:

1. Library and Book Store Displays. Probably the number one reason I pick up a book; it just looks so good, I can't resist it. Librarians, you definitely have a big influence on what I read. Enter Three Witches by Caroline Cooney is a book I found at the library.

2. Word of Mouth. If one of my trusted reader friends, such as one of my A2A buddies, tells me about a great read, it will float to the top of my pile. Girls, Drums, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick is a book I picked up on Deena's suggestion.

3. Internet Buzz. If everyone in the online kidlit word is talking about a book, I must read it to find out what the buzz is about. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is a great example.

4. Interest in a Subject. If I'm researching something for a book I'm writing, or just a subject I find fascinating, I like to read about it. I found one of my favorite books, Burning Onions by Gary Soto, when I was writing a scene in California and wanted to read about California/Mexican culture.

5. Personal Contact with the Author. Probably the most influential factor in me buying a book rather than borrowing it. After all, I might be able to get it signed. I LOVE to read books where I feel I have a personal connection with the author. And Lisa, I loved I Heart You, You Haunt Me.

Strangely enough, I tend to read book reviews after I've read the book, not before. After I've read a book, I like to know what other people have thought of it.

So how do you choose books for your TBR pile?

-- Kate, Miss Apprentice Author


DeenaML said...

Great topic, Kate! I have been contemplating putting Why I Picked Up This Book on my LJ book reviews bc I do find it interesting.

I agree with many of your reasons. For me, it's:
1) I'm going to meet/see the author speak
2) I "know" the author through online contact
3) Positive buzz about the book from online
4) I liked other books the author has written
5) The cover
6) The Blurb

amuse me said...

I agree totally that the cover has a lot to do with why I pick up a book, especially if it is not part of my "favorite author list."

Emily Marshall said...

If it's an author I love, it shoots to the top of the list. The cover is a huge reason (sad as that may be). And then if people recommend it, the back cover looks nice, etc.

Since I work in a library it helps to see the new books and read the review magazines as well.

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