What Makes You Pick Up / Borrow / Buy a Book?
This is a tough one, as there are different factors at different times, and it also depends on the type of book – whether it’s a novel or a non-fiction, for pleasure or work etc. I tend to buy rather than borrow these days, certainly novels, just because I like to own books myself. For the purposes of this post, I will concentrate on fiction, as the main criterion for non-fiction is fairly obvious – if the book looks to give good coverage of the topic I want or need to read about, I will buy it.
The writer is the most important criterion – there are certain authors whose books I will buy without reading the blurb, looking at the cover or checking any reviews. And if I have enjoyed something by a particular author, I will generally be keen to try others by them. Recommendations are also important here – but I mean by people I know and trust, not the “If you liked xxx you will love yyy” on covers or websites!
Genre is also vital – I love thrillers and historical fiction, so anything in those categories will tend to attract my interest more than other genres.
Blurb on the back – If you don’t know the author, this is generally the only thing you have to go on, so of course it is important. While it is obviously an advertising text primarily, it does give you an idea of what to expect, especially if you are a regular book buyer and can interpret the kinds of standard phrases publishers use in blurbs.
Not really bothered about the cover at all. It’s the words inside that count, not the artwork on the outside. Likewise the title – sometimes an unusual or clever title will leap out at me from the shelf but it wouldn’t normally make me buy if other factors are not right.
Of course, from time to time, I throw all my usual criteria out of the window and just buy something random because that’s what I feel like on the day. Those are the books that then tend to sit on the shelf at home for a long time, as I recover from my brainstorm and give precedence to those that are more my usual type of thing!
So that’s buying – then comes the issue of choosing a book from the groaning, overloaded shelves at home! We have a system – the bookcase in the lounge downstairs is for books that are next in line to be read, while others are stored in our “library” – that is the loft, where we keep all our books, music and DVDs. My downstairs selection is generally a mixture of some from the loft that I’ve had for a while and a few purchases by favourite authors that make it straight onto there without going to the loft first! Maybe you are now starting to see why some people call me autistic. Anyway, I like to mix up my reading a bit, maybe a crime thriller, followed by something historical, followed by something else. But at the end of the day, my mood on the day I pick is the major determining factor.
Wow, I have finally caught up with the Friday Read!