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  • Monica Red

So many books, so many choices...how to choose one fairly.

We all have heard that you shouldn’t judge a book for its cover, literally or not. Beyond that advice, we are at lost. Libraries and bookstores are magical places, full with amazing stories, learning material, references, etc. But there are so many, without even mentioning ebooks.


Most book lovers, like me, face the same problem: how to decide which book to pick.

I want to share my four steps to pick a book fairly, and it doesn’t rely on other reviews or the cover.


1. DO NOT READ THE TITLE.

Once inside a bookstore or a library, I go straight to the aisles and look at the spine of the books. I avoided the tables, or the books which covers are facing out. The spines show part of the story and the author’s style, but it is more subtle than the covers. I let its colors, fonts, style, etc. get my attention. Once I decide to pick one, I read the title, and give a fast check to the cover. The extra information or misinformation within this step makes you jump the cover judgement, the author’s name or the catchy title. It gives you the chance to read from different authors that otherwise you would have missed.

2. READ THE BACK-COVER OR THE FLIP SIDE OF HARDCOVERS

The importance of the back cover should be self explanatory. If you don’t know what the book is about, why would you choose it? I dislike the books that only show reviews on their back covers. Beauty lies in the eyes of the observer. We are all different, so why would I decide to invest my time and money based on the opinion of someone that works in a newspaper, has a degree in writing, has read thousands of books or is a celebrity? Reviews should be for items, or services that either work or not. Books are pieces of art; each person should create their own impression of them, and opinion of them.

All right, if the story is something you want to hear, or the topic from the non-fiction book is talking about is something that interests you, go to the end of the book and....

3. READ THE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Yes! Take the time to read “About the author” section. This is how you connected with the story within the book. Sounds strange, but it is important. Each time we read a book, we learn about someone else’s creativity and knowledge. This is the creator of the characters we get to love, the worlds we would love to visit, and the wisdom that we yearn to get. The little they tell us about themselves talks about their books too.

At the end, if you aren’t interested in the topic's story of the book, this won’t chance your mind. However, if you like it, you will feel you are reading something from an acquaintance, even a friend, and that will make a difference. It is the reason I sometimes email authors asking clarifying questions, or let them know how much their book helped me to learn whatever it was I learned.

If you don’t take any of the other steps, at least take this one. As an author, I appreciate how much it takes to write this part, and how important it is to our audience.


4. LOOK AT THE BOOK...ALL OF IT

Finally, look at the book. All of it. Check the fonts inside, the format of the pages; if it has picture or a map, go through them. Maps are special fun. There is something about getting to know a world in a piece of paper that can give you clues about the story.

By doing this, you can see how long or short the paragraphs are, and if there are appealing for you. (I learned this tip from Stephen King in his book, On Writing). You can see if there is too much dialogue, if there are many long sentences or it seems cut-out.


5. MAKE YOUR CHOICE

Now it is the time to decide. Will you take the book, or move to the next one? If you are not sure, check it out again. Most of the time, the overwhelming amount of books along with the thrill to see more is a tremendous weight in the way we choose what to read. Also, the time we have to spend at the library or a bookstore, and our budget.


FOR EBOOKS

In reality, I follow the steps two to five with the electronic options. You can read about the author in most virtual bookstores, and you can check the “Check Inside part” too. The crucial difference is how to pick up books. With millions of electronic books, I search for topics that I want to read about, or words that I think are interesting to find in book titles. I make the screen small so I can’t see the covers in details and then pick what catches my eye.

Just by changing the way I choose my books, I have found many authors that I wouldn’t have read before, and now I love. I won’t lie, I have found many that didn’t work for me, but ncluded in those are as many new as bestseller authors. Let’s face it, we are all different, it is our mind that should make the choice.


Go ahead and write in the comments which books-authors you have discover lately!


4 Kommentare


Antonieta Rodriguez
Antonieta Rodriguez
29. März 2021

Para escoger un libro, siempre veo la portada, el título y la contraportada. Todo junto ayuda a ver si se nos hace interesante y nos dan ganas de leerlo.

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Monica Red
29. März 2021
Antwort an

Y no necesitas leer las criticas de otros! Así es!

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Monica Red
09. Feb. 2021

Right! I'm always browsing for books.

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jimdillenburg
09. Feb. 2021

I never really think about book choosing that much. I like the advice to avoid the tables up front and the ones with the front covers displayed. Those are helpful if you already know what you are looking for, but when you're really just browsing you have to avoid the marketing.

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