Discussion: How do you choose your next book crush? Specialized magazines? Reviews? Hype? Social Media? Friends rec?

Hi dear friends,

This week I am back with a lighter discussion post: how do you choose not only your next read but the one you feel will knock you off your socks?

I had this discussion one year ago with my father when he was still alive.

He was an avid reader all his life but was a bit in a book funk and asked me how I did to nearly always find the right fit in books.

He told me he read reviews in magazines made by journalists and literary critics but it did not work very well for him.

When I showed him Goodreads he was in awe!

 

As far as I am concerned, when I have to choose my next best read, these are the steps I follow:

 

First: I rely on work of the mouth!

 

I know which friends on Goodreads or on the blogosphere do share similar taste in books and when I see a particular read being a winner with all of them I instantly buy or add to my TBR. Same if said friends recommends me books and get all bossy on me!

Some of the best surprises I discovered that way were: I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (thanks to Tanya), Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel (thanks to Raven), Eidolon by Grace Draven, The Silver Cage by Anonymous (thanks to Suanne Laqueur), Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre (thanks to Shanah), The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (thanks to Astrid) and I could go on and on!

 

Second: I have “one click” authors.


 

The ones that I loved all the books because they just speak to my sould. If I am aware of a new book they wrote I will pre-order immediately.

Said authors are: Amy Harmon, Emma Scott, Suanne Laqueur, Leylah Attar, Brittainy C Cherry and recently Chloe Walsh and Kate Stewart. Oh and Beth Flynn!

In YA I will buy anything by Sarah J Maas, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Tahereh Mafi, Brigid Kemmerer.

 

Third: the hype will of course draw my attention to the book but what will make me buy it or not is not the amount of high reviews but rather the blurb!

 

Even if a book is hyper hyped if the blurb does not appeal to me or hints at personal triggers I won’t buy it.

I have favorite tropes and if the blurb features some of them and it’s hyped the chances are high that I will buy it!

 

Fourth: I listen to the mood I am in!

 

If I crave a sportsromance no need to try science fiction it will simply not work! I noticed it’s a disservice to books that could have been loved under other circumstances to force me to read them when I am simply not in the mood!

If I need some levity I will choose a romcom. If I need an ugly cry I will choose something rumored to be utterly emotional. Etc.

 

And what about the covers will you say? Well I am a cover junkie but even with a gorgeous cover the blurb has to seem my jam for me to buy it.

 

Why don’t I rely on professional reviewers in magazines and why do I think they are often wrong?

Because I don’t know them and they don’t know me! How could I know if we have the same taste in books? Maybe they love books with cheating while I hate it? Or they like complicated books leaving you with tons of questions while I generally avoid these reads?

Of course there will always be “that” book that is hyped and acclaimed by critics for an excellent reason that I will buy like Beartown by Fredrik Backman or Becoming by Michelle Obama or …

But these are the exceptions!

Now do tell me what’s your strategy? Is it working? What are some of the best reads you’ve read and how did you choose them?

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

 

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26 Replies to “Discussion: How do you choose your next book crush? Specialized magazines? Reviews? Hype? Social Media? Friends rec?”

  1. Word of mouth (book bloggers), books in the series, favorite authors, HYPE – yes I said it, book covers, genre etc. Things like that.

    Mary

  2. StackingMy BookShelves says: Reply

    Word of mouth (book bloggers), favorite authors, books in the series, HYPE – yes I said it, book cover. Things like that.

    Mary

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      hahaha I am totally a cover lover sometimes too Mary!

  3. Lovely discussion post, Sophie! I too rely a lot on my fellow bloggers for the books that are worth picking up. I also rely on my own research on the authors, the stories and the reviews on Goodreads to see if it’ll be my cup of tea. So far I know I have 1000201 books that would instantly get 5 stars from me but I just don’t have the time to read them all as well hahaha

  4. Great post! Loved the gifs! Haha, right now my reads are determined by what’s due when. If I have my own lead, I read to fit my mood. I do have a few authors I stalk- RA Salvatore, Laurie R King. And now, Kat Ross.

  5. Great post! I definitely agree with you on the blurb, Sophie! If a book has a boring synopsis then I wouldn’t waste my time on it even if it has a pretty cover.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      And yet we’ve all encountered books with totally misleading blurbs Raven!

  6. Great discussion!!! I agree with everything you said. I rely on my auto-buy authors (I love Emma Scott, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black too). Goodreads and my fav book bloggers help me decide ‘y next read, as well as my mood and what looks appealing on Netgalley/Edelweiss! I love your blog. Thanks for visiting my blog!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Ooh that’s sweet to say Lindy! And as we share some authors maybe YOU will help me find my next best read LOL

  7. I listen to my blogger friends! I know who has similar reading tastes to me. I also spend a lot of time looking at lists on Goodreads. Blogs and Goodreads are how I find pretty much everything I read.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Me too AJ! So much better than professional critics!

  8. This is an interesting discussion! Like you I have some authors where I’ll literally buy anything they write. I’m also hesitant with taking suggestions from strangers, because, as you say, when you don’t know each others taste, how can you know it’ll apply to your taste?!

    My mum is an avid reader too, and she was over the moon when I showed her GoodReads. Especially as it has books in so many different languages 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Yes Goodreads was a revelation! Like Alice entering the Wonderland 😉 I felt loved! And recognized by other book lovers!

      1. Haha yes, exactly like following the rabbit and discovering this new amazing world 😀

  9. Great topic. I definitely rely heavily on recs from fellow bloggers, especially if I know we share similar tastes.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Me too Suzanne! I have similar tastes as yours, Tanya, Sam and Raven 😉

  10. This was another fun discussion post, Sophie! I usually choose my next book from friend recommendations. They know what I like and are usually spot on!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Friends from the blog or in real life? Or both?

  11. Of course, I start with my go-to authors, but when I’m wandering around my local bookshop there are a number of things. The Blurb only gives me a clue (as usually it doesn’t accurately tell you about a book) then there’s the cover too, which sways me less. What I love to do is read the first chapter (and yes, my local store know me) if it grabs me then yeah, I might buy it.

    I’ve stopped buying online if I cannot read the first couple of chapters. I’ve been burned too many times by duds. The same goes for recommendations whether that’s on blogs or goodreads. I’m optimistically cautious.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      When at my local bookstore I usually have a peek at their “coup de coeur” Alexandra!

  12. Tanya Atkinson says: Reply

    I love that you introduced your father to GoodReads. 🙂 My dad was also a reader but he stuck with westerns almost always. And I don’t know that e was ever once online. LOL I choose my reads all different sorts of ways: I’m a 100% mood reader so I pay attention to whatever I feel like at the time. I gravitate to my favorite authors. I pay attention to my fave authors recommendations. I read friends reviews and make a note if the books contains particular tropes I like. I’m never ever at loss for options. 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well that’s certain that we never have too little recomemndations falling on us Tanya LOL

  13. Ahh what a great post! I think I mostly pick my next book crush thanks to book bloggers and their endless, incredible recommendations <3

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh I know my TBR is never ending Marie!

  14. Oooh great idea! I stalk my fave authors on FB (!) and I also follow Aestas and Maryse for romance releases and Book Bird for YA releases! And then my bank account cries…..

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Bwahahaha don’t talk about bank account here Caro! Mine is dying already LOL

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