Monday, August 30, 2010

Why does anyone read books?

Okay, so the title isn't completely accurate.  But still, what gets people to read a book in the first place?  Is it because of requirements for school?  Is it because you like the cover or the title?  Or maybe it's an author you've read before that has gone on your "read whatever he/she writes" list.  Whatever it is, there's always a reason for reading a book.  Even little children at the age of six-seven have a reason they read a book.  If it's not a requirement by a parent or teacher, then it's because it had a cool cover.  There is always a reason.  But what are those reasons?

I can only speak for myself, so that's all I'm going to do.  So the question I ask myself today is, why do I read the books that I read.  I'm a picky reader, I don't just read everything that I see.  So, here are the reasons I read the books that I read.

  • Name.  The name of a book is the first thing that I see on a shelf at a bookstore or a library.  I don't see the cover first, but the name.  It has to be something that's not cheesy, yet something that's not altogether boring either.  It has to be interesting.
  • Cover.  You got me to reach out and grab the book, if only to scan the cover and the synopsis and move on.  Both the cover design and the synopsis are equally important as the synopsis is the second thing I look at.  Both have to be well-designed and entrancing.
If I'm not at a bookstore or a library and am looking on the internet (I have never used a printed catalog to look for books) then there are other things that I look for.  I still look at the cover and the name, but at that point other factors apply, which are listed below.
  • Recommendations.  Word of mouth.  There are a few people that I know can be honest with me if I ask them.  I know I can rely on them to give me their honest opinion on whether or not a book is worth the money.  If they've read the book, I ask them before going onto the next reason.
  • Reviews.  I almost always look at the reviews.  And honestly, I focus on the negative reviews.  Since I can't read very many books I can't afford to focus on the positive.  I have to focus on the negatives of some books to decide.
  • Of course, if I know a writer to be good and I like his style, then I'll read any books that he comes out with.  Some people take this to the extreme, becoming fanatics of that particular author.
  • Genre.  It's not what makes my decision because genres can be very large and sometimes I don't like-or even, quite frankly, despise some parts of a genre-particular parts of a genre.  Even still, I try to look through the newest books in genres I like every once in a while just to see what's new.
  • Believe it or not, the publisher.  I know some publishers to produce quality books while some publishers don't.  For instance, I know Thomas Nelson Publishers to produce quality books and I trust that they have a good editing team and cover designer.
So... What do you think about when deciding to read a book?

Coming up...
Review, Interview[with Bryan Davis], and giveaway of Starlighter
Review of Immanuel's Veins-Ted Dekker and an awesome giveaway
Review of The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead

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