Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How to Choose a Good Book!

Hello Bookworms,
            My mother and I go to bookstores together a lot. She's the one who taught me to love reading and now we share this hobby together by going to bookstores together and recommending books to each other. When she and I begin to look through the shelves, it doesn't matter how big the store, within a few minutes I've already found at least one book I want to purchase and read and my mother can't figure out how I manage to do it.
           Once, We were at a used bookstore together and when she realized I had three books already, my mother asked "How do you find books so easily?!" I had never really thought about it before. Since then, I have examined the book-finding process and found a few easy things that can help anyone find a good book easily.

1. Brainstorm a Little:
              Walking into a bookstore and seeing all the thousands of books on thousands of subjects can be intimidating if you don't have any idea what you want to look for. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try taking a moment to brainstorm. Start a mental list of subjects you like whether it be horse back riding, princes and princesses, sports, cars,  and etc. This will help you to decide what the content should be about.

Other things to think about when brainstorming may be:
            Do you like fiction or nonfiction?
            Do you like modern day settings or settings from the past?
            Do you like love stories, horror stories, mysteries, or etc.?

This will help you find out what type of storyline/plot in which you would be most interested.

For Example:
        I know that I like love stories set in the past, usually around the 1800's. I also know that I am NOT interested in sports stories or horror stories. So, when looking, I already know that I will pass up the sports and horror stories and even love stories that are set in modern times. By doing this I've already narrowed the choices down a lot to help me select a book.

2.Pay attention to cover art!
       Cover art will help you in selecting a book. The art is made to illustrate something about the main points of the book. For Example:

This cover of the Gossip Girl Novel "I Like it Like That" shows me that the story is most likely set in modern times. I can tell that from the style of dress, the activities that the girl's are engaging in, and the style of the room/sink that is visible in the picture. Since I am looking for a love story set in the 1800's or so, I'm probably going to put this book down without even reading the summary on the back cover.

On the other hand, If I did not know anything about Jane Austen or Pride and Prejudice, I could tell by this cover art that there is most definitely a love story. Not only that, but I can tell by the style of dress that this particular love story is set in the past. I will most likely want to stop and take the time to read the summary on the back of this book to see if it interests me further.
3. Read the Summaries on the Back:
        Just because the book has cover art that catches your eye doesn't mean you're going to like the book at all. Make sure that once you've picked up the book that looks like it fits your criteria, you read the summary that's printed on the back cover (or on the inside front cover for some). This will tell you more about the book. You may find that the book you're interested in is actually the second or third book in a series. If that's the case, you may want to look for the first book instead to keep from being lost or ruining surprises from the first book. Also, you may realize that the book isn't as interesting as the cover made it seem because there's no hint of any major event(s), conflict(s), or suspense to come. In that case, you may decide you don't want that particular book after all. However, if you're still interested after reading the summary, it's a good indicator that you'll like the book and you may want to give that one a try.
4. Trust Yourself!
         We love our friends and family, but we do not always love the same things they do. I cannot tell you how many times some one has come to me, handed me a book, and said "I think you would really love this book. It's so great." and when I took it home and  attempted to read it, I couldn't stand it! You know you and what you like and don't like! Others can help you by recommending books, but if you know for a fact that you cannot stand the subject matter of the book they are suggesting, then don't go out and buy your own copy of it. :)
       These are just a few simple tips to help keep you from spending cash for books that you can't stand after the first few pages. Using these tips will certainly not keep you from reading a boring or annoying book, but it will help you read much less of them saving you time and money that you can use on books you'll really enjoy! :)
                                      Until next time,
                                                   Lizzie <3

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