Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday Thoughts (2)

Thursday Thoughts is a weekly meme hosted by Ashley over at OK, Let's Read.

So... I totally meant to participate last week, but didn't because of reasons, but I'm glad to be back this week! Today's topic is Choosing Books.

I've always been an avid reader, even when I was little. I was totally the kid hiding under the bedspread with a flashlight staying up late to read a book type. So, it's only natural that my book choosing process has changed as I've grown older. So to make this easier, I'm going to break this in to sections for each age range (starting with high school... which was more than 10 years ago for me. Yeah, I'm old, at least in the YA blogging world) to show you how my reading selection process has changed.

This was probably the time in my life that I struggled the most with book selection. The reason for that? I wasn't actually allowed to CHOOSE the books I wanted to read. I took AP English all throughout high school, and because of that, the books I read were the ones mandated by my teachers. Now, that's not to say that I didn't read some absolutely fantastic books while I was in high school. I read some of my all time favorite books during that time period. Some of which I own, and have read multiple times since then (Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, and A Tale of Two Cities just to name a few). But for every wonderful, amazing book I read, there were definitely some that I hated with a the power of a 1000 suns (Grapes of Wrath, Things Fall Apart, The Old Man and the Sea, By the Skin of Our Teeth, and basically anything by Thoreau). I remember during my junior year in particular, I read every other book assigned. Thank goodness for SparkNotes (is that still around?).

College was another slow reading time during my life. I still read books, but not nearly as often as I did during high school and nowhere even close to what I read now. I was an Early Childhood Education Major, so I read a lot of children's books (and educational texts and articles. Yay.). I did often carry a book around with me for breaks during my classics. The books I most often chose during this time were by far and away Classics. Jane Austen is my favorite, and this is when I purchased the copies I own of every single one of her books.

I am a mood reader. I pretty much read whatever I'm in the mood for. If I need something light, I pick up a contemporary. Need something more in depth that takes me to another time, place, or new world altogether? I'm going to pick up fantasy or sci-fi. I used to go to the library all the time (not so much now, I'm a book buyer now, more than a library-goer) and I would often choose books by authors I'd read before. Or, OR I would choose a book by its cover. Ha. It works well on most occasions. I found some super cute and fun books by choosing it by the cover.

I can say, without a doubt, that blogging has changed how I choose the books I'm going to read. Before blogging I knew very little about when books were coming out (except for a few favorites) and debut authors. But now? Sometimes I feel like it overtakes the rest of my life. I have a calendar where I keep track of book releases. On that calendar I keep tract of DRCs or ARCs I have to read. Now within that framework, I am still most definitely a mood reader. I choose books based on what I want to read. Now I'd say that fantasy/sci-fi is my favorite genre, but those books generally require a lot more focus. Since I've been in this slump, I can't seem to read anything to heavy, so I've been sticking with the contemporary genre. Luckily I've read some AMAZING contemporaries during this time.

So, how do I pick books now? Well, I do it a few ways.

Obviously anything I request from Netgalley is something I'm already interested in, and when I get an invitation, I almost always add it. I *try* to read by review date, but it doesn't always happen, especially when I'm in the middle of a book slump. During that time I'm just looking for ANYTHING to pull me out of it.

As for books to buy, there's a few bloggers I trust their opinion implicitly, so if they rave about a book, it will pretty much guarantee I'll pick it up. Conversely, if there's a book universally panned, I stay away. I don't usually read full reviews, but I'll skim the review and check for ratings, etc to see if it's something I'd like. This generally works out really well for me, and I've found some amazing books that I'd never heard of from fellow bloggers.

Then there's my auto-buy authors. I have quite a few authors that I will pretty much buy anything they release. I've fallen in love with their stories, their writing, and their style thus earning a spot on my auto-buy list. A few of these authors are: Sarah J. Maas, Rae Carson, Tahereh Mafi, Rainbow Rowell, Marie Lu, Kasie West, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Jennifer E. Smith, AC Gaughen, Marissa Meyer, and Veronica Rossi. There's so many more, but those are the ones off the top of my head.

And finally, books in a series. If I read the first book in a series and enjoyed it, I will most always pick up the other books in the series when they're released. I am also a person that doesn't wait for the entire series to be out, so I get to wait years for the entirety of the series to be released.

So.... how do YOU choose books?!?


  1. We are pretty similar, though I think I read more reviews than you do. I just can't stay away - I freaking love book reviews! I don't know where I'd be without the calendar you sent me though!!

  2. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who chooses books by their covers. :) I still pick lots of random galleys that way, too!