10.13.2016

5 Ways to Research Books Before Reading


     So now we come around to the question: How do we research books? How do we figure out if they might be a good fit for our interests and tastes?

     1. Word of mouth is powerful, folks! I think this is the most important one. If a friend you trust to know you well recommends a book, it is probably for you. This is something your may find out through trial and error with various friends. The friends who talk books with you regularly probably have your best interests at heart. If they think a book fits you, it probably does. Even better, they might let you borrow a copy!

     2. The Interwebs are a.maz.ing! (I hear people say Interwebs instead of Internet way too much, so you will excuse me if I use it just this once.) Whether it's Goodreads, Amazon, or B&N, someone somewhere has left a thoroughly thought-out book review that will help you decide if a book is good for you or not.

     In addition to looking up specific reviews for specific books you're considering, look for people who have similar bookish interests, and follow their reviews to see what they think. Goodreads, BookTube, and blogs are great for this (and even certain social media like Twitter and "Bookstagram" [Instagram for book lovers]).

     3. Espionage might be helpful as well. When you are in a bookstore or library, look at what others are checking out. You might even overhear a conversation about a book's premise or plot that makes you want to read a certain book. You might (oh horror of horrors!) actually talk to a human being who seems to have great book taste according to the stack in their arms.

     4. Author websites, bios, and book signings might give you a new perspective on an author you don't know much about. You might like them so much as a person that you want to read what they've written. People have amazing stories, y'all! If the glove fits, wear it! Is that even how you use that phrase? puh...I don't know!

     5. The book itself has a few clues. I am not saying that you should read the whole book to see if it's good! That is not a recommended course of action. Just read:

  • the back cover synopsis
  • some reviews on the inside first few pages (like if "New York Times says 'Stunning masterpiece of love and hope'" or some such nonsense)
  • the table of contents
  • the dedication (usually these are short and sweet and connect me to the author)
  • the preface, author's note, or prologue
     These parts of the book are all there for you to see if the author is someone you want to read and if this particular story is for you. (If you like these, it's safe to read the first chapter!)

     Researching books can be super fun! Get creative with it.

     Challenge for today: Research a book you don't know much about using one of the above methods (or your own).

~Madeline


This post is part of my 31 Days to a Better Reading Life series.

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Thank you for reading! Also, thank you for making my day brighter with your encouraging words. I cherish each and every comment. If you check back in a day or two, I should have responded to your note. Thanks for dropping me a line!

~Madeline