Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How do I choose a book to read

 Meet Darla Boyle, a friend, a soon to be novelist, and an avid reader.

Since Darla does a huge amount of reading, and I'm not kidding,

I asked her to tell us how she chooses what books she reads. Here is what she writes. 

How do I pick and choose what books to read when there are millions of them out there?

It’s not easy. Especially with new writers getting published every day. As a reader, I sort of have a system since I’ve bought some books on a whim or were referred to me that I particularly didn’t care for. I love mystery, romance, supernatural, suspense, thrillers, horror…need I say more??? See why my credit card winces every time I log onto Amazon.  And since I’m a book addict, this can get expensive, especially with my Kindle. One click and it’s mine. Easy peasy. That is until I get the bill. *sighs* Some months, it is not a pretty sight.  

So…here’s my system…

1. I look for authors I’ve read before, whether they’re famous or not. If I like their style of writing, then I’m buying and I will refer you to other readers. Now for new authors, I…

2. Look at the cover and title. I read an array of genres so if the cover catches my eye or even the title, I’ll pick it up. Now, I do read some erotica and I bet you can imagine the images on those covers. Yes, I spend many, many hours perusing that isle…if you know what I mean. Lol

3. Next, I read the blurb on the back cover. After all, I intend on reading the book so I’d better find out what it’s about. If the back cover can’t keep my interest, then the book goes back on the shelf.

4. I read the first page, not the last, that’s cheating! I read that first sentence and if that’s a hook, then I’m sold. If not, then I often read the first page. Now with erotica, I tend to flip through pages and read because a lot of erotica out there is just a sex book with no plot. No offense to any author out there. I love reading sex scenes but I need some meat to the story-no pun intended. Haha. If I hit page after page of just sex, then it goes back on the shelf.

5. I also take a notepad with me when I go to my local bookstore, heck, even to the grocery store. I’ll write down anything that strikes my fancy and when I get home, I check Amazon for reviews. Now when I look at reviews, I usually read the 2-4 star comments because those seem to be the most accurate.

So there’s my system for picking out books. Hope you enjoyed reading.

Darla lives near Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband Gary and their two cats that rule the roost. She is working on her first novel and will be submitting it soon.

And take it from me readers, it will be accepted, and Darla will soon be joining our ranks. It's a goodie.

Please say hi to Darla, leave a comment. We adore comments.



  1. Welcome to my blog, Darla.
    We authors are always interested in how readers choose books to read.
    Before you decided to begin this first novel you are currently working on, I know you read many books a week. You still read quite a bit.
    So thanks for sharing with us today.
    Many of your friends and family are readers but not writers. I hope you can convince them to leave a comment and share how they choose. It will help us all.

  2. I too look at covers and titles first. A good cover draws me like a magnet, and a bad cover turns me away. Of course, author recognition counts too. After that the blurb, and then I open the book and start reading, looking for that hook that says the book is worth reading. I never read the end (not even when I'm evaluating manuscripts for my publisher - I'd hate to know the ending and then turn around and end up editing it - I prefer to edit from a reader's viewpoint, so I'm experiencing it the way he/she would.

    I could spend far more money on Amazon then I do, trust me. My house wouldn't hold it all! lol

    I wish you success with your submission! Thanks for an interesting blog post!


  3. As a reader, it's the cover that catches my eye first, then the blurb. I rarely read inside the book. I never read the ending first. That would just ruin the book for me. And, oh yes, I could spend a fortune at luck with ur submission....Tabs

  4. Hi Darla: I also have my methods. Mostly, though, I buy books from people I know. I'll take famous authors if they have a freebie day on Amazon. I figure they don't need my money as much as I or my poor author friends do.

    1. I too like to support author friends. I can't tell you how many I've bought just from reading blogs. But there is one author-not sure I should mention her name-that I buy. It's like an addiction...or an obsession. lol I have some of her works on my Kindle but most in book form.

  5. Hi Lorrie, Thanks for having me on your blog today. :) You're my first. lol And yes, I am an avid reader. There are many times I'm reading when I should be writing.
    Thanks Julie and Tabitha for the well wishes with my submission. It's been a long work in progress and I'm hoping, with what I hope is my final rewrite, my novel will be out there soon! Sooner than later if I put my Kindle down. haha!
    One other thing I forgot to mention was that I also find a lot of new writers on Facebook. Whether they're free or not, the cover, title and genre have me clicking on the link.

  6. Darla, thank your for sharing. The covers get my attention, the first page has me buying it. Good luck with your novel.

  7. Thanks Marian. I guess we all think alike. LOL

  8. Hi Darla,
    As a reader, I agree with your main reasons to buy a book. Cover, Title, Blurb, Reviews, Opening Sentence, a quick flip though. But for ebooks, unless the book is written by an author friend, the cover and reviews are the most important aspect for me. There are just too many ebooks to wade through.

    As a writer, I think it is so difficult to come up with a gotta-have-it title and blurb to do justice to a 250 page story.

    Being so clear on what seduces a reader, you have a head start on how to grab a publisher, Darla. Check your opening paragraph again...and again. Is it the stunner it is meant to be? Good Luck with your novel.

    1. I agree Wendy. E-books are harder to judge. Some offer the first few pages to the first chapter. I usually read to see if the writing catches me. I also read customer reviews but rarely the 5 star ones.
      In our writing group, we worked on first sentence hooks and cliff-hangers at the end of chapters. (Teaser-Part of) My opening paragragh...From his hiding place in the closet, he peered through the door’s narrow opening. He knew watching Claire was wrong, knew he’d be in big trouble if he were caught. But he couldn’t help himself.
      My title is still up in the air, but I think I have it narrowed down to two.

      And thank you.

  9. Hi Darla
    I love your system. It is cool. I also love reading so I'm going to try and put yours to use. Thanks.