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Musing Mondays … Choosing a good book to read

August 21, 2008

MizB at Should Be Reading hosts Musing Mondays. WP is being picky and refusing to upload the Musing Mondays logo so I’ll just have to fore go a picture.

This week’s topic: How do you choose the books you read? Do you like the cover art on a book? Do you rely on reviews? Do you let friends and/or family recommend books to you? How about books you find on other people’s blogs? Do you read the blurb/description?

I’m a very visual person so cover art plays big part in my book selection. 99% of the time I’ll pass right by a book if the cover art isn’t appealing to my eye, especially if it’s an author I haven’t read before. Yes, I do judge books by their covers for better or worse. Usually it’s for the better and, like MizB, I have many more hits than misses by using cover art as a determining factor in buying/reading a book. But alas this isn’t always the case and just so happens that my judgement was a bit off with a recent read.

Just this week I finished reading The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi’s Venice. I was immediately drawn to this book after seeing it reviewed on The Literate Housewife Review blog. Like Jennifer I had previously read Rosalind Laker’s The Venetian Mask which has beautiful cover art, same city and historical setting and a somewhat similar story line. Of the two I found The Venetian Mask more enjoyable reading. I always have high expectations when first starting a book and I found The Four Seasons rather slow and not very memorable. For me it was neither terrible or great, just an average read.

Now if the author is one I’m familiar with and I’m a fan of their work then cover art isn’t a factor.

Do I read reviews?  Not really. Once again being visual those darn Amazon stars grab my attention first and then I might skim any posted reviews just to get a general feel for what others are saying. If the stars are up in the 4-5 range then I’m more tempted to at least add it to my wishlist and watch it for a while to keep an eye on the ratings.

Friends and family recommendations: If only these people read or read books that I was even moderately interested in. So no, friends and family appear to be out for me.

Fellow bloggers: Definitely. Over the past year or so since I’ve started blogging I’ve discovered this wonderful virtual world of book lovers. Until I finally decided to start my own blog this was uncharted territory for me. Only now do I realize what I’ve been missing. I read a lot of blogs and have come across a multitude of books that have been added to my wishlist simply because I value the opinions of readers just like myself. I have found that they usually tell it like it is, don’t pander to an author or publisher and, for the most part, provide fair and unbiased posts.

Book descriptions & blurbs: These are second to cover art and only because they are printed on the book itself.

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2 Comments
  1. August 22, 2008 2:10 pm

    Those book bloggers are wonderful, aren’t they? I just love ’em! 😀 I’ve found a TON of great books to read thanks to them!

    Heck, that’s why I have my FRIDAY FINDS event! Because I “find” a ton of great books to read via fellow book bloggers’ posts, and I needed to tell others, too! 😀

  2. August 23, 2008 10:41 am

    There are so many wonderful blogs out there and we all read such a diverse selection that I’m always sure to find something new that sparks my interest.

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