If you’ve ever looked through the upcoming releases on Edwelweiss, chances are that you’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of books being released in your preferred genres. According to a 2013 Forbes article, there are anywhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published each year in the United States alone. Which is exciting because there will be a book for every reading, but it’s also way more books than we can read in a lifetime!
With so many books to choose from, how do you choose which books to look at? Which ones to read? I thought I would make a list of the things that draw me to a book, as well as some of the themes and tropes I can’t get enough of.
I first saw this post topic over on The Orangutan Librarian a couple of months ago and was inspired to put together my own list for discussion. Be sure to check out their amazing blog!
Things that make me pick up a book
I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but I’m sorry… the cover is a marketing tool. There are countless books published every single month and I don’t have the time to read the synopsis for every single one of them. The cover is what entices me to read the synopsis.
Once I decide to look at a book, the main factor for me is if the synopsis sounds interesting to me. I don’t tend to look at reviews to make this decision (but I am known to add a book due to reviews I see when blog hopping).
Morally grey characters
If there is a hint that morality and characters are not strictly black and white in the synopsis, chances are that I will want to read the book. I don’t know why I am so obsessed with characters who do the right thing for the wrong reasons or a good villain redemption story, but I can’t get enough.
I really enjoy fantasy and stories that involve magic. Especially magic earned: I love characters who have to work hard to get what they want, and magic earned tends to have a built-in character development component that appeals to me.
I’ve been obsessed with space since I was a child, and space operas since Firefly first aired. Adventure stories are so interesting to me, and since we live in an age when the planet itself has been discovered, we have to look up for the new frontier.
I don’t think that I will ever tire of fantasy stories surrounding the political machinations and power struggles of ruling a kingdom. These stories often look at very important themes of power, revolution, and equality.
Mythology and retellings
I love retellings. Breathing new life into a beloved tale, looking at different perspectives and focusing on different characters.
Reviews from readers I trust
I get better at choosing books I am likely to enjoy the more that I read, but sometimes books slip through the cracks. (Or have a terrible cover that makes me think it’s about something it isn’t.) There are a number of reviewers who have very similar reading preferences to me and have gotten me to read a book. I actually skipped over Sadie by Courtney Summers because the cover made me think it was a coming-of-age contemporary… until I saw Destiny review it and I actually paid attention to what it was about. I wound up reading and loving it thanks to her review.
There you have it… some of the reasons that I will pick up a book and add it to my TBR! What makes YOU want to pick up a book? Let me know in the comments below!