There are so many books to read!
Books from hundreds of genres and sub-genres, and sub-sub-genres.
It’s very easy to make your “To Read” shelf grow to an unmanageable size. After all, so many books look good.
But how do you know between what might be right for you, what might be okay, and what would make you toss it in the trash?
Here are the 7 things that help me decide what to add to my “to Read” shelf.
- Cover. Just a glance at a cover will often tell me what genre the book is in and if it is one I’m interested in. If the cover looks graphic, sensual, or creepy, I’ll skip.
- Genre. If the cover looks interesting, I’ll check the genre. Sometimes the cover hasn’t given away what genre it is and I like to know.
- Author. This doesn’t always work, but if the book is from an author I know I’ve liked before, I’m more inclined to read it. If it’s an author I’ve had a negative experience from, I’ll proceed with caution.
- Description. If the cover and genre are okay, I’ll read the book blurb to find out what the book is about. If there is any talk of: “hot” characters (or the other word they use), having an affair, horror, magic, or anything like that, I skip.
- Negative Reviews. So the book cover and genre are right, the description sounds good, so I go to the reviews. I ALWAYS start with the negative ones. Sometimes they aren’t any help, but if someone says there is language issues (Colossians 3:8 says to put off blasphemy and filthy communication out of your mouth), or sensual scenes (I want no part with adulterers, those having affairs with someone besides their spouse), I’ll skip. Nor do I want to be a fly on the wall for “bedroom scenes.” And if the book is obviously historically inaccurate, I know it would drive me crazy so I won’t read it.
- Positive Reviews. If there is nothing in a negative review to cause me to skip the book, I’ll move on to the positive reviews because again, someone might really like the book, but have a problem with something. It could be any number of things.
- Price. I know I really shouldn’t look at the price. But I do. I have to be careful of my pennies. But, if a book looks good all the way through the positive reviews, and the price is right, I’ll get the book. If it’s too expensive, I’ll often download a sample on my kindle and try it out. Often you can tell just from the sample if you are going to like a book or not.
And there you have my 7 things that help me choose what books to add to my “to read” list. If I get a negative on any of these things, I’ll move on and leave that book behind. I’ve been thankful many times for the negative reviews that mention objectionable things because I don’t have time to read everything.
What about you? How do you decide what books to add to your growing “To Read” shelf? Or do you just add everything? I’d love to know. Tell me in a comment.