Discussion: My (somewhat flawed) Formula for Selecting Books

DiscussionsI like to think that I’ve figured out how to add books to my TBR pile that I’ll enjoy – that I’ve turned it into an exact science…at least until I’m up at 3am writing a 1-star review that’s turned into more of a one-sided rant.  I thought I’d share my (not always perfect) formula for selecting books and hopefully learn a bit about how other people choose books – who knows, maybe I’ve been doing something wrong!

While trying to figure out how to organize my formula (because it makes so much sense in my head, but I just can’t seem to put it into words), I decided to make a flowchart – and who doesn’t love flowcharts?  On the far left are the various ways that I hear about books, and on the far right are my final decisions regarding whether or not I will actually read said books.  The middle areas are the decision-deciding choices and their resulting outcomes.

Flowchart (click to enlarge):image

When headed to the bookstore, I usually have a book or two in mind that I’m hoping to pick up, but I always end up making a few last-minute, impulsive buys as well.  Perhaps that’s why my formula has yet to produce the desired outcome of a 5 star rating for every book that I read…

What about you – how do you pick out books?

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Olivia
I am a senior in high school and an avid reader/reviewer, horseback rider, and graphic designer.  Since a young age, I have fostered a love of reading, beginning with my forays into the Nancy Drew series.  I’ve branched out significantly in my reading tastes since then, and my favorite genres include young adult, romance, mystery, and thriller.  I’m constantly trying to expand my horizons, however, so I do dabble in other genres.
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18 thoughts on “Discussion: My (somewhat flawed) Formula for Selecting Books

  1. Haha this is great. The way I choose what to read next is just what I’m feeling really. I try to mix up reading high-fantasy stuff and contemporary so I’m not stuck in one side for a very long time. And if I see a book I like, I’ll add it to my TBR and probably get it about a year afterwards… Yeah I tend not to read books when they come out… 😛

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    • I should probably start trying to mix up the genres that I’m reading. I tend to read all fantasy books for a few months, decide I’m sick and tired of fantasy, and then not pick up a fantasy book for another year or two. Oops!

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  2. I definitely relate to the “Is the cover pretty?” part. I swear most of the books on my TBR list are on there thanks to the pretty cover!

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  3. Whoa, nice flowchart! My method is much simpler. I read hyped books when my library gets them in — sometimes months late, and by then my interest sometimes has died. I read review copies kinda slowly, not gonna lie. But mainly I read depending on my mood. It’s pretty random sometimes. I often read the first page of a bunch of potential reads and start whichever one seems most interesting. I am a notorious library book renewer, though. I only return books unread when the number of times I’ve renewed them gets embarrassingly high because I always think I’ll read it sometime soon… but then I don’t.

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    • I really like your idea of reading the first page of several books – I might have to try that out! I tend to leapfrog between genres to try to prevent myself from growing bored of one particular genre (ex. if I’ve just finished a romance, I’ll try to pick up a young adult or fantasy book). And I’m the same way about renewing library books – I start to feel guilty and then return them before reading them!

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