There is no question that studying is significant, it instructs, inspires, entertains, and so much more. However, with thousands of books published every week, how does a reader (particularly one that is only getting into reading) decide which one to pick up?
Read What You Enjoy
The very first rule in Choosing Books will be to see what you enjoy! This may look like strange advice to start with because, well, is not it clear? In reality, no.
Too many men and women allow their reading to be directed by the flavor of others; they limit themselves into bestseller lists or the latest publishing trend or want only to browse the"right" books (like those we had to read to write an essay on literature at school). Just how many people's love of studying was thwarted by attempts to cram themselves with so-called classics or opaque literary tomes? As if literary classics or fiction (if there's a proper definition for these terms) are the pinnacle of studying taste. Actually, neither classic literary fiction are groups that are helpful in classifying one's reading tastes. To wit, how distinct are classics like Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather or Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio by The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton? The three novels were written by American writers within ten years of each other (1927, 1919, 1920, respectively), and the qualities that draw readers into them differ wildly!
With so many choices out there, every reader can find a book to match their preferences. How does a willing reader sift through the piles to find the book that is ideal for them? Read on...
Finding Your Reading Tastes
Do you enjoy stories that fling you ahead at a breakneck speed or do you prefer they allow you to amble along smelling the flowers? Are you a fan of dark comedy or slapstick humor? Would you like a novel that gets you hot and bothered or one that makes you too terrified to remain home alone? Is your favorite story told in ornate, baroque, extravagant poetry, or hard-boiled, staccato, prosaic prose?
Each of these questions are directly related to isolating the"appeals" you're attracted to. There, I said Joyce G. Saricks, who in her novel Tales Advisory from the Public Library, isolates five aspects of appeals:
- Pacing: How fast does the novel move? Can it be a page-turner or will it, such as War and Peace did for me personally, take a month to complete?
- Characterization: How are the characters handled by the writer? Are they clarified so profoundly that the publication could be known as a character study? Or are they simply archetypal chess pieces in a complex game?
- Story line: What is the orientation of the plot? Is it character-driven or action-oriented? Very intricate? Inspirational? Absurd?
- Frame and Tone: What is the mood of the book? Is it heartwarming? Thrilling? Dark? Philosophical? Quirky?
- Style: How can the writer's writing style be described? Spare? Conversational? Poetic? Intricate?
Considering your favorite stories (novels, movies, plays, doesn't matter) through these terms permits you to find a sense of your preferences. It provides you with a language to articulate your preferences. Whether you are looking for a novel or storyline non-fiction, you can now begin mapping the sorts of stories you appreciate on the variety of options out on earth!
Finding Your Genre
One way of narrowing your studying choices is by considering which genres encapsulate your favorite allure. Most people have a fairly robust understanding of genres. We all know, for instance, that mysteries are inclined to be fast paced and thrilling, they are often written without adornment, although human authors sometimes have recognizable styles.
Genre conventions offer an easy way for readers to find their tribe; for me personally, most science fiction offers the ideal balance of storyline (heavy), description (mild characterization (medium), with styles that vary from off-kilter/humorous (Connie Willis, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams) to plain bizarre (Philip Dick, Cory Doctorow esp. With Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, and Theodore Sturgeon w/ Over Individual to quite straightforward (most Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, James White). However, it's different for everybody.
Have a look at this list of genres and the attractions you connect with them. Choose one that tickles your fancy and let's get you moving!
Narrowing Your Options
So you know your allure and genre preferences, you can now get down to business: The hundreds, even thousands, of options easily available in each genre! How to proceed?
Here are some tips that can help:
- Read books by their covers! It's nice, librarians do it all the time. Proceed into a bookstore, library, or your favourite online store and navigate. Does a publication's cover artwork appeal for you? Perfect, read the interior, what do you consider this plot description? If you like it, you've discovered your book!
- Many libraries provide free access to your website called NoveList, a Readers' Advisory librarian's secret weapon! Based on all sorts of appeals. My favourite thing about NoveList is their read-alike essays short, insightful articles written by celebrity experts describing an author's (or a books) allure and advocating others with similar interests.
- Another online resource I find helpful is Goodreads recommendations. GenerallyI find automated recommendations lame (I'm looking at Amazon here), however Goodreads does a surprisingly fine job of viewing interesting books based on particular shelves in your account. (Yes, I understand Amazon possesses Goodreads.)
- Although I've steered you away from the other's remarks, now that you're familiar with your preferences, check out popular awards for your genre, book sites, and blogs specializing in the type of books you prefer.
- In the end, go ask a librarian! Not many librarians are great at Readers' Advisory, but there is usually at least one in every building that relishes talking about books of all kinds. Tell them exactly what you would like and allow them to do their job. Hopefully, you're going to end up with a few choices you will enjoy!
Reading is a wonderful journey full of enormous variety! Try things out! Once you've settled in your reading groove, pick something entirely different for a change and a challenge. I was a"finisher," I had to finish every book I picked up. But as I've aged, I've changed. Who has the time to waste reading awful books? When I pick up one, I will read the first 50 or 100 pages (1--2 hours when we are speaking audiobooks) and when I am not digging it, I proceed. Betty Rosenberg's quotation echoes in my head as I close the book and, unapologetically, pick something better suited to my reading tastes. I prefer to enjoy my reading, and you should too!