What makes you pick up certain books? Is a pretty cover enough? Do you check for good reviews? Is the synopsis important? Do you look for diversity or #ownvoices? Do you look for any checkboxes? Do you have autobuy authors?
Deciding my TBR is often a weeks long process for me each year. Goodreads is an invaluable source for me in this and I rarely need to look any further. Genre is often one of the major deciding factors for me, as is the age of the audience it is written for. Fantasy, historical fiction, retellings and mysteries are common on my TBR as regular readers of my blog will know, but contemporary novels are much less frequent, and I pretty much never read genres like horror or paranormal. Most of the books I read are YA, but for historical fiction, I read across age groups.
An intriguing synopsis is a must. It’s the first impression of the book I get and if it doesn’t make me curious enough to want to know more, I won’t pick it up. If it’s a book that has been out for a while, I check the overall rating and a few of the reviews to get some idea of how the tone of the book may be. I find that fellow bloggers always have great recommendations are their reviews are very trustworthy. I used to flip through the book previously when deciding, but after I accidentally spoiled the ending for myself a couple of times, I’ve stopped doing that.
The cover doesn’t really matter, but a pretty cover or interesting title certainly makes me take a closer look at the book. It’s nowhere near enough to decide though. If a book is by an author whose work I have read and enjoyed previously, I will probably pick those up. When a book is talked about a lot, I will generally look it up, but only decide when the hype has died down a little and I’ve had a chance to hear some more feedback. While it is not necessary that a book needs to be be diverse for me to pick it up, I am definitely more likely to read an #ownvoices title, or one that is set in or describes different cultures, which I find fascinating to learn about.
It is very rare that I buy a book that I haven’t previously read, because I usually prefer paperbacks since they take up so much less room, though I am occasionally tempted into preordering a book if it is by one of my favourite authors like Cassandra Clare, Sarah J. Maas or Leigh Bardugo, who are the closest to autobuy authors for me.
What makes you pick up a book? Share your thoughts in the comments below!