Thursday, June 6, 2013

Booking Through Thursday #4

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday.

What makes you choose the books you read?
Genre? Reviews? Certain authors? Covers? Recommendations?

Hmm. This might be a rather extensive discussion.

If it's fantasy, I'll pick it up. It doesn't matter what age group it's in; adult, young-adult, juvenile, etc. I also enjoy sci-fi, dystopian and/or post-apocalyptic, historical fiction (especially if it is set in England or has something to do with castles or royalty), paranormal, supernatural (ghost stories), and horror. I'm not big into suspense/murder mysteries but if it's a book about an actual serial killer, I will read it. I also love classics and will pick one up to read every now and then no matter what it is about.
There are also some basic elements about a book that will have me grabbing it off the shelf. If the story is dark, creepy, macabre without being specifically horror, I will pick it up. It could be about a character that lives in an asylum or a creepy old house or someone who lives near a dark haunted forest. I like creepy.
I like unique premises. I know a lot of things are over-used but not everyone has read about psychics, or element manipulators, or aliens. So if I find a premise that is new to me, I'll read it.

I watch a lot of booktube videos (people on youtube that talk about books) and they are often giving their opinions or verbal reviews on books and if they just seem so excited and happy about that book or if they seem moved/touched by it, I'll probably want to read it. I read Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta because of a couple of mentions on booktube videos. I don't think I would have bothered otherwise and I ended up loving it.
I tend to go by overall ratings rather than by reviews on sites like Goodreads. I often see someone give a bad rating and review on a book that I absolutely adored (The Night Circus, for example) and have had multiple people recommend a book that I ended up hating (Wither by Lauren DeStefano) so I've learned to take reviews and recommendations a little less seriously. Everyone has different tastes and as I've found that the person who didn't like The Night Circus would rather read contemporary romance than fantasy, her opinion makes sense in a way. I just don't agree with it because I love fantasy and I thought 'The Night Circus' was magical. You'll find a lot of extremely varied reviews so sometimes it's hard to choose whether to read a book or not by someone else's opinion.

Yes, I will read books by certain authors no matter what the book is about. Neil Gaiman could be a good example. He writes a lot of varied stuff but it all seems to be rather fantastical, whimsical, or just plain 'out there'. (Apologies, the right words are not coming to me right now). He's an amazing storyteller and as I've absolutely loved almost everything of his that I have read, I will continue to read anything he puts out there.
I love to read Patricia A. McKillip because of her colorful fantasy writing style. I love Anne Rice novels because of her extensive descriptions. And sometimes, like with John Green, I'll read his books because he is just an overall awesome person or there is a lot of hype about the author.

I'll admit that I do sometimes judge a book by it's cover. Of course, I'm in my late 20's so I got to experience some of the 'bad cover' years. It seems that now-a-days, a book won't sell unless it has a magnificently photoshopped cover with a girl in a dress on the cover. If the cover portrays the 'feel' of the book, I'll definitely read it. If the synopsis says it's about a girl who lives in the dark and has nightmares and has a dark atmospheric cover, I'll probably read it. If it's pink and covered in frilly hearts and jewelry and things of that sort, I most likely won't pick it up because I'm really not into overly girly things.
Also, as an artist, I am partial to traditional art. If the cover has a good old-fashioned illustration or watercolor by some amazing artist, I will read it. It doesn't really matter what the book is about. If Charles Vess did the cover art, I'll read it. Lately I've felt that way about all of the books with Elena Kalis' underwater photography on the cover because I discovered her on Deviantart when she was just getting started in a pool and now I see her photography on books all the time and it makes me want to read them just because of how much I love her photography. I have yet to read any of those books though.

I will almost always read a book recommended to me. Or it will at least go on my TBR list. I mostly get recommendations for books I've already read these days. It really depends on whether or not I can get it from the library or find it in a thrift store. I'm constantly asking for recommendations in case there is some amazing book that I just haven't heard of yet. I also give recommendations a lot. Not too much more to say about that.


  1. I take into account all of those aspects you have detailed....and enjoyed your take on it all.

    I know that my reading world has expanded since I've been blogging....and here's MY BTT POST

  2. Awesome answer! I definitely agree with your genre section completely. We may have similar favorites. =)
    Reviews really impact me, but only if I can figure out why someone liked/hated a book and figure out what that will mean for me. Like you said, if someone usually reads contemporary and gives a bad rating to a fantasy, I take that with a grain of salt.
    I'm a new follower via GFC.
    Here's my Booking Through Thursday Post
    Megan @ Love, Literature, Art, and Reason

  3. Sci-Fi is a genre I am not much into... but little by little I am embracing the dystopia, apocalyptic genres.

    My BTT post -

  4. I read a variety of genres, but I do have some I avoid. Covers and reviews affect me a lot.
    2 Kids and Tired Books BTT