If you’re a book person you’ve had this feeling: you’re coming to the end of your current read and you’re kind of freaking out because you haven’t got your next book ready and waiting.
Back in the day when I stuck firmly to the fantasy genre, this seldom happened to me. As we know fantasy novels generally come in threes (at least) and once you’ve found an author you love, you know you can read everything they write and come away happy. Also, fantasy authors seem to be quite prolific!
Somewhere along the line though I decided to spread my wings and start exploring other genres – fact, fiction, chick lit, thriller, historical romance, mystery – you name it, I was up for it.
I discovered one small problem though. A book blurb is the mortal enemy of my reading pleasure.
Does the book blurb tell me that this novel explores the after-effects of Johnny’s death on a close group of friends? Well Johnny had better be dead already when the book starts otherwise, instead of enjoying the book, I am waiting for Johnny to die. This is true for any event announced by the blurb of a book so now I refuse to go there and I certainly don’t read book reviews.
Which introduces another small problem. How the heck do I choose my next read if the simple pleasure of browsing through a bookshop is now a forbidden one?
Enter twitter. Conservatively, I would estimate I have bought 30 books off the back of a twitter recommendation in the last year (yes, I also read fast!). There’s not a lot you can tell me about a book in 140 characters other than ‘it’s a great read’ and really, that’s all I need to know.
How has this method of book-choosing worked for me? Quite well actually! I think I have been a little disappointed once only and that is not a bad hit rate when you consider I have been burnt MANY times by a book blurb that promised a lot but didn’t deliver.
Another advantage of the twitter recommendation is that it introduces me to authors and genres that I wouldn’t experience otherwise. I am a creature of habit and I do tend to stick to what I know so twitter’s recommendations have forced me out of a large reading rut and re-introduced me to the joys of chick lit for one.
Best of all though is the divine experience of diving into a new book with little or no idea what to expect. It’s almost like panning for gold knowing you’re going to find something every single time and THAT is very cool indeed!
So what about you?
How do you choose your next read? Do you stick to a genre or author? Do you like knowing lots about a book before you will turn to page one? Or are you like me and stay right away from the blook blurb?