A couple of weeks ago, I read a blog post by Amanda at Dead White Guys about discoverability. She argues that the “discoverability problem” lamented by publishers and authors in this over-saturated market is their problem, not ours. We readers are doing just fine when it comes to discovering books.
The fact that I add books to my TBR way faster than I can get through them seems to support that theory. Still… the whole subject got me thinking about how I do discover books. I don’t know that I’ve ever been doing it the “right way” according to the publishers (whatever they think the “right way” is… I’m still not entirely clear on that) but it’s definitely changed, thanks to the internet.
There’s something rather magical about physically picking up books off of shelves and looking for one that speaks to you, but I rarely do that anymore. In fact I can only think of twice that I’ve done this since setting myself up on Goodreads four years ago; one was The Thirteenth Tale, which became one of my favorite books, and the other was a random DNF. So, you see that it can go either way — the “magic” isn’t a guarantee — but the point is that I just don’t do it anymore.
Instead, pretty much everything I add to my list is something I discovered online… through Goodreads, blog reviews, mentions on Twitter… and again, no matter how much I think I’ll like the book (or even when I’m not sure and I’m taking a deliberate chance), they can go either way. I don’t know if having all of these reviews and varying opinions available at the click of a button serves me any more than just going with my gut as I stand in a bookstore or library.
I’d like to make more of an effort to get back to some random discoveries, but when my TBR is already bursting, it seems illogical to go out of my way to pick up a book I know nothing about. Still… if it’s something I feel like I’m missing… perhaps I should do myself a favor, put aside logic, and do what feels right. (Whoops, I’ve got Star Trek on the brain…)
How do you discover the books that you read?