26 comments on “How I Discover Books

  1. It’s similar for me: before I started book blogging and joined goodreads I’d mostly discovered new books by going to a book store or a library and browse and decide on the blurb (and the cover, or I would open a book on a random page and read a paragraph) and occasionally asked friends or a librarian for recommendations. Now, I mostly discover them online (and my TBR list is growing like crazy, lol). And I agree with you, the chance of getting a book I like or not is about the same as before. There’s no sure way of telling you’ll like something.

    • I think I’m getting better at knowing if I’ll like a book, but there’s still no way to know for sure without giving it a try. And the better I get at picking my “usual” reads, the more confident I feel in branching out of my comfort zone, which doesn’t always go well… so it sort of all balances out. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I’m still pretty random at the library. Sometimes I go by titles I’ve heard about but sometimes I kinda just pick. I have a TBR list from blogs and goodreads and I read them but I like just picking things that seem interesting, too. I also like going in blind and not really knowing what books are about sometimes, which can be good and bad! I hope you find a good balance to discovering!

    • As for going in blind, a lot of times books have been on my TBR for so long that I don’t remember why I wanted to read it or anything about it… so even if I once read the summary and some reviews, by the time I get around to reading it I’m almost going in blind anyway.

  3. Nearly always through blog reviews, these days. I sometimes hear about books on NPR or because authors I like recommend them, but blog reviews are definitely how most of my books get added to my TBR pile. It’s better for me, really. Picking up random books was okay when I was a kid, because they took less time to read and there weren’t so damn many; but I have never liked the random books selection method of choosing books as a grown-up. (Indeed that is why I started blogging.)

    • If that’s what works for you, that’s great. It’s certainly practical, and it works for me for the most part. But I do still miss the magic. I think I may try picking one random book from the library per month, or if that’s too much maybe one every other month.

    • Before I discovered book blogs or Goodreads, I mainly re-read the books I already owned over and over again, and when that got old I’d go on Amazon in search of “books like such-and-such.” It wasn’t a great method, but I did find one of my favorite books that way.

  4. I agree about the discover ability – I always have a list on my phone, random piece of paper, good reads, you name it on books I want to buy or look into or check out from the library. I’m not sure how publishers “want” us to discover books, I think it’s more important that we actually discover them. When I look at the rate that I add books to my TBR I sometimes realize I will never be able to read them all if I keep it up (kind of like Allan’s freak out scene in Two and a Half Men)/

    • I know, it’s like… if I don’t want to end up with a huge list of unread books at the end of my life, I’m going to have to stop adding to it. But really, how can I do that? (Can’t say I’m familiar with the Two and a Half Men scene though.) Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I’m not sure what to feel about this either. I see a lot of good books online that I can’t even read because they’re not available in our country. And I’m afraid if I spend so much money to have a copy shipped to me and I might not like it at all. I like looking through bookstores too and it is hard to choose something if you don’t know much about it, especially if the book is sealed and you can’t look inside.

  6. I discover almost all of my books online (Goodreads, podcasts, blogs, etc.), or by word of mouth (like my mother calling me to tell me about something she read).

    • I don’t get much real-world word of mouth because most people in my life either aren’t big readers, or they primarily read things that I’m not really into. We’ll still talk books occasionally, but chances of getting a good recommendation that way aren’t very high.

      • I’m lucky–both of my parents are avid readers and we share a lot of the same tastes in books. Aside from that, most of my recs come from online sources.

  7. I have had the same experience as you: I used to discover books physically at book stores or libraries, but the past few years I’ve mostly found books online (GoodReads, Amazon and blog reviews). I always tell myself I’m going to browse the library, but then my TBR list guilts me into focusing on getting that down and I just can’t read as quickly as I add them haha! I think you have inspired me to give myself a reading goal in 2014 to read at least 10 books I’ve discovered physically. I think it would be a fun goal to reach!

    • Yes! I actually do sometimes wander the stacks at the library but I rarely grab anything because of that darn TBR guilt… if anything, I’ll write down a title to investigate later online. I would like to get back to just taking a chance now and then. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. It’s pretty rare that I will go into a bookshop now, which is a shame. I’m trying to do it more often when I can, especially when I know what I am after. Recently my TBR pile has become stacked with some Netgalley goodies, but other than that I get recs from friends mostly and other bloggers – I also like to read as many classics as I can.

    My problem is – if I go into a shop I’ll judge on cover and synopsis, which means I could miss out on a very good read, I’m a shallow reader in that sense.

    • That’s true, but I see this more as enhancing my current selection process, not replacing it. Those books that I might not pick up because the cover or synopsis doesn’t appeal to me… I’m already not picking them up. So there’s no harm done there. It’s the ones that I would pick up if I only let myself take the chance that I’m missing out on.

  9. Oh, great discussion post! I used to always be random when choosing my books. I’d look for the pretty covers and then check the synopsis and then just go with my impulse. Now? Nope. I use my Goodreads wishlist to keep track of what I want to buy and when I get to the bookstore all I think is “Okay, which books have I heard the most about?!” It just sort of goes away from being about randomness to this sort of calculated guess at what will be best based on what I know about myself and the reviews I’ve read and yeah! It’s crazy!

  10. I don’t read nearly as much as you do and thus purchase most of the books I read. I like to peruse through bookstores unfortunately my love for reading books in english is getting in the way with that as most stores in my vicinity only have a very limited selection available. A lot of the times I go by reviews and mentions I get off the internet these days even without being on GR I have more books on my TBR list than I can get through.

    • I don’t know what I would do if I lived where I had a lack of reading selection… either in another country, or even just out in the middle of nowhere… I’m sure there’s plenty of places in this country where there’s not a bookstore or a library for miles. Hopefully I never have to experience it for myself.

  11. I still do a little bit of getting review recommendations online and a bit of wandering the library. Since I almost exclusively get books at the library and it’s hard for me to leave without wandering the shelves, I haven’t had too hard of a time continuing to pick books at random since starting to use goodreads :)

    • I get most of my reading at the library too, and I will sometimes wander… but by that time I’ve usually already loaded up on reserve books or other ones I’ve pulled from my TBR list, that if I see something that looks interesting, I won’t just pick it up, I’ll make a note of it to investigate later online… at which point, it’s no longer something special, just another title on a list. I want to get back to taking a chance now and then.

Comments are closed.