I first wrote this post in October 2013 for a WordPress Daily Prompt on choices. I still read books so I decided to dust it off update it and run it again as most of you won’t have seen it. I had about half a dozen views a week back then if I was lucky.
How do I pick what blogs or books to read?
Whether it’s books or blogs the thing that always gets me to read it is the hope of being entertained. If I see the name of a writer whose work makes me laugh or who tells a good story I will be eager to read what they have written. I enjoy the humourous take on everyday life that I find in some of my favourite blogs but I also like those who share their knowledge and passions. I have learned a great deal from my fellow bloggers about writing and photography.
If I don’t know the writer I’ll look at the subject matter, if it is non fiction is it about a subject I’m interested in? Is it relevant to my specific interests? For example I like cricket so I’ll read biographies of players but I wouldn’t read a book about the laws of cricket or a blog giving an interpretation of the LBW rule unless the writer made it funny because I would get a headache!
Is the title appealing? An intriguing title will at least get me to read the first few paragraphs to find out more. Sometimes it turns out to be not what I thought it would be but sometimes it will turn out to be a good read.
Fiction is a bit trickier to choose than non fiction. When I was at school I often used to enjoy the fiction extracts in my English text books so much that I would search for the books they were from in the library.
I don’t like to read books with excessive violence or bad language, so as well as reading the plot outline, I will usually skim through a book trying to get a feel for it before I settle down to read. There have been many books which promised to be good stories that I’ve walked away from because they were just too graphic for me.
Sometimes I read something because a friend has recommended it or I’ve read a favourable review but only if I think it sounds interesting myself. If I have enjoyed a film that was based on a book I may decide to read it but I won’t read best sellers just because it is trendy to say you have read it.
I think a lot of people must do that. In our book room at the Op Shop we have at least three copies each of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its sequels. It seems to be by far the most often donated book we have. (I haven’t read any of them.)
Recently I have started to listen to audio books and I found that the reader makes a big difference to my enjoyment. “A Christmas Carol”, by Charles Dickens is a favourite story of mine but the main reason I bought the audio book was because Sir Patrick Stewart was reading it and I love his voice. Likewise Stephen Fry is exactly the right person to read the Harry Potter stories. One of my first audio books was “Deep South” by Paul Theroux. I have read several of his travel books and I understand his style but I had a lot of trouble listening to the book. It was partly the book itself, it was long and I’m afraid I fell asleep a couple of times. I just didn’t enjoy the narrator’s voice though. I decided that in future I will stick to reading the books.