Book Talk

Let’s Get Selective!

Or, how I climbed out of a reading slump!

There was a time when I was DNFing an awful lot of books in a year and, what’s worse, they were all books I had paid good money for. It wasn’t like they were free ebooks I had been sent in return for an honest review. They were books I had picked at random while browsing my local bookshop, or a title someone might have mentioned in passing. And so, in the end, only had myself to blame.

Now that I’ve come back to book blogging I’ve made some changes. Most significantly. Not. To. Buy. Random. Books. Ever again. Now I carefully research every title I’m thinking of buying, starting with placing promising contenders on my online wish list at Canada’s version of Amazon: Chapters Indigo.

This first step helps as a place holder, instead of a myriad post-it notes stuck and accidentally vanishing from my computer. It’s really helpful, and, I guess, something akin to what most people do over at Goodreads. But let’s not talk about Goodreads, not today.

The second step, after checking out the online blurb, is to go on a deep dive. Check out an author’s website. Check out a cross section of online reviews, and not the one’s linked to from an author’s website. See who is talking and tweeting about the book. Preferably people who are not associated with a book tour—sorry, but after seeing how some of these tours operate I cannot trust readers will offer an impartial or honest review. There seems to be too many caveats.

Next I started looking for people who are reading, and more importantly, reviewing books because they have a passion. To see what gets them fired up and emotionally invested in a particular book, and characters. And then? Decide if what got them all excited about a book are the same kind of things that interest me. And from there, hopefully, be able to pick and choose more careful.

At least that’s how I’ve been working these last few weeks. And, do you know what? So far, it seems to be working.

I’ve managed to connect with a number of other reviewers on twitter, and bookmarked a variety of review blogs, and, as a result of their detailed and in depth reviews, I’ve managed to be a lot more selective in my choices.

It’s not a full-proof or even scientific method, but so far, it’s working for me. And I’m happy with that. It might mean buying less book, and maybe even reading less this year. But I hope it also means having a more enjoyable read. And, after all, isn’t that the whole point?

4 comments on “Let’s Get Selective!

  1. Avatar

    That’s fantastic, Alexandra! I do a lot of similar research, too, which is probably why I don’t have to label a book as DNF. It’s almost a sure thing it will be at least three stars. Kudos to you for doing the upfront work.

    • Alex

      Thanks, Jo, I’ve learnt the hard way as it were, and now, make sure I stick to the program. Research, research, research. And, so far, I’ve been making better choices, and thoroughly enjoying the books I’ve bought. And yes, this way ensures we get a much better read for our buck! 😀

  2. Avatar

    This is a great system. I’m going to try this! Thank you for sharing. 😃

    • Alex

      I’m happy you think so, Mayri. And I hope you find it as useful as I have in choosing your next read(s). I’ve found a good dozen book bloggers who’s reviews have been the greatest help in deciding whether a book if for me, or not. It really makes a difference.

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