DISCUSSION: How do You Select Your Book?
Readers read. It is that simple. Yet, it is more difficult than that. With the tons of books published every day it is a (positive) nightmare entering a bookshop and buying a book. In fact, it can take hours to choose between titles and if the budget for books is tight, allowing one to purchase only two or three books, then the method, procedure, decision-making process, of choosing a book becomes even more imperative.
This problem has exacerbated with the introduction of self-publishing platforms. Today, anyone anywhere can publish a book without going through those large monolithic publishing companies. The appearance of self-published books has multiplied the books one can choose from, even within a genre. Another platform that has expanded the population of books is the introduction of e-books and e-readers. What the twenty-first century has done is to revolutionise book publication and reading; if the twentieth century is the Green Revolution, then the twenty-first century is the Book Revolution.
Inundated with billions of titles, how do you, as an avid reader, select the titles of books you read? Do you make your selection based on popular titles, new titles, genre-specific titles, book-bloggers' recommendations, or is your selection of your books ad-hoc?
Personally, I select my pre-2000 books from titles that have remained relevant since publication. Here I use some of the top-100 lists, especially those by readers instead of the industry. I also choose books (including those published after 2000) whose popularity has been advanced by readers. However, for fiction all my readings have to necessarily be literary fiction, though I veer off once in a while into other genres. But once in a while, I try to select titles randomly.
For non-fiction, I want books that is contributing something to knowledge, that is if they are not memoirs or autobiographies. I rate highly those that challenge popular opinions.
What about you?