January 9, 2012

Hype and Choice

My mind is overflowing with post ideas lately. I have at least three sitting in draft form waiting to be published. So wouldn't you know it, everywhere I turn lately something sparks a post I have to write immediately. Poor draft posts, they are just sitting there waiting for reader attention.

I'm not complaining. I'd much rather the well run over than be dried up. I hate looking at a blank screen with nothing to say. I get overwhelmed and a bit sidetracked (you really don't want to see my house right now) when I have too many ideas, but I never wish them away. I only wish for faster fingers so I can get it all down.

create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!For my Mom in Love with Fiction Blog (my blog for the reader and book fan in me), I often answer prompts from a lovely site, Should be Reading. Today's prompt asked: Are there any “raved reads”–books that everyone seems to be talking about–that you’re hoping to get read this year, yourself? What books are they, and why are you hoping to read them? Is it because you want to say you’ve read it? Or, would you have chosen to read it, even if you’d discovered it yourself, and no one was raving about it?

I'm influenced by hype, but I'm not driven by it. Friends, particularly those in my book club, are my top source for traditional book recommendations. My current book club has a rule that books must be available in paperback, so that alone keeps us from being too cutting edge.

Until the recent bookstore closings, my favorite thing to do was walk aisle by aisle picking up books that caught my eye. Then it was up to the back cover to seal the deal. I rarely stopped at the table of books near the front. That just seemed too obvious and too easy. It's more my personality to read books that are less known and be the one recommending than to blindly follow what everyone else likes.

My newest focus, thanks to my own publishing journey, is to read more independent and small press published books. The best source for these books: my writing community and bloggers. It also helps that I review books for a few review sites.

Another thing I realized about my book buying habits... I might pick up the book the industry is talking about (bloggers, other authors, even Amazon picks), but I'm not as quick to read them as a book that speaks to me. Almost my entire list for the 2012 To Be Read (TBR) Pile Challenge are books fitting this description. Had to have them, but didn't have to read them.

Are your book choices driven by hype? If not, what is your main source for a good read?


Anonymous said...

Most of the hype books I've read, I was prompted to pick up for other reasons. For instance, I've read some books because my kids were reading them...and they just happened to be hype books. Or my book club chose one. That sort of thing. Interesting to hear about your book habits. People ask whether book covers even matter. I think they can.

Eloise Currie said...

I'm not much swayed by hype. In fact, I find a number of hyped books thin on content, plot or character development. I tend to wander the aisles - figuratively now, since I have a Nook and am some distance from a bookstore - and look for things that speak to me. There are a lot of best sellers that I've never read 8).

Unknown said...

I always seem to be a bit behind on the game when it comes to "hype" books. I tend to re-read old faves, especially during the school year when I don't have as much free time, and those books are usually chosen based on how I'm feeling at the time. It's sort of like digging in to a big bowl of homemade mac 'n cheese because you're craving comfort food.

Tia Bach said...

Julie - I do think book covers come into play. If I'm torn, a cover can be the thing that sways me one way or another. But mostly I pick books based on friends' recommendations.

Eloise - I agree. Hype is in the eye of the beholder, so there's no guarantee I'll like the book anyway. I haven't read many of the current bestsellers, but I seem to get to them after the hype, sometimes years later.

Melissa, I've never reread a book, but I need to change that. I love new stories, the thrill of not knowing. But I often say classics are wasted on youth, so there's definitely some books from my younger years I'd love to reread and give them the attention they deserve.

Thanks for stopping by!

Ryan said...

I like to read books that jump out at me, books that I know will help me grow, not just what everyone else is reading.

Tia Bach said...

Ryan, Well said! I appreciate you stopping by!