December 2, 2009
Finding a good book these days has become harder than it used to. Especially if youve decided youd rather not linger on the top ten and prize lists every year. Its an art form that requires a bit of research, a bit of human contact, and a whole lot of judging books by their covers.
First things first. You need to be a halfway avid reader. If you never read, then there are a slew of good books out there that any decent bookseller will point out. If you read at least a book every month or so though, and have a general idea of what you are looking for, but want to try something new or better yet old, this is the way to go about it.
1. Buy a small notebook. I recommend a Moleskin notebook, because it will fit nicely in a back pocket or purse without being too bulky or in the way. You can buy one at any halfway decent bookstore. Just ask where they keep the Moleskins; they always have their own special section.
2. Look at what youve read in recent months. Im sure you know what kind of books you like without looking at your collection, but sometimes youd be surprised by what youll discover. You may have started reading mystery novels and not realized it because youre a devout science fiction fan. But low and behold, all of your recent science fiction novels are mysteries. Open your mind up a little bit for different genres and youll find a whole new realm of interesting, new novels.
3. Go to a bookstore and observe. Peruse the aisles for a while. Give it a half hour or so. Every time you find a book or an author youve never heard of that catches your eye, write it down in your notebook. Dont be afraid to venture into genre aisles. Book stores have a habit of putting some incredible reads in the often derided Fantasy section that could easily pass as literary fiction. Thats not to say that Fantasy as a genre isnt rewarding, just that for those that look down upon it, a variety of books are being overlooked.
4. Amazon and Ebay. My two sites of choice. First, look it up. Youve essentially just picked out a random assortment of books based on their covers. Now look up their reviews and see if youve picked what you thought you picked or wasted ink by even writing it down. Highlight the winners and float on over to Ebay for cheaper books (especially if theyre new and still Hardbound).
5. Used book stores. Way more fun than Ebay if you have them nearby. If you live in a bigger city, take full advantage of the half priced, previously read treasure chest of your University Districts.
In just a few short steps you can find and buy new and exciting reading opportunities without paying full price for an unknown entity. At least half of my book collection and the authors I revere most popped into my reading consciousness through this method.
I’m a self avowed unemployed writer, working on semi-constant basis to try and overcome the need to go and work a real job. I’ve written more than 200 articles and reviews and am constantly scouring the internet for any and all excuses and methods to make myself less dependent on corporate pay days. Visit my website at TheChatfield.com
Tags: Book Reviews