Thursday, October 15, 2009

How To Choose a Book

Before I begin.....21 followers?!?!! WOW, I never thought I'd see the day I got to double digits, let alone 21 :) Thanks to my new...supporters. I like that better than followers. :) And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.......

I had a very informative conversation with my two girls last night about checking out library books. I thought I would find out exactly how they decide what library books to choose. I was quite surprised by what I heard.

Princess Rhiannon opens a book to a random page and reads five paragraphs. If they are good and make her want to know more about the story, she checks it out. I thought this was funny, after all, she is nine years old and I really thought she read the back of the book to figure out if she would like it or not. Nope-she reads the back after she's done with the book. She says she reads the author information on the flap of the book about halfway through. I asked her if it was important to her to find out about the author. She said, "Well, not at first. But if I find that I'm really liking the book, then I go to read about the author. But, sometimes, it's just dumb stuff, like married with pets or kids. I like the ones that are funny." Hmmm I thought about my blog and the About Me section-while a lot of bloggers have very clever adaptations of their life-mine is simply married with kids. LOL I will have to take the Princess's advice and make it more...funny. :)

Princess Kayla opens a book and uses the five finger rule. If there are five words she can't read-the book is too hard and she puts it back. If there are NO words she can't read, it's too easy and she puts it back. As she explained, "Two or three or four big words are good for me to learn. But too many makes me mad." Okay-I can understand that. Princess Kayla is six and while she's learning to read like crazy-there are still some words that she can't 'sound out' and recognize.

I thought it was very interesting to hear these opinions. I have never checked out a book that way. I had a friend that read the last page. I never wanted to spoil the ending, so I was a simple 'read the back of the book' kinda gal. Then, I became devoted to certain authors and would pick up a book simply by their name being on the spine. It's amazing how different we are as readers and writers, isn't it? I love it...the more the merrier in any way!!

What about you? How do you choose your books? Do you think if Princess Rhiannon read five paragraphs in a random spot she would want your book?


  1. Hi Krist! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog - you made me feel much better about my gulity cup-cake conscience, lol! Funny you should post about this today because I asked my son the exact same question a couple of days ago. He's 10, and he reads the back cover first. He also said that if he doesn't like the first couple of pages, the book is out. He's one of these instant gratification readers...a product of the technology age...sigh.

  2. Lately the only books I've read have come from recommendations from friends, family, or blogging friends. It's been years since I've been at a bookstore without knowing beforehand what I wanted to buy.

  3. I usually pick from recommendations. I like the was the princesses do it though.

  4. I also will read a book based on my devotion to the author. Then when i've read all their books, i move onto a new author by first seeing how many books they have published (if it's more than 4, then in my opinion they must be good) and reading the back cover. i will also check out new authors when i see their comments on another book.

    Sometimes if the front cover is appealing, i'll open the book and read a random page. If i like it as well as the back cover, i'll read it.

    Very interesting approach your girls have...i'll need to rememeber that!

  5. Sometimes the cover in intriguing. Yes, I do on occasion judge a book by its cover. :-) I also am a back blurb kinda girl, but if it's an author I know I just pick it up regardless.

  6. I get a lot of suggestions from reading blogs. I've also found a blog of debut YA authors, so I've read a lot of their books.

  7. Melane, way to support new authors, I know they appreciate it!!

    Angelia and Shauna-The cover is crucial isn't it? I admit, some covers really turn me off.

  8. Rhiannon sounds like a trip! I love it. I actually have a very, very similar method. No matter what the book jacket says, I need a taste of a page from the middle before I can commit.

  9. Hey Kristi!! How are ya? I've missed you these past few days. I've been so busy with hospital stuff.

    I think your kids have a great yardstick for measuring whether they will like a book.

    I hope they will love mine. They might be GROWN before it's published though. I can see it now:

    I'm sitting in my rocking chair. My teeth hurt me so I don't wear them too much. I finally get the call. But I'm so old the news gives me a heart attack and I fall over dead--but with a great big smile on my face. :)

    The agent said now 40,000-45,000 is the norm for MG.. Mine is in the low 30,000's. She said it can't be fleshed out with that word count. I was nice, but I let her know that it was definitely fleshed out. She said to send her the first ten pages. Which I did, but I doubt she'll even read them. And she was almost an hour late. Grrrrrrrrr

  10. Hi Kristi!

    I read the first page. If the story captures me and the characters intrigue me I am buying.

    It means giving a wonderful snapshot of what is to come.

    Happy writing!


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