I feel like book selection is an important ritual. Reading a book is a significant investment in time. Well, it is for me, at least. I'm not a speed reader, and my attention span isn't gonna win any marathons, so it takes me a few days to finish any novel. (My sister, however, is a book fiend! She can spend the entire weekend plowing through a new book to get to the end, even foregoing sleep to reach her destination. Hats off!)
To that end, I have developed a highly scientific method of picking out books:
I go to the bookstore/library and pull something off the shelf.
Okay, it's not quite that haphazard. I read the blurb on the jacket cover (I'm having a brain fart on what that's called again, grr). I peruse the first few pages. I even look up book reviews on my phone while scanning the bookshelves (thank goodness for smartphones and 3G!).
But after all this impromptu "research", I usually end up going with my gut feeling.
My track record isn't spotless, by any means. I ended up settling on Michael Scott's The Alchemyst and Angie Sage's Septimus Heap: Magyk this way. Those were enjoyable enough reads. I'm also very much enjoying my current book Here, There Be Dragons, which I also stumbled upon at the library. However, I've also managed to pick up books I never finished (e.g., Wayne Thomas Batson's The Door Within and DJ MacHale's first Pendragon book Denduron).
Unfortunately, I don't have many face-to-face reader friends. My sister is about the only one, and I will say that I've very much enjoyed her recommendations so far. I have picked up some suggestions from you guys as well, so maybe I can ditch my hit-and-miss method in the near future.
How do you guys normally pick what's on your to-read list? Do you have a book club (online or otherwise)? Do you peruse Amazon's favorite lists? Do you use Goodreads?
Or do you get awesome Christmas gifts from your sister? :P (Thanks, Pig!)