The Bookstore Dilemma

I love reading and I wish I had more time to do it. In my ideal life, I’d be sitting in my own personal library, reading books until the sun goes down. But that’s all a dream…hardly realistic.

Anyway, I’m in search of some new reads on my break. So, I was at Borders the other day and spent nearly an hour trying to find a good book to buy. I couldn’t decide! There were just too many choices, but I finally came upon one. But it made me really think about what I like to read and why…

First of all, I dislike fiction very much. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that it’s fake. If it ain’t real, it ain’t for me. That’s been my take on fiction, but in recent months, I’ve been rethinking that. Maybe I should learn from fictional writers, because after all, they are telling a story with a shadow of truth.

Secondly, I really like fancy covers. The art of the book really catches my eye. But buyer beware, because sometimes the cover makes up for the lack in between. But nonetheless, it’s always nice to hold a book that looks like a good read.

Thirdly, I always go for the big name authors. People I’ve heard of. People other people respect and read. People that have written multiple works or have received awards for their writing. It makes me think, should I venture out and read some obscure authors? or will I just be reminded of the reason why no one talks about them or recognizes them?

Fourthly, I always read the reviews or commendations on the back cover. If there’s someone of noteworthiness on the back that says it’s good. I’ll consider it. But if I don’t recognize anyone on the back… then no luck. It’s not even about what they say, it’s really about who’s listed on the back. I would be completely content with just a list of people who have enjoyed the book – that way we can cut through the crap of what they actually said about the book.

Fifthly, really long books scare me (but short books are easily discarded). The longer the book, the more hesitant I am to start it. The shorter the book, the more I’m likely to disregard it. A book has to be of medium length (200 or so pages).

Sixthly, I always read the introduction/prologue/forward to a book. It just gives me a taste of what’s to come, but enough so that it won’t give away the whole book. Sometimes the prologue isn’t even about what the books about, but it will introduce me to the writing style of the author and either whet my appetite or leave a foul taste in my mouth.

Lastly, I am a loyalist. If I like an author I will be more inclined to buy everything else that author has written. But what you’ll find is that authors often have one central theme to their life and they’re really good at writing about that thing over and over again just from a different angle. So it can get repetitive, but I enjoy it nonetheless. The really good authors can write about anything in all different styles.


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