As you might know (because I literally never stop talking about it!) I do’t have a physical TBR which means that I pretty much buy books as I read. Because I have read a lot this month, as stands to reason, I have bought a few books this way, which got me thinking about what makes me choose these books? Normally, my buying is done online but when I am in uni I can also just pop down the shop and pick one up from there, but what appeals to me? With this question in mind I thought I would carry out a mini investigation, and here I present my findings:
Some hype but not too much
Fine line to tread, I know, but this is what I have concluded. Basically, if a book has too much hype I will avoid it, hence why I didn’t read Six of Crows for ages and why I wasn’t planning on reading Turtles All the Way Down by John Green right away (even though I did end up buying and reading it really soon in the end but who can resist a book on sale?). I think this is mainly just because I’m nervous that the book won’t live up to the hype, especially with books (like Turtles) where I am desperate for them to be good! In terms of books I actually pick up pretty speedily, these are normally books where I have seen some positive mentions about them, around but haven’t seen hundreds of five star reviews and not seen one single bad thing said about them!
- Autoboyography – Christina Lauren
- Simon vs The Homo Sapien’s Agenda – Becky Albertalli
Oh man do I love a book with multiple points of view. I didn’t actually realise how much until recently when, with pretty much every single book I read and didn’t enjoy, I found myself thinking how much better it would be if there were multiple points of view, *cough, cough, Batman: Nightwalker, *cough cough.
- Carry on – Rainbow Rowell
- One of Us is Lying – Karen M. McManus
I don’t really auto buy books by that many authors. I might be predisposed to read the synopsis of a book because of who it’s by but if that doesn’t sound like something too interesting, I won’t necessarily pick it up just because of the author. However, there are some exceptions to this rule including John Green and Maggie Stiefvater, whose books I will read no matter what! I also find that if I have read one book that I have enjoyed by an author I am usually willing to give a second book a go.
- The Sky is Everywhere – Jandy Nelson
- The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon
- All the Crooked Saints – Maggie Stiefvater
This was something I had to think long and hard about: which buzzwords make me pick up a book? Obviously I could think of loads of buzzwords that make me not want to pick up a book, but what about the flip side? After some deliberation I have managed to come up with a few:
- Friendship – I love books where friendship is important, especially as in so many books, friendship seems to be cast aside for the sake of the romance. No! I want female friendship and bromance and girls and guys who can be platonic friends without either of them having been secretly in love with the other for the entirety of their friendship!!!
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
- The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater
- Family who actually family – if I read in the synopsis of a book or online that there is a good family dynamic in a YA contemporary chances are I am going to pick it up. I have just read so many books where the parents are completely absent often for no good reason, which is really annoying! So if there is a family with parents who actually care about and look out for their kids, and siblings who actually like each other (most of time, it still needs to be realistic!) then I am all for it!
- The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
- Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
- Standalone – although I will pick up series occasionally, it is not something I do unthinkingly unlike with standalones where if I see only some of the things I have mentioned here, I will probably shrug my shoulders and say ‘might as well’ before picking it up. One reason for this is commitment, another reason is reading amnesia. All in all, at the moment I just find standalones much more accessible and easier to pick up.
- Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon
- I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson
- A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard
After looking at my books I have concluded that there are two main genres which pique my interest. The first and main one is contemporary YA, while the second is YA fantasy realism. That’s not to say that I don’t choose books from other genres, but if I had to choose between other genres and these two, I would normally go for these two.
- The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
- Everything, Everything – Nichola Yoon
- The Wolves of Mercy Falls – Maggie Stiefvater
I know, I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I’m pretty sure everyone does at least a little, and I am no exception. I think my main argument here is that having a cover I don’t like won’t necessarily make me not pick up a book, but having a pretty cover will make me much more likely to pick it up. Spines are also important because when I go to the bookshop this is the first thing I see.
- The Names they Gave Us – Emery Lord
- Passenger – Alexandra Bracken
So there we have it, some things that make me pick up a book. I should point out though, even though these things determine whether I pick up a book (at least speedily) they aren’t always signs that I will like these books. Quite a few of the books I have mentioned turned out to be a bit disappointing including Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (picked for the cover) and The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (picked because I loved Everything, Everything so much) while other books that I have mulled over reading for ages because they don’t fit some/all of these criteria, have turned out to be my favourite books, like Six of Crows and The Book Thief.
So what makes you pick up a book? Are there any books you’ve read that you think I would like based on my conclusions? Are there any books you like that completely fall outside of what you normally choose?
As always, happy reading!
(I’m so sorry, I couldn’t help myself!)