How Do You Choose the Books You Want to Read?

I took an informal poll to find out how people discover new authors. (Hmmmm. Wonder why I’m interested in that!) I posted the following on discussion boards on both Goodreads and Facebook:

It seems as if there are as many ways of discovering books as there are readers, but I’m curious as to how you choose the books you want to read. Do you go by reviews? By recommendations from friends? Because you’re familiar with other works by the author? Do you ever read a book because of an ad you saw? Because of a blog article? Because of a mention on a website such as Goodreads? Do you cruise book stores, libraries, or online sites like Amazon? Do you find them some way I haven’t mentioned, such as gifts, perhaps?

Admittedly, the questions were loaded, but I still got an interesting and probably quite accurate overview:

Favorite authors or previously read authors: 36
Word of mouth: 26
Blog reviews/Book websites: 26
Goodreads/Shelfari: 24
Local bookstores: 21
Amazon/B&N/other online stores: 15
Library: 13
Publisher sites/newsletters: 5
Social networking sites like Facebook: 5
Book Clubs: 5
Author appearances/writing conferences: 5
NY Times bestseller list: 5
Offline reviews: 5
Yard sales/second hand bookstores: 4
Advertising: 3
Saw the movie: 3
Oprah: 1
Free downloads: 1
Gifts: 1

I’m not sure exactly what this means in terms of promotion, except that ideally you want to become everyone’s favorite author and have them recommend you.

How do you discover the books you want to read? Or rather where. (A lot of people said they found books to read by the front cover or the blurb on the back, but I’m more curious as to where they saw the cover.)

7 Responses to “How Do You Choose the Books You Want to Read?”

  1. Adina Says:

    Oh, darn, missed the poll…

  2. Sheila Deeth Says:

    I wondered what the results of your research would be, and I knew you’d have it all nicely sorted out for us. Fascinating. Thanks.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I thought the results were interesting — also a bit encouraging. Though most people apparently stick with writers they know, there are others who will take a chance on a new author. Lucky for us!

  3. joylene Says:

    Sometimes I’ll hear about the book on BookTV, or I’ll meet the author online, or I’ll pass the cover in the library and have to stop. But your top 2 are definitely correct, and I’d have ticked them off.

  4. darkraven01 Says:

    Mostly it’s word of mouth, or a favorite author I follow, then I get any book that comes out from said author.

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