How Do You Discover the Books You Want to Read?

Two-and-a-half-years ago, I took an informal poll to find out how people discover new authors. 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

Recently, I posed the questions and got similar responses (though from a much smaller group):

books by favorite authors: 8
recommendations from friends: 5
browsing in bookstores: 4
libraries: 2
imprints (the trade name under which the book is published): 1
newspaper reviews: 1
blog reviews:1
recommendations from Amazon: 1
book clubs: 1

So, even with small independent publishing houses springing up like new forest growth, and self-published books proliferating like elm tree seeds, the means of finding books are still the same. That means, if you are an author looking for a readership, you need to be everyone’s favorite author and have your readers recommend you. An almost impossible task when most people already have their favorite authors.

What about 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.)