Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The meme was originally the brainchild of The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Ten Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book.
Ten Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book
I realized after I made this list that most people made their TTT list about the sort of things they like to read about. My list is more general, I guess—it’s what might make me pick up any book in a genre that appeals to me.
1. An author I love. If I loved their previous book(s), I can’t wait to read the next one. And when I discover a new-to-me author with a backlist, I often binge my way through the backlist—or as fast as the library can supply my habit, anyway!
2. A series I’m already reading. Trilogy, sextet, or ongoing series—once I’m hooked, I’m going to keep going. And it would have to get pretty bad for me to give up on a series I’m in the middle of.
3. A recommendation or rave from someone with similar tastes. Especially if they know my tastes. If Robin, my mom, my sister, or my novel-writing friend recommends a book to me, I know I’m probably going to like it.
4. A great cover. No cover is ever going to make me read a book if other factors don’t appeal to me, but a gorgeous or attention-grabbing cover will usually make me take a closer look.
5. A premise or synopsis that pulls me in and piques my interest. Hi, authors and publishers: Make sure your synopsis sounds appealing if you want me to read your book! (And don’t make it a book report, either. Enough to tell me what to expect, but not the whole Cliffs Notes version, mmkay?)
6. A blurb or review from an author I love and trust. If Tamora Pierce or Stephanie Burgis or Laurie King tells me they loved a book (and why), that weighs heavily in the yes, read it column for me.
7. A comparison to a book or author I love. This one’s tricky, because I’ve been burned by these before. It’s not going to make me read the book, but it will probably get me to give it a deeper look.
8. The opening page and maybe some middle pages. By the time I get to this point, something—probably one or more of the above—has gotten me interested enough open the cover to see if I like the book enough to keep going. (By the way, publishers, this is where bad design can lose me, too. If you’ve used teeny tiny print, or a font I find difficult to read, I’m not going to struggle through the book.)
9. Extras. Like maps, floor plans, glossaries, illustrations, character lists… things that help me understand the book and its world better. Again, I’m never going to read a book solely because it has a cool map, or ignore a book because it doesn’t. But extras like this tell me that the author and publisher put some care into the the book, and that counts for something.
10. A genre that appeals to me. I put this at the end, because this is kind of the baseline for me. A book needs to be in a genre I read, or one I’m willing to read, before any of the above qualities will make me pick it up. I mean, I don’t care how appealing you make your horror novel look or sound, I’m not going to read it. (Sorry, Stephen King.)
What makes you pick up a book?