Monday, August 23, 2010

How Do I Choose A Book To Read?

The other day, Wednesday August 18th to be exact, I was suffering through major computer withdrawal as my notebook was in the shop getting binged and purged. So after getting done putzing around on the household computer, I decided to go to my favorite hangout and vegetate.
The public library.

Now, I went there with the intention of simply vegetating out and prepping my brain for a long weekend of....shudder....synopsis writing and no retrieving a book to fry out my brain cells with.

I was so confident of not retrieving a book that I sat down in front of the New Fiction bookshelf to rest my weary feet. As I was sitting there enjoying that special aloneness that one can get while in a public place like a library, I got to thinking about a particular comment that I've read in the various blogs in the past couple years, which was this:

"If you're gonna write then you should read, and if you're gonna write in a particular genre you should read books in that genre."

So I thought, what the hey, might as well find something to read. Problem was, what to read. I didn't want to get something so long that would take me forever and a day to read, so that basically narrowed down my choices to books under 250 pages.

What to read? Well, first I thought about reading a western, so I grabbed the first one that caught my eye, Johnny Boggs's Hard Weather. I read the inside cover and the first chapter, but unlike Soldier's Farewell, it didn't grab me. Come to think of it, Killstraight really didn't grab me either. So back to the shelf it went and gears did I switch.

To romance. Specifically, Jewel Amethyst from the blog Novel Spaces. I remember seeing a title to one her romances and I figure that since I was trying to explore that genre, I would give her a shot. But, I wound up striking out and didn't find anything, either on the New Fiction shelf or in the general fiction stacks.

Up next was a book recommended to me by Riot Kitty called, Orlando. After getting aggravated with the library's database (remember kids, libraries have dumbed down things for patrons, so instead of them using their brains to search a card catalog, they use a computer to find things), I eventually found the book, but after reading the back cover, I found it not quite to my liking.

So back to the New Fiction shelf I went, and started over with my search. I first saw a couple of African-American romance novels that I unfortunately weren't able to find when I went back the next day to research this post (got a problem with dat?) but on the shelf they stayed. I checked out Montana Dawn by Stone Wallace, but a story about a female outlaw didn't quite do it for me.

Yah, I know, I know, I'm a difficult person when it comes reading fiction. Sorry, but I spent the bulk of my formative years, teen years and adult years reading non-fiction and only gravitated to fiction some two years ago.

I next checked out Sheriff of Hangtown by Lauran Paine, but a story about someone on the run hiding in a valley didn't do it for me either. To tell you the truth, I was ready to call it a day and head back home. But after perusing the last section of New Fiction, a title finally caught my eye.

The Bikini Car Wash by Pamela Morsi. I took out the book and read the short cover blurb. The story was about a lady who had moved back home with no job to help take care of her sister and decided to open up a car wash staffed with women wearing bikinis. I thought to myself, Interesting. So I opened it up, read the first several pages and gosh darn it, that book done reached up and hooked me.

So I checked it out this nifty little romance novel and brought home with me. Depending on how the rest of that week went and how this week goes, I may have a book review for everyone in the near future.

It took me approximately four hours spread over two days to finish the entire book.

So there you have it, another interesting facet about myself that you probably would've been better off not knowing. But perhaps, you go about choosing a book from the library or from the bookstore much the same way as I do.

How do you go about choosing a particular book to read?


  1. G, Once again, I read just about anything and quite often several books at a time. So choosing is easy for me.

  2. David: Show off. :D

    In all seriousness, I think I used to do that while I was younger, but I as a got older, I found that it was easier and less confusing to read one at a time.

    If a book does grab me, I'll be able to digest it in about the same time span I did the one I picked for this post, which I'll be doing a review on next week.

  3. my only problem with choosing is usually limiting my choice to one out more. But on occassion I'll struggle to find something that lights my fire. If it's western you're interested in, killing trail is quite short, about 25,000 words! :)

  4. Charles: The only thing that is stopping me from purchasing your latest is that I'm not a fan of e-books.

    While I've been dragged kicking in screaming into the 21st century with certain items like CD's and social networking, the most computer reading I'll do is whatever I can found on my screen via the e-zines or blogs.

    That being said, probably the only time I'll check out more than one book is if I have to do a little research for something.

    That also being said, I will someday find a way to purchase your latest. I do like that genre, even if sometimes I come across as being a little nitpicky about it (like in this post), and I'm big on brand loyalty, be it a thing or a person.

    Let's face it, how many people can truthfully say that someone made them an answer to two secret questions for their work computer programming?

  5. Orlando wasn't my favorite, as I've e-mailed...but men often have a hard time with Virginia Woolf. Try some Erica Jong!

  6. Erica Jong? That suggestion simply begs for it to be made fun of in my own "special" way.

  7. Orlando is a great book and Virginia Woolf a far better writer than Erica Jong.

  8. I love the library. I usually choose books based on recommendations from friends or I'll read about the book in a magazine or online.

  9. Nurse Myra: I'll take your word for it, since I haven't read either one. I've heard of them, but haven't read either one.

    Extra O: I usually make a beeline to the New Fiction/Non-Ficiton shelves to check out what's what, before wandering around the stacks to see I can find something old that catches my eye. I very rarely go by what people recommend because most people recommend poppy stuff that doesn't appeal to me.

    Last sentence in my comment was not meant to offend. Apologies if anyone feels offended.


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