Thursday, January 12, 2017

Choosing A Book To Read

If you're a reader, and all writers should be, you can easily get lost in a book like the little girl in the poster. We're whisked away to another time, another land, another situation every time we open a book and begin to read.

We have an ice storm predicted for our area, possibly over a four day period. Most people immediately think they should get to the grocery store before the shelves are wiped clean after shoppers get enough of the necessities for the duration of a storm. But me--I headed to the library yesterday afternoon to make sure I had enough reading material if this storm materializes and is as bad as they are telling us. Even if the power goes out, I can still read during the daytime. And, by the way, I did go to the grocery store when I finished at the library.

At the library, I headed to the New Book section first to see what appealed to me. It occurred to me that I select books to look at based on three things--title, author and genre. I do the same when visiting a bookstore.

There are titles that intrigue me enough to make me pull the book from the shelf and check out the frontispiece to see what the story is about and to read the short review quotes which often appear on the back cover. There are also titles that I skip by. Why? Mostly because there is nothing in them to pique my interest. This is why choosing a title for the book you've written is so very important. Titles are also important for short stories, essays, articles, poetry--just about anything you write. When you spend lots of time on the full piece of writing, don't grab a title out of the air and go with it. Take your time finding the best one.  I've written an article on titles that might be worth reading.

I often choose a book because of an author whose work I have read and liked earlier. Or that author might be one that has been reviewed in the newspaper or Book Page and I've wanted to read something by him/her. I don't just grab the book and go. I look at it in the same way as stated in the paragraph above.

Genre is important to me, and to most readers. I do not read Sci-Fi or Horror or Fantasy or Erotica. When the library sticker on the bottom of the book's spine tells me it is one of these, I move right on the next book. No reason to pull it off the shelf and look into it any further. Most readers have certain kinds of books that they will never read, as well as ones that they are drawn to immediately.

I brought four books home with me and I intend to get lost in at least one, maybe more, during our stormy week-end.

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