What makes you pick up a book? Is it the cover? A recommendation? Or do you pick up a random one and give it a shot?
Books have become so much more than just the writing itself. Once you’ve started it, that’s all that matters, but before that there are so many other considerations that take place, whether we’re aware of it or not.
People always say, in marketing and advertising, that you often have to see something 7 times before you think about buying into it. Have you perhaps unconsciously bought a book because you’ve seen it so many times it just makes sense to give it a go? Or maybe you are more easily convinced, by simply a cover or a friend’s recommendation.
I’d like to share my thoughts on the book buying process and what leads me to eventually pick up a book – perhaps some of you can relate!
How Beautiful Is The Book?
If I said I’d never bought a book just because I loved the cover, I’d be lying…
There are some really well designed book covers out there, and the publishers know exactly what they’re doing – drawing in those who appreciate the visual and aesthetic side of reading. Because having something that reads well and looks good on your bookshelf is the best of both worlds, right? The problem is, they sometimes aren’t a very good read at all…
I’ve fallen into this trap many times before, and I still fall into it time and time again. The irony is that I never end up keeping the book even if it does have a beautiful cover, because what’s the point if I’m not going to read it again?
4 Star Rating? Let’s do it!
If you’re also an avid reader, you’ve likely got Goodreads, and you’ve also likely spend hours scrolling through, exploring books, sorting through ratings and reviews. I definitely have.
However, sometimes I place a little too much trust in Goodreads ratings. I see a rare 4 star rating and I think, this has to be a good book. And it is a good book, for majority of people. But sometimes it’s easy to forget that you won’t necessarily fall into that majority too!
There aren’t many 4 star books I’ve read and felt hugely disappointed, but I have read a couple and thought: I’m not sure I really understand what everyone else is seeing here. But that’s the beauty of art – we all see something different in it. If anything, we look for parts of ourselves within it. And it’s natural to not feel connected to every book, in the same way that we wouldn’t feel connected to every person we meet either.
“You HAVE To Read This”
We’ve all had the classic recommendation from a friend or family member, or maybe even from a stranger, where they claim they have the perfect book for you. Do you believe them? Can you trust their book taste? Is it worth the shot or will it just lead to an awkward conversation of “It was good, buuuut…”
I never know whether to follow up on recommendations, so often I head back to good old Goodreads and see what everyone else is saying about it too. The more opinions, the better, right?
However, I think every now and again it’s good to step outside of your comfort zone and try a completely different book to your usual read. I can’t say I’ve had much success with this yet (*cough cough* horror that wasn’t scary *cough cough* confusing sci-fi that made no sense). But, I’m still willing to give it a shot.
Do you relate to any of the above?
Why do you think the reality of a book is often so different to the initial expectation?
I’d love to know what you think below.