Which book next?

 I’m fascinated by how people select a new book. I have a few obvious ways myself: books by a favorite author or one written by a friend. Of course, this doesn’t explain why the favorite author was read in the first place. I like in-person recommendations. Particularly from book sellers. They know what I’ve written, therefore the recommendation is about as personalized as you can get. I also fall for book covers. Glancing at my shelves it is possible I am attracted by books with blue covers. This isn’t a scientific assessment, but pretty close. Frightening, really. Is that all it takes to close the deal at the sales counter? Still, I wonder how I found my ‘old favorite’ authors. Elizabeth George and Martha Grimes come to mind. I didn’t start with the first in their respective series; however, at some point I joined the ranks of their followers. What I know for certain is that I didn’t learn about them from reviews (on line or in print) or from a friend or family member. I suspect it was a mixture of luck and the prominence of their books on the store shelf. That is one advantage of a series: a nice long row of titles that draw the eye. Reviews are everywhere today – online newspapers, bloggers, store reviews, reader reviews. I like that there is a discussion about books, but I don’t turn to this for my choices. (How do I know? I never read reviews before purchasing a book. Same with movies but more on that later this week.) I suspect that I am a ‘blink’ buyer. There’s something about the book that appeals to me. Title, cover, or basic premise and I’m in, ready to give it a chance. (A publisher once told me that books with the Eiffel Tower on them sell better. I pretended to be shocked and dismayed, not wanting to admit I fall into that trap EVERY TIME.) I rarely, if ever, read a few pages. I skim the jacket copy. Maybe, after decades of buying many books, my blink reflex knows me better than I do. I purchase the equivalent of a few books every week all year. Do I often make a poor selection? No. I may not read the book right away, but when the time is right, I usually have something on hand that suits my mood and interest. Join the MissDemeanors on Facebook and share how you decide. (And does anyone have a recommendation for me? It doesn’t need to have a blue cover!)

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