Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How to find reading

Discussions of how one finds one's reading have been circulating lately, through Jill and JenClair and Chris and Danielle and Quixotic Miss. To add my two cents, here are my methods.

I find many books like everyone else, through personal recommendation. This has been increased greatly by other bloggers' suggestions; I find that many of the books I've read over the past year are those that have been mentioned on one or more of the blogs I regularly read. I get some recommendations from coworkers and friends, but many of my real life friends aren't big readers, so I am very grateful for the lit blogging community!

I read reviews in newspapers and in professional (library) journals, and see prepublication information in catalogues. Anything which looks appealing goes into my TBR notebook which I have to keep at work for just this reason!

Also, when new books appear in my office each week, a few get added to my TBR notebook for later consideration. This weekly browsing could suffice for reading material ad infinitum, but I also read serendipitously. If I'm reading something now which mentions another author or title, I may seek that one out. If I really enjoy a novel, I might go and look for everything that author has written. If I hear a great interview, I may try out a new author. And of course I also browse my husband's enormous and ever growing collection of classics and lesser known 19th century writers. I am never at a loss to find something to read, though even so it is still sometimes a bit difficult to match book to mood!

And as Chris has put it, there are always those "chocolate" authors who I'll read without having to know anything about their new book in advance. For me, some of those authors are Earlene Fowler (mystery), Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz (romance), or Patricia McKillip(fantasy). I love their stuff and it is the perfect escapist read.

The last way is pure chance encounter. I wander by bookstores now and again, new and used, and look over the bargain books. If something appeals, by summary or even by cover, I've been known to pick it up, even though it's completely unknown to me. I'm always one for a bargain!
Any of these methods may come into play; as long as I never run out of potential reading material I'm happy.


  1. Great post - enjoyed reading!

    I really need to try something by Patricia McKillip, I keep hearing about her books and yet have never actually got round to reading one.

  2. I enjoyed the post, too, as I have enjoyed most of the posts about finding reading material. I don't expect to ever run out of interesting books!

  3. I love the idea of a TBR notebook. I do something similar with my Amazon wishlist. I rarely buy from Amazon, but I use it as a list of books I want to read. If I find an author I really like, I tend to do the same, I go out and read everything by them! It's always nice to discover a new talented author. Working in a library must be great. It's a profession I've never really considered and I have no idea why!

  4. Quixotic - My favourite McKillip is one of her older ones, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, perhaps because it was one of my first introductions to fantasy as a kid. I still love it, though!

    JenClair - yes, I agree that running out most likely isn't the problem; perhaps keeping up?

    Chris - my TBR notebook is the only way I can keep track of all the great books I see. Working in a library is wonderful for me; it means I never stray far from The Source. There's a heck of a lot more to library work than books, though, and those are the parts I'm not as fond of. :)

  5. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed--there are so many good books, so many choices, and constantly new ones coming out. Does that stop me from looking though? Umm. No.

  6. Danielle - so right! It's kind of a Sisyphean task keeping up with publishing, though not quite as thankless as that - I hope!

  7. I found the description of the medieval kitchen in McKillip's Book of Atrix Wolfe to be outstanding. I heartily recommend it.

    Melanie, I tagged you for the eight random things meme. I hope you'll find time to play along.

  8. Whenever I see something I want to read, I add it to my Amazon wishlist. If I wrote it down, I'd lose it! And other bloggers' recommendations are invaluable; I just ordered Doctor Glas which you recommended to me a while ago!

  9. Traveller - hope you'll find Doctor Glas a good read; I think it's a classic.


Thanks for stopping by ~ I always enjoy hearing your comments so please feel free to leave some!