Reading is both a pursuit of entertainment and education. Some fiction bridges the gap to do both, and some nonfiction manages it as well. Everyone has their own tastes, and there are more books available than any person would ever have the time to read! How do you decide what to pick up next?

Book Cover Judge

Book covers are designed to catch your eye and scream, “You want to read this!” Some do their job very well! No shame in finding a new read this way. A good cover should show at-a-glance information on the book’s genre, target audience, tone, and one or two main points of content. Basically, it’s a visual elevator pitch. Add to that picture a good synopsis, a few praising quotes from reputable sources, a catchy title and that will likely be your next best read!

Freebie Flyer

Readers on a budget know the quality of a book doesn’t depend on its price tag. Words on a page never expire either, so why blow the book budget before that can’t-miss-it new release by your favorite author next month? Easy solution, cruise the freebie shelves, promotional give-away pages, and used bookstores!

Budget savvy readers hone a keen eye for diamonds in the rough and gems in the junk pile. Of course, the bindings won’t always match on the shelf, and a few may have marks in them from previous owners, but the writing is exactly the same! A great deal on that book and it’s jumped to the front of the book queue.

Social Butterfly

Book clubs, personal recommendations, and social reading sites will build the To Be Read (TBR) list to an unreasonable length in no time. If you hear the title or author mentioned enough to remember them, then they must be good!

The best part of reading with friends is you will always have someone reading what you are. All those feels built up after book one of a series? Don’t you worry. Someone else is guaranteed to be just as desperate to know what happens to your favorite character couple. Who knows? Maybe you two will get together and debate the possibilities until the next one comes out!

Page Hoarder

For some, finding their next read is more a matter of cleaning house than visiting a book store. These readers stockpile any material with potential so their TBR well will never run dry. These are also the friends to have when looking for loaner books (take note, Freebie Flyers!) as they have extensive personal libraries at varying levels of organization.

As they’ve already decided to bring each of those books into their collection, they’re sure whatever they pick up from the pile will be something they’ll like. Of course, it’s a terrible ordeal to move their collection, and to track those loans they’ve made, but at least they’ll never be without reading material!

Reader with a Cause

These readers know, more than most, you are what you read! Their causes may vary, but you can bet they search for their next book with specifics in mind. Some read exclusively works published by small presses or independent authors (support the Indie cause!). Others’ reading expresses their politics, like reading only work by female authors, prominent novels with Native American themes, or fiction with political commentary (agreeing or disagreeing with their own views).

While many do this unconsciously, following personal preference and taste (pursuing their happiness, as is their right), the strong Reader with a Cause purchases their next read with the hope their money, online reviews, and word of mouth publicity will help others choose to do the same. Power to the people! You know, all that jazz.

Self-Teacher

Also a group who make their selections with a great deal of care are the Self-Teachers. They have pages to turn and things to learn! Their TBR lists often look like a school assignment or list of courses. Not all of them have to be nonfiction. No, these smart cookies know just as much can be learned from a quality work of fiction as from a textbook!

The Self-Teachers can be obsessive about a single topic, or have a long list of interests to be explored. Either way, the authors they read had better know their stuff! Reading time is precious, and so are the select volumes that earn an enduring slot on their packed shelves. New reads are an opportunity rarely squandered through an impulsive decision.

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