Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. Each week, bloggers come together to build a list on pre-selected topics. If you’d like to join in, check out That Artsy Reader Girl’s post for more info!
This weeks topic: things that make me pick up a book. While we’re all guilty of judging a book by its cover, we also all have different things we look for in books. I’m excited to see what everyone’s thoughts are!
Top Ten Things That Make Me Pick Up A Book
1. diversity on the cover
There’s nothing that gets me to pick up a book and read the blurb like a gorgeous cover with obvious diversity. I love seeing POC on the cover, but I’ve also felt blessed to see so many queer couples on the covers of YA books lately. (I’m thinking specifically of The Music of What Happens, which is our next pick for my book club with friends.)
2. walking past a book that’s face out at work
Since I started working in a bookstore, I’ve developed this weird almost photographic memory of where books are physically on the shelves. There are certain books that I’ve walked past enough times on my way to the breakroom that I finally just get curious. If the cover has a pop of color, gorgeous artwork, or an intriguing title, I’ll probably pick it up when I’m avoiding doing real work, just to see what it’s all about.
I think we’re all guilty of scrolling through NetGalley, even when we’ve got a million other books and ARCs to read. Even when I get rejected for a digital ARC, I definitely add to my digital TBR through books I see on Netgalley.
4. Goodreads recommendations
Goodreads is a dangerous place for me. Not only do I see what everyone else is reading (and what they’re thinking as they’re reading), but every time I click on a book there’s that sidebar that suggests similar books. I’ve added waaaay too many books to my TBR this way.
5. my Dad
My dad is a retired electrical engineer who has oddly great taste in literature. For every book I thrust on him to read, he’s got an idea of something completely outside my normal zone of reading. For instance, he’s the one who encouraged me to try Louise Penny’s mystery books and I’m so glad I did!
6. my Aunt Linda
I really am blessed with bookish family members. Throughout my life, my dad’s sister has encouraged my love of reading. She was actually the first person I ever knew to get an e-reader when kindles first came out! Last Christmas, she bought me a kindle fire that’s logged into her amazon account so that I have access to all the books she has in her cloud. As much as part of me hates supporting the Big A, I can’t turn down free books! I’ve discovered a lot of great books this way.
7. my friends IRL
I recently read The City of Brass, which I’d heard about/seen around before. It was on my vague radar, but it was a good friend IRL who convinced me to finally check it out. I also have a small book club with a few friends from work that’s slowly growing; our goal is to read one queer book a month and talk about it, and it’s been really fun to take turns recommending books for the next meeting.
8. diversity in the blurb
One of the things I love about the book community is how it’s made publishing more conscious of not only including diverse books in their lineup, but also making sure that readers can recognize a diverse book when they pick one up. Nothing makes me happier than reading a blurb where it’s clear that the main characters are diverse (or even just potentially diverse!). Generally, if it’s a diverse book, I’ll probably add it to my TBR, but I’m a lot pickier with non-diverse books.
9. is it queer though?
Same thing, really: if it’s queer, I’ll probably read it. This probably stems from the fact that I literally didn’t acknowledge myself as bi until I was in my 20s because I’d never seen myself represented in books. I love that there are so many books with queer rep for teens and adults alike.
10. blogger reviews!!
This is really the number one reason I will purchase a book. Despite getting a hefty discount, I spend way too much of my paycheck on books, so I’m trying to become pickier about what I actually buy. I seek out reviews from people I trust, especially if the reviewer is #OwnVoices for the rep in the book.
The more time I spend blog hopping, too, the more I discover bloggers with similar taste to my own. If Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books recommends something, I will not only buy said book, but probably flail about it until I die. I also follow Fadwa @ Word Wonders religiously – her reviews are golden and everything she writes has such a distinctive voice. When it comes to bi rep and mental health, I trust Wendy @ what the log more than anyone else.
Obviously there are so many more bloggers I could mention here who’ve recommended books I’ve fallen in love with. I owe this community so much: for encouraging me to read more diversely; for inspiring me to get out of my comfort zone when it comes to genre; for reminding me that books are powerful.
What makes you pick up a book? Do you judge books by their covers, or do you wait to read the blurb? Do you judge books by their first chapter? Let me know what you think!