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Booking Through… Friday?

May 14, 2010

Never could get the hang of Thursdays.

Booking Through Thursday asked:

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Are your book choices influenced by friends and family? Do their recommendations carry weight for you? Or do you choose your books solely by what you want to read?

Good question. I see a few different ways to go with the answers.

Being a professional book reviewer means that my Ledger editor is a big influence on what I read. Recently,  I worked my way through a ton of YA books for a summer reading roundup. And I’ve got to put the finishing touches on a roundup of zombie books before my deadline. Would I have read these books on my own? Maybe some of them. But possibly not others. Dean Koontz, for example, is an author I might have kept avoiding, until he showed up in my assigned review queue. Discovered I like him, scary or not.

I do read a number of book blogs and, recently, foodie blogs, so I get a number of recs from there. The World War II history of women pilots I just read was via a rec from Sassymonkey. My crowd of friends is a bookish bunch, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So we do pass books around or go to the Strand together. One friend organizes these wonderful book swaps in the fall.

All this keeps my bookshelves and my library lists full. But beyond that, I’ve always said I read on whims and in phases. Even when I’ve got a review pile, it’s about the order in which I read them. Novels or nonfiction, memoir, foodie lit. Most of the time, it’s because the last thing I read was really immersive and wonderful. I want the next thing I read to grab me from page one again.  If it doesn’t, if it’s a book that takes a while to get into, or doesn’t engage me at all, I feel especially grouchy about it. And might put the book down and go on to something else. I’ve had books sit on my shelf, banished there after they failed to grab me in a few pages, only to pick one up and zoom through it in an afternoon. It’s all about whim and context.

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