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How do you decide what books to read?

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posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 09:26 PM
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I have a fail-safe method for determining what books to read:

I read the one-star reviews on amazon.com first.

The one-star reviews are where you find the unadulterated truth in my experience. If a book doesn't have any one-star reviews (or a relative handful), that's generally a sign of excellence. I go to the two-star reviews first at that point, and so on.

Why do I rely on the one-star reviews so much?

I can often tell by the criticisms given if the book is even worth considering. Generally, one-star reviewers give well-reasoned arguments for their positions. They usually don't just make a claim such as "this book isn't scientific." Specific examples and logical reasoning are commonly given to support assertions, routinely multiple times in the same review. You can read dozens of five-star reviews without running across that even once in my experience.

If you've got enough one-star reviews that are all like that, I don't even need to look at the book.

As a side note, I sometimes read one-star reviews for fun. A good example of that is reading one-star reviews for my favorite films. It's a way of finding flaws that I hadn't noticed before. It frequently forces me to see things in a new way.




posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 09:28 PM
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a reply to: Profusion

I don't read reviews. I peruse a bookshop; pick up books that attract my eye... might be the cover, might be the title, or even the name of the author. I read the blurb, "Hmmm that sounds interesting..." and then I buy it. Deciding for myself if I like it or not after I've read it and not before.

Other peoples opinions matter not.


edit on 1 8 2016 by kaelci because: spelling



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 09:32 PM
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Our village library has a cart outside with free books and mags.

Someone always donates Science Fiction and poetry paperbacks.....I usually select from that offering.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 09:35 PM
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a reply to: Profusion

An interesting take on the selection process.

Of course, one of my books ended up with a comment that went like, 'I don't like fantasy and I don't like Sci-Fi. The book was rubbish.'

You have to wonder at the direction the gene pool takes sometimes.

P



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 09:36 PM
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I just read whatever Oprah says to.




posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 09:40 PM
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I go by authors and reviews. I have many preferred authors, but even if I've never heard of them, I read the reviews and go from there. Usually, on Amazon, you can get a few chapters free. I do that quite a bit, Saves me time and money. I like my tablet. I can carry hundreds of books with me when I travel, Drs visit, etc, but I honestly prefer just good 'ol paper books. 3 of my living room walls are top to bottom shelves, full of books, fossils and gemstones.
And in the hallway.
And my bedroom.
There's even a couple of fossils on a shelf in the bathroom.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 09:42 PM
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originally posted by: kaelci
Other peoples opinions matter not.


I only read non-fiction. I don't consider opinions either. I'm talking about facts such as:

Does this book deliver on its promises?

Is this book based on a solid foundation (scientific, theoretical, etc.)?

Is this book substantial or is it full of fluff?

These are factual matters that can be determined from reviews in my experience.

By the way, you wrote the best one-liner I've ever read on this forum in the Why do people like to read novels? thread:

"Reading isn't for everyone."

I've thought of that several times since, and it makes me laugh every time.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 09:43 PM
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a reply to: Profusion

Just read everything anyways...its good for you.
Going a a bit off topic here but my fav book is "Mans Search For Meaning"



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 09:49 PM
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a reply to: Profusion

Not sure if that's a good thing or not...
You said that "Novel is synonymous with boring in my mind" and I responded as appropriately as I could manage.

Either way!!


We enjoy what we enjoy.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 10:00 PM
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a reply to: kaelci

I thought it was an awesome post.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 10:01 PM
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a reply to: Profusion

Depends on what I feel like reading: If it's free, then I generally will take it. One of the things that I like to do is sometimes I'll make an "impulse buy". I go into a bookstore, and scan the shelves for something interesting. Some of the books I come home with can be quite unusual: The latest impulse was a tiny little book about weather folklore of the United States; there is a chapter for most major cities and the folklore that comes out of them.

One of these days, I'd love to explore the rare book section over at John King's Bookstore - supposedly, there's the main warehouse, and then there's another warehouse behind it with the rare and hard to find books


-fossilera



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 10:06 PM
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a reply to: Profusion

I read the description on the insert and if it sounds interesting, I open the book straight down the center and read a page. If it's total crap I'll know it within the first paragraph. I read in excess of 1100 words a minute, so I can screen an entire bookshelf in very little time. And if I happen to still end up with a crap book, I will not finish it nor will I read anything else by the same author.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 10:16 PM
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by word of mouth recommendations i typically find authors i like. from there i just start mowing through their works one at a time.

when i finish an authors work, i move on to the next. Sometimes ill look someone up from a reference made to them. I don't often read things from the prior 60 years, so i don't have much "keeping up" to do. The last author i read while they still actively wrote was Piers Anthony. But i stopped reading his stuff when I gave up on fiction.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 10:43 PM
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a reply to: Profusion

the 1 star raters are usually the biggest groups of whiners on the planet that often dont even understand what they are purchasing.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 12:01 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

If the name of the author is Brandon Sanderson, that book is mine.😃

Unfortunately, the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett has left a chasm in my literary diet.

My kindle books are mostly factual volumes dealing with atheism.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 12:39 AM
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My reading material recently has sprung out from movies I liked.

In the past month, I've worked through the Da Vinci Code Series, the Hunger Games and I'm just starting the Maze Runner Series.

I've spent more money on books in the last few weeks, than I have in 30 years.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 12:43 AM
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a reply to: tigertatzen

Is that a typo? 1100 words a minute? I'd struggle to absorb a tenth of that effectively in 60 seconds. 1100?



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 12:54 AM
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If the subject-matter is promising, I will read the first paragraph.

If the writing is good, I will read the book.


edit on 2/8/16 by Astyanax because: never mind.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 01:58 AM
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a reply to: Profusion
I like to read the books that the authors that I like cites or recommend, but lately I've been re-reading books I've read 5, 10 or more years ago. Took Jorge Luis Borges advice:

"I have tried more to re-read than to read, I believe that re-reading is more important than reading, except that to re-read one needs to have read."



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 02:24 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

Word of mouth, to a point. I have some authors I prefer, and tend to get most of their books. For new stuff, if it looks interesting, for a novel, I'll buy it. For non-fiction, the subject matter is the first thing, of course, and then how well it's written, and how reliable the author seems to be. Reviews online can help, as well.




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