OK, you donít get much time to read novels anymore. You used to but that was another life. Before you could pick up something that appealed and because you read so much, you werenít too disappointed if it didnít grab you like you thought it would. Things have changed. Now when you pick up a novel to read it has to get you in quickly or it will collect dust on your bedside table. There are too many other things demanding your attentionÖlike sleep!
And when you go to bookshop sometimes its hard not to be overwhelmed by sheer number of books on offer, especially with big mega stores becoming norm. So what to do?
Iíve put together a checklist that with a little bit of preparation can help you wade through sea of books and help you pick a surefire winner: a novel that will captivate YOU.
1. The best place to start is to look out in magazines, newspapers and online for book reviews Ė see what is being billed as latest must read. Even if you donít have time to read whole review, jot down title and author as one to look out for.
2. Ask friends for best book they have read in last few months or this year or last few years if like you they really are struggling with whole when-am-I-going-to-find-time-to-read-a-novel?-thing. Donít just ask them what book was their favourite; ask them why they liked it. Was it an unusual story, was pace so fast they needed a crash helmet, did it have edge of seat suspense, did it remind them of growing up? You want to know what exactly made it a great read for them. This will help you to refine your search, especially if they say they liked quirky twist in ending and you donít do quirky. Just because youíre close friends doesnít automatically mean you like same books.
3. Ask people behind counter at your favourite bookshop what they enjoyed reading and get them to take you to it or give you a specific reference number so you can find it easily yourself.
4. When you get book in your hands look at cover. Is it a catchy title? Does cover appeal to you? Despite old saying about not judging book covers, publishers put a lot of time and effort into creating a captivating cover and title. Does it work for you?
5. Turn it over and read back. Does it still appeal? Do you only like reading modern books and this is set in 1800s? Itís important to be fairly ruthless at this stage. If premise for story doesnít leave you wanting more, chances are writing probably wonít either.