Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Books and Bunnies

This morning I was looking at the books on my to-be-read shelf*. I've touched on this briefly before, but it's been a while.

Some of these books are new. There's one by David Baldacci hiding that you can't see here. Some have been on this shelf for years. Why is that?

Obviously I want to read them, but so far I haven't.

Yet I continue to purchase other books - and read some of them first - before touching others that have had a longer shelf life.

As writers, we continually strive to choose the best titles for our projects. Yet the title and cover are ultimately decided by the publisher with little or no input from us.

What makes us, as readers, choose one book over another to read on any given day?

Is it title? Cover? Knowing the type of book or style of writing of a particular author? What makes me choose Lisa Scottoline to read one day and pass over her for James Lee Burke on another?

I don't have a ready answer. It's something I think about each time I choose a new book. Or crowd others onto this shelf.

There's an empty space or two there now. Time for a visit to the book store.

*No dust bunnies were harmed in the shooting of this photograph.

25 comments:

Mason Canyon said...

I think my mood has a lot to do with my reading. I'm forever adding new books when I still have so many "older" ones that I want and need to read. Book covers do have some to do with it. They catch my eye and make me want to buy them and some times I'm tempted to read the book because of the cover. There's just so many good books to read and so little time to read in.

Glad you spared the dust bunnies. It's almost Easter you know. :)

Joanne said...

Some books seem even more appropriate to winter reading versus summer reading, based on title and cover alone. So it varies. But I do like to change it up every now and then. If I'm on a fiction kick, I'll eventually switch over to a memoir or two for a change of pace, inspiration.

Terry Odell said...

Gee, I didn't notice any of my books on your shelf, just in case you're looking for suggestions.

I tend to read in cycles. If I'm reading a series, or found a new author, I'll read everything in the back list.

If a book is a 'tough read' for whatever reason, I'll try something totally different next.

And sometimes, I put off reading a book until my schedule will allow me to savor it.

KarenG said...

Hahaha, I'm with Terry. I know you'd enjoy my novel! And I can get you a special deal lol. Ooo, I love to look at books on a shelf, and stacked up on a table, and laying around the living room! I love books!

Carol Kilgore said...

Mason - Right about the bunnies :)

Joanne - You might have hit on something about the time of year. I'm going to think about that.

Terry - That's because these are books I havent's read yet :)

Terry Odell said...

LOL, Carol. I figure my books are so hard to find, nobody's read them. If you have, I'm flattered. :-)

Ann Elle Altman said...

Three reasons I pick up a book:

1) I love the author
2) I love the cover - even if I don't know the author
3) I read a really great review of the book.

ann

Helen Ginger said...

I am so glad about the dust bunnies. I take good care of mine and delight in watching them grow and multiply.

We are alike in that I often pass over the unread books on my shelf and go for a book whose cover blurb sounds good or a favorite author's new book or a book that fits my mood at the time.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I find my mood on a certain day has a lot to do with the book I select to read. I’ve started a book and then put it back on the shelf without finishing only to pick it up later. Often, I can’t figure out why I put it down in the first place.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I usually keep up with my reading and at the moment possess the urge to go buy a dozen new books.

And I dig detailed cover art, so that always draws me to a book first.

Carol Kilgore said...

Karen - I love books, too. This shelf is one of those ladder things behind my desk. I have full shelves of books I still have after reading in the family room. And upstairs. And atop a file cabinet next to the shelf in the photo.

Terry - Small press is like that. Think online.

Ann Elle - Those are the reasons I'll buy a book. But unless I buy it on the day I'm ready to read it, it goes on the shelf first. I felt great about all these when I bought them.

Helen - Exactly. And don't you love seeing all the new dust bunny babies every morning :)

Jane - One of the books on my shelf is like that. I won't say which one. But it isn't the Baldacci one.

Southpaw said...

I think we have to struggle with title so we can entice agents and publishers and friends and family.

Gads, my book pile is growing too. This is the first pile I've had in a long time too. You make me want to get organized.

Southpaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elspeth Antonelli said...

I don't have a shelf - I have the to-be-read books scattered throughout the house. Then there are the books I pick up from the library - clearly, I have issues.

I can't read too many thick monsters in a row. I also need to vary the themes - I'll take a comedy to break up serious historicals.

I choose to view this as charmingly eclectic.

Elana Johnson said...

You're so much more organized that me! My books are in a teetering stack on my kitchen table. Why do I choose one over the other? I honestly don't know. Favorite author, maybe? But for debuts, that doesn't work. Maybe it's the buzz/hype on the internet. I know that's where I get a lot of my reading list from.

I just know when I pick up a book, I'm picking up a real treat. So I try to do it often.

Carol Kilgore said...

Alex - Good for you keeping up with your reading. I don't think I've done that since I was in school and all my books came from the library. Thanks for commenting.

Southpaw - True about the title. You'll notice I cropped out the other shelves.

Elspeth - I try to vary more by favorite authors and new-to-me authors. But sometimes by genre.

Elana - I think of books as treats, too. I like to enjoy them in my own time. You'd be much less impressed with my organizational skills if you saw my desk top. Or my computer files.

Daring - Maybe mood for me. Hmmm. Lots to think about here.

Aubrie said...

I hate to say it, but the cover does catch my attention. Also, if it's an author that I like, that has a big factor in determining if I buy their book. The book has to be about something that interests me as well. Good topic!

Laura Eno said...

I'm so glad the dust bunnies survived!
I'm attracted to the cover first, then the blurb on the back. Sometimes a book will sit on the shelf because whatever lured me to buy it in the first place was only a temorary interest that I got over before reading it.

Conda V. Douglas said...

Love the last line--and I get nervous if I don't have stacks of books to read, even if I have no time to read them.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I think sometimes I remember that I started the book and put it down...that it wasn't holding my interest or wasn't what I was looking for at the time. It can mess me up and keep me from picking it back up again later!

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Carol Kilgore said...

Aubrie - The cover influences my buying decision. If it's not well done, my thought is no one cared enough about the book to make sure the cover worked.

Laura - Me, too, about the dust bunnies. These books are all my fiction R&R books.

Conda - I always have at least one book I'm in the process of reading.

Elizabeth - That's exactly why one of these books is still on my shelf.

kimberlyloomis said...

I can't even begin to explain what makes me decide upon grabbing a book from the library/store instead of one of the 20 or so in my collection slated as "to be read". My nearest guess is those others, while spines have yet to be cracked, feel like family - where as the other ones are more like the guests I want to play host to for a bit. After a while I'll settle back with family. Cover art almost never entices me to read a book, although possibly purchase one - but not usually.

Carol Kilgore said...

Oops, I almost missed this. Maybe that's it. They've sat on the shelf so long I feel as if I've read them even though I haven't.

Not enough hours! said...

I wish I knew why I re-read some books, but just cant' get myself to start on some other books that I know I want to read.
Guess it has to do with my mood- some books I pick up because I feel like reading them in the bookstore, but by the time I actually get down to reading it, I no longer feel the urge to. So off they go to Mt. TBR, where the dust bunnies breed.

~ Rayna

Carol Kilgore said...

That's what happens with me, too, Rayna. Thanks for commenting.