How I read what I read by Dru Ann


There’s no rhyme or reason as to the book I pick up to read unless it’s a new debut series. Since I don’t have the added deadline of writing a review, I can take my time in reading and become involved in a book. My goal is to review at least 4 books per month with at least one a traditional mystery since most of the books I read are cozies.

How do I pick which debut series book to read?

It will come down to several factors and the top will be if I know the author and this can be attributed to if I have chatted with them via social media, if I met them at a reader/fan convention, or if I have met them at a book signing. Those connection put the author one up on others as I’m curious as to their writing style and their voice.

Next will be the cover. Yes, I’m very visual and the cover is always the first thing I see when I discover a new-to me book. I love covers that allude to what’s inside and there are several publishers that have some of the best covers out there. One thing I do dislike are covers with too much information on the front. The point is to get me to turn to the back of the book.

Next up is the blurb/synopsis/back of the book. Give it to me straight. Give me that teaser that tells me what are between the pages, yet will spurn me to open up the book and read the first few pages. If at an online retailer, it will be that synopsis that will have me clicking to read a few pages.

Next is my visit to the author’s website and please, please, let it be up-to-date. If I don’t see your new book on your website, that will discourage me to go further. I should also see a little bit more about what the book is about, more than what I find on the back cover.

And because this is how I reach out to authors to do a guest post on my blog, (dru’s book musings), please have your contact information on your blog, particularly your email address. I really do not like filling out those forms.

How do I pick which book to read on a regular basis? Sometimes it depends on my mood.

I have my auto-buy authors that I automatically will put on hold any book that I’m reading to read their book when it comes out. My friends know who this author is. There are other authors and I just realized that half are cozy authors and the other half run the spectrum between suspense, thriller and traditional mystery authors.

If I want to read a thriller, I have my tried and true authors that I’ll read. I’m not one for experimenting with new thriller authors. Although, if I meet them at a reader/fan conference or a book signing, I might read their book.

I’m much more flexible when it comes to suspense books, and again I do have my tried and true authors that I will read. And yes, if I met them at a reader/fan conference, I will give them a chance.

Then there are the mysteries – either traditional or cozies. I read what I like and I’m more willing to try a new-to-me author in this genre, but again, there are some books I will not read due to the subject matter contained within the pages.

Sometimes on that rare occasion, I will pick a book by the “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” method.

I wish I could read all the books that I want to read, but it’s not possible. So I do the best I can to enjoy those books that I do read.

How many books do I read? On average I read 15-20 books per month. That is actually less than I did previously. And according to Pew Research, in 2015 fewer Americans are reading print books (72% vs. 76% in 2014). However, I’m ahead of the game as Americans read, on average, 12 books in the past year.

Anyway, that’s how I pick books to read.

Do you have a similar or different way of choosing which book you are reading?

10 replies
  1. Debra H. Goldstein
    Debra H. Goldstein says:

    Interesting analysis. Thanks for laying out your reasoning. Like you, I am an avid reader with far too many books on my tbr list, but I, too, gravitate to favorite authors and new writers I have met at conferences. Most are mysteries, but I use biographies/autobiographies to cleanse my palate. You?

  2. clpauwels
    clpauwels says:

    Dru was generous enough to host my debut on her blog in late 2014 – thanks again!

    Nice to see your choices are made almost the same way mine are. 😉

  3. Ritter Ames
    Ritter Ames says:

    Loved reading your analysis! Why things are picked up is always so interesting to me. We all have our methods, and mine are similar to yours. However, I have the advantage of also hearing about books on wonderful blogs like yours, and that has changed my reading methods a lot in the last few years. There are new and wonderful authors at every turn now that I never even knew about before. My TBR stack may swamp me someday. 🙂

  4. Jeanie Jackson
    Jeanie Jackson says:

    I no longer have the option of meeting authors in person but I follow much the same pattern, plus, like Ritter Ames, I have you and a couple of other bloggers that I follow. I also often take the recommendation of an author I respect! I had never analyzed my habits; thanks for putting it in words. And thank you for the books and authors you have shared.

  5. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    I am attracted by the cover art as well. Your blog gives me ideas about what books to try, too! I also have interests that pull me to books, such as crochet, knitting, cats and dogs and certain locals. Then again, I will read a book when I know nothing about a theme, but find it interesting. Definitely I value your opinion, Dru.

  6. Linda Rodriguez
    Linda Rodriguez says:

    Dru Ann, it was fascinating to read about the way you make decisions about what books you'll read.

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Dru ann , you choose almost exactly the way I do but do use your remarks and Lisa Kelly to help. I read 185 books plus all of Kathi Daley's book. Mood , cover , knowning the authors work and love when they slip in a genre . Ruth Nixon

  8. Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith
    Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith says:

    Great post, Dru Ann. Nowadays I read mostly books I've purchased from an author who spoke at some event I went to, or books sent me by publishers. Writing my own books takes a lot of my time. Wish I could read more.

  9. Dru
    Dru says:

    thanks guys for letting me know how you pick a book to read. It's good to know that we all have a system.

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