Friday, September 12, 2008

How to Decide Whether to Read a Book?

How long does it take you to decide whether you want to read a book or not? It takes Tyler Cowen over at MR about five minutes to do. It takes some other people a little longer. I tend to try to read new releases based on their premise and thematic relevance to that on which I am currently work and interested in. I'm also noticing that I'm spending more time on the concluding pages. The 43 folders site lists a few things some being:
"# At the highest level, is this book’s topic based on the typical “zeitgeist” product that gets greenlit by someone who watches lots of golf on TV and who seldom finishes reading the 1,000-word “features” found in in-flight magazines?
# Does the book have one of those irksome, “Everything You Know About Everything is Completely WRONG!” titles?
# Is the author’s large, whitish face the primary feature of the cover?
# Mistral!Does the cover art contain high heels, Mistral, or any reference to either Oprah Winfrey, Joel Osteen, or “Dr. Phil?”
# Can you find the word “secret” anywhere on the cover of the book?
# Is the book published by a company that you’ve never heard of — or, far worse, does that company appear to share the last name of the author or his yacht?
# In the event that this is a book by a “famous” person: if the book were written by someone you’d never heard of, would your interest in the book or its topic wane significantly?"
Read more here.
graph per 43 folder


Anonymous said...

I will pick up a new book if my friends and those whose opinion I trust like/recommend it. I have made some decisions in the past based on packaging alone, though.....

Anonymous said...

Omg! This is too funny: "Does the book have one of those irksome, “Everything You Know About Everything is Completely WRONG!” titles?"
Triple ha!
And so true!!!

Sra said...

First I have to be interested in the subject or premise.

Then I usually skim a few pages, and if the book reads like little substance and lots of fluff, I put it down. Otherwise I give it a chance.

If by about halfway through a book I find that it feels like a chore to keep reading it, I stop reading.

On occasion, I am sufficiently turned off by an egregious grammatical error or misspelling that I stop reading an otherwise enjoyable book. Usually it takes 2-3 such errors before I do so, though, depending on the egregiousness.

Anonymous said...

recommendations do it for me, too.

Anonymous said...

Like Sra, I read on for a bit. If I see a lot of 'mistakes' then, that's it pour moi!