finding stuff

Serendipity. A word for stumbling upon interesting things at the right time. Also makers of some yummy ice-cream.

How do you find interesting books?

It seems I’ve spent most of my life ignoring obvious sources of reading recommendations eg book reviews in newspapers or even entire magazines devoted to books. Though it’s my favourite, favourite pastime, my approach to finding new books has always been somewhat casual and haphazard. Oddly, I’m very fond of the browse “oh look, shiny!” approach and not so much read the review and seek out specific titles. I’ve never even asked a librarian for suggestions…though I am a librarian myself.

I tend to find a spot and then read it to within an inch of its life. Masses of Enid Blyton and Hardy Boys while growing up, moving from there into SF, fantasy and such; occasionally diverging into other fields. I have been aware in recent years that I’ve been reading the book section in the weekend SMH though mostly I have a quick browse through of new releases and largely ignore the actual reviews. Occasionally I’ll read a review of a travel book that strikes a chord and rush out and buy it.

Mostly though, I find out about books through browsing shelves, casual shininess, and of course word of mouth. For ebooks it’s been much the same. Admittedly, I’ve been doing increasingly more and more print buying online and it seems an obvious progression from there into ebooks ie most of my cues are online now regardless of whether I’m seeking e or p. Twitter has long been my conversational hub for finding out about things; blog postings are another source and occasional mentions here and there. I still browse physical bookshops too and occasionally purchase.

Mostly I find what I like then glance through communities around what I like, relying on recommendations from booksellers, which in turn potentially send me down unexpected paths. Over the years, I’ve found specialist publishers that suit my taste: some for p and some for e.

My “to be read pile” is sufficiently huge that needing to find the next book is rarely hard…yet I still look for the next shiny thing. Again oddly, I don’t seem to have several books on the go like I used to; I tend to start one book and want to keep with it til I finish. This may be a residue from my reading of the Malazan series which required close, intense reading. Such an approach works against print for me in that I don’t want to take my nice print editions on the bus on a rainy day.

I think I also need to find the right sort of comfy chair for reading at home. The chairs I have at the moment aren’t quite right…though they are worn out (not in a good way).

1 thought on “finding stuff

  1. I have the same issue with my to-read pile…it never seems to shrink, in fact I’ve found that it has gotten much bigger in the past year, I can’t say ‘no’ to the shininess! Also if you are a fan of Ikea I have found that the Poang chair is an excellent reading chair (sometimes a little too comfortable, I have been known to fall asleep on it.)

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