How Do YOU Pick the Books You Read or Buy?

Hello bookish friends,
There are A LOT of books out there and I'm always curious how a person picks what books they read, which got me thinking how I pick the books I read. I primarily read fiction, and within that vast class of literature I gravitate towards young adult, romance novels and these days new adult, with the occasional middle grade or adult fiction.

But even within these genres of fiction there are a lot of choices. So, how does a book pique my interest when I'm browsing Amazon or at a bookstore? What makes me buy a particular book and not another? How do I pick the next book I read or buy?

Well... these:

1. Romance
I'm a big ol' romantic so, first and foremost, any book I read has to have a romance. If I know it'll end "happily ever after" then all the better. That's why I love reading romance novels--no matter how bumpy the road gets for the main characters I'm guaranteed an HEA.

However, the romance element does NOT have to be the main focus or a huge part of the story but there's got to be at least some kind of romantic tension in there somewhere (this is especially true in YA).

The exception to this "rule" are middle grade novels.

2. I have "buzz" words or phrases I look for.
Here are some that comes to mind: boarding school, secrets, clues, deadly game, sisters, road trip or going on a journey, epic, New York, set in a European country, a cute next door neighbor, best friend's older brother, marriage of convenience, friends to lovers, set in the South, time travel, space, curse (in relation to magic), Russia, hunt, feuding families, kingdoms, among others...

3. Favorite authors or tried and true authors (I've read and enjoyed 3 or more books by these authors and I can rely on them to deliver). 
I auto-buy Julie James, Jill Shalvis, Nalini Singh and Kristan Higgins. I don't really auto-buy any YA authors but I know I can rely on Melina Marchetta, Sarah Beth Durst, Gayle Forman, Miranda Kenneally and Kody Keplinger to write books I'm 85% sure I'll enjoy.

4. I'm a sucker for pretty covers.
I like 'em with pretty dresses, fancy fonts, quirky and/or romantic.
5. Books that are getting plenty of great reviews from bloggers.
I have to see for myself!

Case in point: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. I kept seeing seeing it around and MANY bloggers were raving about it. I read it, I didn't love it but I liked it and glad I gave it a chance.

6. Book recommendations from bloggers or reviewers I trust, or ones who share similar tastes in books as me.
Sometimes I run across a book that I don't think I'll enjoy but if I read a trusted blogger's review and they give it high praise, then I'll take a chance and get it.

7. Cheap e-books.
It's hard to resist .99 cents, especially if combined with reasons #1-6.

These are my main reasons for picking up a particular book and it's usually a combination of two or more reasons.

What about you guys? How do YOU pick the next book you read or buy?

Have a great 3-day weekend everyone! May your long weekend be filled with excellent books. :)

Happy reading,

P.S. If you're curious, here's a post where I list my book turn offs.


  1. I'm such a sucker for pretty covers :) And if I see a book getting a lot of great reviews from my 'go to' blogs then I will most likely pick it up!

    Christy @ Christy's Book

  2. authors, covers, recommendations. Romance, Paranormal, Cozy Mysteries, Thriller/Suspense/spy

    A pretty cover will have me picking up a book but it still has to sound good.

    I have to ask myself "is this a reader recommendation" before trusting it . . . don't get me started on Twilight

    I too have some go to authors but even then I have very few that are auto-buys now.

    cheap ebooks. O.M.G. cheap or free, I'll never get all of these read!

  3. i agree. the pretty cover will catch my attention but if it doesn't have any romance or my buzz words, it's unlikely that i will buy it.

    thank you for commenting :)

  4. me too! sometimes even if a book doesn't have a romance or any of my buzz words but it's being highly praised by my go-to blogs then i'll get it too.

    thank you for commenting :)

  5. We have a lot of the same buzz words! Love boarding schools, a cute next door neighbor, best friend's older brother, marriage of convenience, friends to lovers and more!

    Mainly I just kinda go with what seems interesting. I do read reviews but sometimes I don't like knowing much about books before I read them. Sometimes if I think a book sounds interesting I'll just check ratings on reviews. Sometimes I just pick random books by covers or premise or title. I do have authors I look out for, too. But I am kind of just all over the place!

  6. i agree. sometimes the reading experience is better when you don't know much about the book (like all our yesterdays by cristin terrill)... some reviews give away a lot of the plot. if a publisher's description seems vague for a reason i usually try not to read too many reviews but i'd look at the average rating too to gauge how readers are responding to the book.


Thank you so much to stopping by today and taking the time to comment.