Friday, February 3, 2012

TGIF: Book Appeal

This week's TGIF question from GReads is on book appeal.

When you're browsing goodreads, the library, or another blogger's reviews, what grabs your attention to make you want to read it?

Ah, the question of appeal. It's pretty much impossible to answer, but I'll give it a try:

1. Personal recommendations from readers I trust. Buzz and/or hype doesn't do much for me, but when I fellow reader, especially one who knows me and whose opinion I trust, tells me I'll probably like a book, I pay attention. If not for Khy relentlessly recommending Anna and the French Kiss to me, I probably never would have given it a chance. Cindy Pon told me I'd like Hannah Moskowitz's first novel, Break, and she was so, so right. Quite a few people have recommended Melina Marchetta's contemporary novels to me and though I haven't yet read Jellicoe Road, it's due to them that I was so eager to read The Piper's Son for the Cybils and that I now have Saving Francesca on my bookshelf.

2. Cover. I know this is incredibly superficial and covers half the time have nothing to do with the story inside, but I can't help it: I'm so very influenced by covers. So much so that even if I read and hate a book, if it has a stunning cover I'll still want to reread it in case, by some miracle, the second read has me loving it. Covers played a huge role in me picking up both The Summer I Turned Pretty and The Kid Table. Their summaries helped, but it was the cover that really did it.

3. Any mention of my favorite topics. I think every reader has favorite/"pet" topics that they just love reading about. I have quite a few, but the ones that spring to mind right now are sisters (Imaginary Girls), friendship troubles (Rival), and complicated love stories that may or may not be romances (Vaclav & Lena).


  1. I'm taking a readers' advisory class this semester, and we're talking a lot about appeal and how it influences reader decisions. This post is totally relevant to our discussion, and your observations about what draws you to a book are particularly astute.

    You're not alone in being drawn in by a cover. We talked about this in class a lot this week: books shouldn't be judged by their covers, but they are. All the time. What's interesting to look at is how covers have changed over the years to reflect reader preference.

    1. Thank you. Another thing I forgot to mention in the post is author blurbs... while they won't be the sole factor in me picking up a book, if it looks interesting or I'm on the fence a blurb by one of my favorite authors usually pushes me over the edge. That said, there's at least one author whose books I love love love, but whose blurbs/recommended books are almost always ones I DO NOT LIKE, which is odd.

  2. The Kid Table's cover is what made me grab a copy of it as well. It evoked memories.

    Sometimes, the title of the book is what does it for me, like Beautiful Creatures or The Girl of Fire and Thorns, both grab my curiosity.