How do I know a book is going to be good? Well, I can tell you what does not necessarily help:
- A description that sounds good
- A blurb by an author I like
- Reviews that make it sound great
I’m always getting sucked in by these marketing ploys, but even when they are from trustworthy sources, people who usually like the same kinds of books as I do, I’ve been sorely disappointed. And even when I’ve read and enjoyed other books by the same author, I can get a huge letdown.
Almost nothing can reliably tell me whether I will like a book, it seems, except for actually reading it. If after about 50 pages my interest is still not sparked, I now tend to drop the book and move on to other things.
There have been a few times when after pressing myself further my opinion turned around, but that is rare. Usually, if the style or subject matter grates on me from the beginning, or if I feel hopelessly befuddled or bored, it’s a sign that things are not going to get much better — for me, anyway.
What are your go-to ways of telling whether a book is going to be worth your time?