Since this is a book blog, I thought I'd get into how I choose the books I read. (After my writing-related blog posts, in case you're wondering).
Originally, before I started hanging out online all the time, I would simply read the back cover blurbs. Most of the time, that worked for me because I have been reading books since I was four years old and my experience has taught me a lot about what I like and what I don't.
Then when I went online, I found many online reviews and although I know that sometimes they are fake, I still think that if you see many positive reviews on many different sites, it has to mean something. Though frankly, it's the bad reviews (not badly written ones of course) that help me the most. If a book get 99 % great reviews and there's just one or two that isn't nearly as positive, that might put me off the book, if what the review says makes sense to me.
There were already a handful of reviews for me to read, even back 'before the internet' but let's face it, the few words quoted from fantasy magazines, other magazines and newspapers on the back covers or inside the book, were usually cropped so you'd only get a few vaguely positive words, that don't really mean much. Remember?
I also got personal recommendations. Not that I personally knew many book lovers whose opinions I trusted, but you know - even one rec might make a difference. That reminds me of a time when I was probably in my late teens or early twenties. I used to come to Goteborg/Gothenburg to shop for books (before I found my favorite online bookstores) and in one of the stores there was a guy who loved fantasy books. A really nice, and quite good looking guy too, a little older than me,I think. Unfortunately, he already had a girlfriend... :/ He helped me with book recommendations and that was probably one of the first real life ones for me.
My acquaintances - because I can't really call them friends - never seem to have enjoyed reading. What a miserable town this is. (But I won't be here for much longer.) For instance, when I was nine, I was still being invited to birthday parties (and kept being invited for about a year or so more, before everyone decided I was too boring, or so I suspect). I was supposed to bring a present so I bought a book. What else would I have picked? The birthday girl said thank you, more politely than I would expected, looking back at how she turned out when she was older, then said: but I don't really read books. What? At the time, I was mainly embarrassed, feeling like a fool, but looking back I'm also thinking - how on earth can someone not like reading?
Having read other book blogs, I know a bit about how other readers choose their books, but I'd still like to ask: How do you pick which books to read?