How Do You Choose a Book?

This weekend I looked through my stack of books and my selections on my Kindle. So many books… Which to choose first? How do you decide which book to read?

I actually started a few books, and they didn’t intrigue me. Then I decided to try a book by a favorite author, and opened up The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo. Because I read and loved Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, I decided to try out a new book by an author whose books I have enjoyed in the past.

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I started reading and before I knew it, I was hooked! The Magician’s Elephant is a magical, enchanting, sometimes dark tale. When ten-year-old Peter uses his last coin to seek his fortune from the local fortuneteller, he is shocked to find out that his sister is still alive. Through a series of interwoven events and unforgettable characters, this tale of hope and love unfolds as only DiCamillo can tell it. Like many of DiCamillo’s other books, The Magician’s Elephant has great imagery and vocabulary. It is a great book to read and discuss together with your family!

Choosing a book by a favorite author is a strategy that I use often to choose a book. When I was younger, I read every book by Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume I could get my hands on. As an adult, I have favorite authors whose books I seek out when I am looking for something to read.

How do you choose your next book to read? Please share in the comments!

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11 thoughts on “How Do You Choose a Book?

  1. Primarily, I read non-fiction. I use Twitter and recommendations from friends to choose most books. I am a stack reader. I read individual books and then read them again looking for connections between texts. I am currently rereading five of our summer reading books seeking connections between the themes and ideas.

    As far as fiction goes, I am hooked on both the Alex Cross series and the Lindsay Boxer series from James Patterson.

    I chose my next book by reading email from Ginny Perkinson. My next book will be Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain. Don’t you think it sounds like me?

    • Thanks for the comment, Jill! I also read James Patterson’s books (especially Alex Cross) for a long time. I still love mystery/suspense books, but I’ve broadened my reading a bit to include other genres. I do tend to gravitate towards fiction, though. I usually switch off children’s books and adult books. I also make a lot of choices based on Twitter & Goodreads recommendations from friends. Happy reading! 🙂

  2. Claire Markwalter says:

    Erin Hunter writes Warroirs. I also finished my book called Starlight and I’m on to a book called Twilight!!!!!!!!

    • Hi Claire! Do you pick books by author, series, or both? When you finish Warriors, would you want to read Survivors? Just curious. Tell me more about Starlight and Twilight– I haven’t heard of this series and I’m interested. Happy reading! 🙂

      • Claire Markwalter says:

        Starlight and Twilight are part of the Warroirs series. It will be a very long time before I finish the Warroirs saga

      • Ha! Yes, this is true, Claire. The Warriors series is quite a long series. “Saga” is a great word for it. Will you read right through the whole long series, or press the “pause” button (so to speak) while you read other books?

  3. Sometimes I choose books for myself from an author I’ve read, but mostly I listen to friend’s recommendations, especially those who enjoy reading the types of books I enjoy. I highly recommend The Rosy Project and You Before Me.
    For children’s books I find that reading a review and the first few pages gives me a good idea of what will hook a particular child or class.

    • Thanks for reading & commenting, Abby! I also love getting recommendations from friends, which I think is usually how adults choose what to read, but children (I teach 2nd grade) don’t always have as much opportunity to use this authentic strategy. Something I definitely need to incorporate more often next school year! Thanks for these rec’s – I’ve heard good things about both of these books. I just finished The Husband’s Secret and definitely recommend it.

  4. I do think kids can do a good job at recommending books to others who share their reading interests and strengths. I also like to keep second graders in a series they’ve enjoyed because the characters and structure are usually repeated which supports their comprehension.
    I just posted my first blog entry. I’m creating reading curriculum/activities for a book I’ve just published. I would love your feed back on the types of materials you would find helpful. Abby Gatenby.com (two lucky ducks)
    I read Husband’s Secret and liked it very much. I would love any other book rec’s too!

  5. Maryellen Berry says:

    I tend to read authors I have enjoyed – both fiction and non-fiction. I love children’s literature and look for realistic fiction with strong characters and a compelling plot. Some of my favorites include Summer of My German Soldier, Lottery Rose, and Wonder. While I am not a fan of fantasy or science fiction, The Giver and A Wrinkle in Time make up part of my top 100 children’s books of all time.

    I know I am not supposed to look at the cover – don’t judge a book by its cover and all – but I really can’t resist. The colors, the title, and the picture accompanying these can draw me to a book or can cause me to reshelve it!

    Thanks for asking!

    • Hi Maryellen, thanks for reading and commenting. Did you see all of the rising third graders comments on the blog? So much great reading going on this summer!

      I agree that it’s easy to judge a book by its cover. There are so many good books out there. If the cover is not enticing,it’s sometimes hard to look further.

      I love Wonder. I read several of those books when I was younger…. I never liked A Wrinkle in Time, but I think I didn’t understand it in elementary school. I think I need to pick it up again! It’s on so many people’s “all time favorites” list. Happy reading! 🙂

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