Yeah, I'm a Book Nerd! Books, books, and more books! What can be learned from a book? I believe there's plenty! My kids once performed in a school play and recited the line, "It's all in the book, if you just take a look, you'll see!" Well stated!

With the introduction of technology-based book reading, digital downloads, and "books-on-tape" known as audio books, you can't help but find information that can help you. But, how do you navigate through the sea of information out there?

What follows is my approach to sorting through all of this information. It's just an approach. It may not work for you. You might find this a bit intense or involved, but I just love to read...and write! Everyone processes information differently and you need to find out what works best for your style. Here goes:

At the Bookstore:

When I go to a Bookstore, I tend to spend a significant amount of time there. Why? I want to make sure the book I'm about to buy speaks to me. I want to make sure the book is going to grab and hold my attention from cover-to-cover.

As such, I approach the section of books I'm interested in. I usually walk past all of the promotional stuff at the front of the Bookstore and make a beeline to my area of interest.

When I get to this point, I start from the top left corner of the uppermost bookshelf. I scan the titles. I'm looking for something that appears to tell the tale - the book that will leave me better informed once I'm done reading it. I pull several books off the shelf and peruse the cover, the introduction, and the table of contents. I'll even read the Endorsements; however, my impression of the book is based primarily on the material within its pages. I'm looking for some credible source. You don't necessarily have to have an advanced degree, but some good solid life experience is essential. And, your writing style needs to capture me and hold my interest level.

I can stand for several minutes and scan the pages of books. I'm looking for several things; content, credibility, connection, creativity, counsel, continuity, conclusions. (Something I refer to as The 7 Cs) In a nutshell, I want to know that this book will teach me something in a way I learn best.

After I narrow down the books to just a few finalists, I make my decision. But before I go pay, I go to the sale section to see if the book is offered at a discount.

Buying books online:

These days, you can easily scour the internet for books. More and more, the availability of tangible books is being threatened by the onslaught of digital media. I like to write in some of my books (especially those having to do with learning something complex such as music theory) so the digital thing is not as appealing to me. That said, I also prefer my book choices available for marketing purposes. I just want to read without becoming part of some market research.(But that's just me.)

So, if you go to any of the more popular book-buying websites, no doubt you'll find what you're looking for. I search. I find. I do my homework.

One feature I truly appreciate is the "Look Inside" feature that allows you to take a peek into a few pages of the book you're considering. This is cool! Kind of a "try-before-you-buy" tool you might like. Nothing better than getting a general overview of the book as well as the Author's point of view!

Next, I take a look at the reviews. But, I must say that I spend some significant time here! We all know that there are some "Haters" out there spreading that "Haterade". We have to sift through some junk to get to the truth anywhere we surf, and book reviews are no different. I want to read both positive and negative feedback from reviews. Why? Because, as I mentioned earlier, we process information in different ways. If you want a complete assessment of a book BEFORE you buy it, what better way than to spend a little time reading what others had to say?

One last thing, some of the online bookstores have a section called "People who bought this book also bought or searched" which provides other book recommendations. I click on these, then rinse repeat!

How do you search for books to read?

What you read can be an essential part of preparing for anything - whether getting ready for Going Civilian, planning a vacation, learning a new skill, or anything else of interest.

1 Comment

Great post, fellow Book Nerd. You might enjoy my new novel, Virginia's Ring!