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Books....how do you find them?

spigots or caudrens  

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  1. 1. spigots or caudrens

    • spigots
      24
    • caudrens
      23
    • pie spoon
      45
    • washer woman. shaped washer.
      28


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I think I've read every single book suggestion thread on this site, I vist Pat's Fantasy Hot List often, and I also browse through Amazon and other various websites to get a big list of books to read. Ususally I end up rereading old favorites like WoT and ASoIaF, but my comprehinsive list of newer books like Malzon Book of the Fallen, Mistborn, The Lies of Locke La'mor, The Prince of Nothing, and older favorites of people like Jack Vance and Gene Wolfe I get from websites and word of mouth that I've researched.

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Guest tree-brother

I am drew in by the cover then read the summary on it

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Funny, I am very selective with the books I choose, yet once I am hooked...I am really hooked.  Friends who share my interests and family usually recommend good books to me, but multiple good reviews usually point me in the right direction.  I became a John Irving fan by being handed Owen Meany by my father.  Ten years later, he hands me Eye of the World.

 

I just picked up Sanderson's Elantris to get an idea of how AMOL is going to turn out.  I'm only a few pages into it, but its looking good so far.

 

Good luck with your book and your expected delivery, Gleeman! May both be blessed, find water and shade, and spit in the eye of the dark one and such. 

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It was a hard choice.  I do get great recommendations from friends, which is how I started reading WoT.  But often I do a combination of browsing the library/bookstore and browsing online, reading reviews and such.  In both cases the appeal of the book cover and title plays a major role in whether I'll look at it in the first place.

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I do research and read interviews, then I decide if the story sounds appealing to me. Sometimes books draws my attention through advertisement, and sometimes you folks here at Dragonmount (or others) get me interested.

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I look for good coverart or design. Then the backcover/inside flap summaries have to capture my interest. I'd say that's 90 % of what makes me pick a book. The other 10 % would be word of mouth from friends.

 

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I read a lot of books, and mostly I read the back of them, if it sounds good, I read it. Sometimes I sit in the book store and read the first chapter, if it grabs me I buy it. I also take recommendations from friends and often get those as well.

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My top choices are that I mostly get recommendations from friends or read online reviews. If I'm really bored at the library, though, I'll search around for intruiging titles and covers and whatnot, (although, a lot of my choice is based on the content of the book as well.) Sometimes I'll skim through it, just to see whether it's worth reading or not. I also like to go with something familiar - I'm interested if a book is similar to another one that I've read, or similar to another author's style.

If I can't find anything, I usually just stick with the basics and re-read an old favorite, (although I'm always on the lookout for something new by that author, as well.)

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Quick thoughts:

 

* Back and front covers are irrelevant when I'm looking for books. I don't browse books at physical bookstores - if I'm going there I already know what specific book I'm after.

 

* Reviews and word of mouth are great ... to a point. A straight-up "it's good" or "it's bad" doesn't help me, whereas if a reviewer says "it combines the inspirational philosophy of a Terry Goodkind novel with Robert Newcomb's tight plotting and deep characterisation", I know why the reviewer gave it that rating, what I'll think of it (I'll despise the book with the fires of a thousand suns) and why.

 

* Advertisements are a measure of the money the publisher put into promotion, not whether the book will meet my specific tastes. I also find advertisements are scattershot. For example, it makes perfect sense to advertise Brandon Sanderson's work here, but why try to sell Joe Abercrombie's The First Law (a brilliant, brilliant series but not remotely like The Wheel of Time) to Dragonmount users instead of, say, Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars (a lesser series in my view but much more likely to appeal to Wheel of Time fans)?

 

* Having a fantastic excerpt on the author's website is an important marketing tool. One classic example is the prologue to Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora, 9000+ words of sheer, distilled awesome. I tore through this excerpt before the book was ever published, told all my friends to read it (they also loved it), then went out and got the book (equally awesome) and told even more people to read that. Charles Stross also has huge amounts of his work available for free online - when I try to persuade people to read his work, I link them to The Concrete Jungle, his Hugo Award-winning novella (which rocks).

 

* On the other hand, the author website I keep going back to is Joe Abercrombie's site, due to the frequent hilarity of his blog.

 

* One last thing I pay attention to! Quotes by other authors. If, say, Holly Black likes it, there's a fair chance I'll like it too.

 

(Okay - not so quick after all. ;))

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At the moment I get a fair number of books sent to me free by publishers to review on my blog (look out for some heavy Wheel of Time coverage next year in the run-up to AMoL: I may review one book a month, including NS, up to AMOL's release). I also pick up books on the reccomendations of others. I sometimes still pick up a book at random off the shelves if I like the look of it, but increasingly I am dependent on online reviews and summaries.

 

Sirayn, Joe is a good acquaintence of mine and I know he'd appreciate your reccing of his books ;) The First Law is indeed a superb series and I thoroughly reccomend it to everyone.

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Cover art is the first thing that draws me to a book.  If the back cover sounds interesting, then I flip through the reviews to see if any authors I like wrote something about it.  That's a real selling point for me.  A quote by Robert Jordon made me pick up George R R Martin and Charles de Lint, both of which I love and can't get enough of.

 

-Krimsen

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Sirayn, Joe is a good acquaintence of mine and I know he'd appreciate your reccing of his books ;) The First Law is indeed a superb series and I thoroughly reccomend it to everyone.

 

Say one thing about Joe Abercrombie, say this is the year Last Argument of Kings sweeps all the awards in a tidal wave of awesome. :D By the way, I picked up his first book mainly because of your review - I noticed that my taste in books mirrors yours pretty closely, so I plunder your blog for reading tips. So thanks for introducing me to Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie and Richard Morgan, among others.  8)

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my method doesn't really fit into any of those.  I guess you could trace all of the books I read back to Harry Potter.  I read that, then went to the bookstore and asked for other great fantasy books which led to Lord of the Rings.  I spent a summer in a Lord of the Rings bookclube in which the Belgariad and Malloreon was recommended to me.  After that a friend who was reading wot said that if I liked Fantasy longer then a few books like Belgariad and Malloreon I should try wot.  So I started wot, but wot was not the end.  Because of Wot I have gotten into Brandon Sanderson's books, and through his blog I have gotten into other books, so I guess the chain is never ending.

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