3 Simple Ways to Choose a Book


/beth wareham


All writers and editors and publishers are people who read and read a lot. I am no exception. In my constant need for comparative titles, new ideas, before-bed reading and the like, I spend a lot of money on books each month.  I finally put myself on a “book budget” and it was harder to stick to than buying clothes, eating out and likker.

Right now, the world feels like a pile of books. Millions dance around on the templates of amazon and landing pages of New York publishing – God love them – who keeps publishing into a void of fewer readers, no retailers, and a press so locked into election coverage,  only a political book can make it on air or even have a chance at a mention in articles and blogs.

So how is a reader to navigate this black hole? With three simple ideas:

  1. Read all the descriptive material on amazon or Barnes and Noble or wherever you are buying the book. How is the writing on the exterior? Since all writers – even those with large publishing companies – now write just about everything on the book, it gives you a sense of their style and what they think the book is about.
  2. Do not pay $30 for a hardcover. You are paying for the office rent of the publisher and usually an overly large advance to the writer.  (My favorite was Mrs. Clinton’s high priced autobiography that name-dropped for hundreds of pages. She’s lucky I’m still voting for her name-dropping ass.) Books simply aren’t that expensive to make.  (Publishers publish hardcovers because the New York Times, New Yorker, et al still will not accept a paperback for review. Another sad circumstance.) Invest in a kindle as books are considerably less pricey in that form. You should now, with books, adopt the old adage NEVER PAY RETAIL.
  3. Don’t be a lemming. In book publishing, everyone seems to be reading and reviewing the same book at the same moment: You Before Me, The Fault is in Our Stars, Gone, Girl and on and on. Get out of the herd and start exploring the rising number of Indies and their ground-breaking books that are winning awards worldwide. This is where the next great voice will probably rise from….and you’ll be there to hear it.

You are in the middle of a revolution and renaissance in the art of writing and distributing words. Use it to your advantage. The prices are low, the world complex, and more information is going to make you smarter, faster, and stronger than virtually any activity on Earth.

It’s your brain. Feed it and grow strong.

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