What would get you to read a book?

In conjunction with the Man Booker prize announcement, the BBC website has an interesting article on “10 ways to get you to read a book”.  While I’d agree with most of them (word of mouth, author, covers, etc, etc), #2 and #3 on the list – “book groups” and “Richard and Judy” respectively – is not something that would particularly work for me. 

Book groups – mmm… I don’t think I’ve ever participated in a book group, in real life or online.  I can see the attraction – I think it would encourage me to read books I wouldn’t have ordinarily picked up, but at the same time, it’s probably too structured for me.  I choose books to read based on my mood, and I think I’ll feel “forced” to read something that I don’t necessarily want to read at the time.

As for “Richard and Judy”… for the non-UK readers, Richard and Judy are a married couple that host a tea-time TV show with a book club, modelled on Oprah’s Book Club.  Basically, anything they recommend pretty much shoots up the bestseller lists.  I don’t think I’ve ever bought one of their recs.  Probably because I know what I like and don’t.  Heh.  Am I too rigid in my reading?  Sure, I read a lot, but within the genres I like – romance, mystery, science fiction, and fantasy.  I rarely read books shelved in general fiction (unless incorrectly shelved!) or non-fiction.  Sometimes I think I should try and broaden my horizons, then I figure I’ll rather use the free time I have reading books I know I’ll enjoy.

As an aside, I love the BBC Magazine site -it’s part of the wider BBC News website, but has a slightly more tongue-in-cheek look at the topics of the day.

 And while we’re (sort of) on the subject, I don’t think I’ll be buying the Man Booker winner – from the reviews I’ve read, it seems to be a rather gloomy book – I don’t read books to get depressed!

4 thoughts on “What would get you to read a book?

  1. #2 and #3 are not things that would make me read a book either. That said, I recently read a book that said “Richard and Judy recommended book” (didn’t quite know what that refered to, so thanks, lol!), and it was lovely. It’s called The Food of Love, by Anthony Capella, and it’s a lovely Cyrano-esque romance set in Italy.

  2. I have read a book that R&J (apparently) recommended – The Time Traveller’s Wife. But I didn’t know they’d recommended it. I’m pretty sure I read about it on someone’s blog/review site. Having said that – it’s now one of my favourite books.

    I follow the book group on Kelley Armstrong’s message board and most of the books we’ve read I’ve enjoyed.But it is mainly urban fantasy/supernatural stuff. LOL so I guess I’m predisposed to it. There have been a couple of books I wasn’t keen on, but only one that I really struggled with. And I’ve found some great authors through the club – Rachel Caine, Kim Harrison. This month we’re doing Meljean Brook’s Demon Angel. Last month we did Unshapely Things by Mark Del Franco a book I probably wouldn’t have picked up otherwise and I really enjoyed it. So I do think bookclubs can open up your reading experience.

    As far as I’m aware I’ve never read a Booker Prize Winner.

  3. Rosario – I heard somewhere that Richard & Judy do read all the books they rec (as opposed to having publishers pay massive sums to get their books on the list), so I do think their recs are books they genuinely like. They used to do the morning show on ITV before moving to Channel 4, so they were a massive part of my university life… those were the days, when getting up at 10am was considered early 🙂

    LesleyW – I’ve read The Time Traveller’s Wife too, and thought it was a great book. I don’t know if I’d classify it as a favourite though – it was too heartwrenchingly sad and I don’t think I’ll ever re-read it. But I didn’t know it was a R&J rec! I did read your review on the Mark Del Franco book and thought it sounded interesting. So while I wouldn’t really follow a book group, I’m not opposed to other people doing the hard work 🙂

  4. Regarding TTTW, I’m going by something a couple of people wrote on their Amazon reviews. LOL – I think, I hope I’m remembering the right book. I agree about it being very sad. It’s not one I’ll be re-reading for a while.

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