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How do we find the books we read?

That's become a pretty serious question to me.
I know that my personal method is quite chaotic, and that I'm likely missing many titles that I just have to hope I encounter later.

I read quite a number of author's blogs, and so I often know months in advance when a new book of theirs is coming out. But that's still a tiny portion of the authors I might like to read.

I listen to my friend's post about what they're reading, and what they're looking forward to, and that helps a lot especially with the new authors.

I'm sad to say I haven't found the Amazon recommendations worthwhile at all. Besides the slightly annoying tendency for half the group to be books I already own (more than a few bought through Amazon, so you'd think they should know better), it's almost rare for one of the others to be something attractive. And all too often it looks like a title is only in there because they paid to be. I don't know if that's actually what happens or not, whatever the algorithm is it sin't finding good matches for what I might buy.

So let me ask the vast readership here: what sources do you use to choose your new reading material?

Comments

geekhyena
Dec. 22nd, 2013 10:34 am (UTC)
If Seanan McGuire recommends it (or someone on Squeecast does), it usually means it's far enough up my alley to give it a shot. Ditto Alasdair Stuart of Pseudopod. Other than that, if friends recommend stuff, I'll try to read it, depending on which friend and how much they are fanning about it (this applies to tv/music as well) - for example, I got into Pat Rothfuss's work because a friend of mine had him as a professor and she simply would not stop squeeing about how brilliant he was, so I managed to find a copy of his first book to see what all the fuss was about. And I promptly got hooked.

Given that my free-reading time has decreased as my time devoted to academic research has skyrocketed, I have to be really picky about what I read because I simply don't have enough time to read all the stuff I want to AND get my research done. It's a shame, because a lot of the authors I like are putting out a ton of stuff, and I keep encountering new people to like. Really grooving on Zen Cho and Malinda Lo and Seanan McGuire and Mary Robinette Kowal right now.

Also, Mark Oshiro's Mark Reads blog is a nice way to not only discover new stuff, but his commentary is really interesting. Highly recommended!

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alicebentley
Alice Bentley

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