Burned by books

Not burning books, but books that burn.
Books that aren’t what you thought they’d be.
Books that leave a bad taste in your mouth
Books that you put down, throw down, or want to throw away.
The ones that you do not finish.  On purpose.

“So many books, so little time”

This quote is from my MIL’s sweatshirt, and it’s so true.  My to-read list is ever growing.  I don’t have time to read bad books.  I’m not talk about books that challenge you and you NEED to finish reading.  Those books you should finish. :-) 

I still consider myself to be a new reader so, I guess, I’m still learning how to choose a good book.  For the most part, I read books that come highly recommended from a reliable source.  But once in awhile the books at the library or books store swirl and dance around me enticing me to buy it on the spot.  This has, for me, always been disappointing.

I’d love a resource for books like Plugged In.  A site that would spoil the book, if necessary, and would warn me the book has parts I do not want to read or is really about something other than I’m lead to believe.

Until I find out about a site like that I’ll be sticking with my reliable sources.

Does anyone else have this problem?  How do you choose your books?

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  • http://seasonedjoy.com/ Sheila @ Seasoned Joy

    I try to never read books that I just find at the library or bookstore – I’ve been burned too many times by that. I read based on thoughtful reviews (Catherine at A Spirited Mind has fantastic reviews) that give me enough info to determine if it’s my sort of book. Several review journals are also good about that, such as Booklist.

    For years I’ve had a list of books I want to read, and I add more books to it all the time, so I’m unlikely to ever run out of tempting books.

    If I’m really not certain about a book, I’ll search for reviews on it. Often the critical reviews will tell me more than the glowing ones – they are the ones that will indicate if it’s misleading or contains parts that they might consider objectionable.

    I look for code words in reviews as well. I love mysteries, but know that I don’t generally like noir, so if a review calls it that then I pass. Often I hesitate when they’re termed gritty or dark as well, unless well-trusted sources still recommend it.

    Once you find someone whose reading tastes match well with yours it’s really helpful. It can also be helpful if you find someone whose reading tastes are close but not quite. I used to work with someone who always recommended books to me, and while on the surface we liked a lot of similar types of books, her favorites were always ones I hated, so the more she gushed about a book the farther down my list of potential reads it fell.