Book shopping

The 5 Stages of Selecting the “Right” Book

Just the other day I went to a bookstore with my mom in search of gifts for a friend, not books. I wasn’t planning to buy myself a new read, but c’mon, how could I not pass a few glances? The funny thing is that my mom found a “2 for $10” table of books. Her excitement was lovely, but what happened next confused the hell out of me.


After debating between a few options, she came down to two final choices… in under fifteen minutes. Wait… What? I love her to death, but I found it so odd. How could someone pick a book just after reading the back and checking out the cover? Was it really that easy? It made me reconsider my process of choosing the “perfect” book for me in that moment. I’m not sure if I’m being too picky, but I know someone out there is going to get exactly what I mean when I say picking the right book is a process; here are the five feelings that go with it.


1. Arriving with an open or closed mind






As soon as you walk through those doors, you could either be set in your decision or you’re trying to force yourself in another direction. When we go to buy a book I feel like we already have our minds made up; whether it’s a certain genre or a new bestseller, we know what we want. Personally, either I’m craving something specific or I’ve been floating without a book for so long that I’ll try to break the routine with anything.


2. Full-blown analysis and breakdown of each book






We tend to stick with things that feel familiar or resonate with us in some way. So as we go through our options, we don’t take it lightly. One must read every single back cover synopsis and look carefully at all the cover art to feel like the image fits the story and title. After that then maybe you’ll flip through a couple middle pages as to not ruin the very beginning or end. It’s got to fit our mood, our feelings… everything. This takes me a while.


3. A change of heart perhaps?






There’s a point when you’ve searched each shelf and the next and the next, that’s when things could change. You come in hopeful, but can’t seem to find anything that clicks with you. Rather than give up right away, you remember that time you were considering reading a book on Native American Indian history. And you recall that time you found a book all about Italian food that you were convinced would be so cool. Or that little read on ancient Chinese proverbs? Suddenly, just when you thought you were done, you’re bombarded with options all over again.


4. Feeling overly doubtful




Maybe you should just stick with your usual genre of choice, but, as a bookworm, you know characters never get anywhere if they’re static. Read what makes you happy, but then you’re not expanding your mind with new books. You could try something new and risk hating it, but what if you love it? Think about it.


5. Taking the leap and getting online



This is a bold move for bookworms, it’s almost like saying ‘yes’ to a marriage proposal… Yes, that is dramatic, but that’s how it feels sometimes. I often feel the urge to look back over my shoulder when waiting to buy my chosen work. Should I go back for that other one? Did I check the second shelf? I question myself until I reach the register and somehow it feels like you can’t go back. This is it, but hey, either way you’re reading right?



Featured Image Via Baker Book House