We live in an incredible time, where books are in a surplus. Everybody seems to writing books, and their like. Furthermore, these books are available to everyone, almost instantly. We can download an eBook and have instant access. Or we buy a book from eBay or Amazon prime, and have it later as late as the following morning. So the problem is no longer what it once was back a day, access is not a problem. The problem is choice. The question is where to start. The dilemma is “am i reading the right book?”. This is the dilemma of the 21st century…
Thanks to the information revolution. Choice is now a major ‘choice’ we have to make. We are served a surplus of everything, whenever we want it (and when we don’t want it).
So this choice crisis has infiltrated the book industry. So what do we choose?
I am going to provide you with some tips and methods that i personally use to help me determine which books i read…
Firstly, read reviews, but not the ones you usually do. Instead of looking at the 5 star or 1 star reviews, look at the the ones in between. The problem with 1 or 5 star reviews is that 95% of the time, they are heavily biased, or heavily individualised to that reader. This type of review is not going to help you determine if it is the right one for you. The reviews in-between however, are gold. They are usually unbiased and go into enough detail for you to get a rough of idea of the books. You can find out things such as chapter details, what the reviewer learnt from it (or didn’t), if the book is written well and you generally get just a good picture of what to expect.
Secondly, keep your eyes open to recommendations that you come across in books themselves. Especially books that you like to read yourself. If you really admire a book, or have come across a very good book, chances are that you are going to like the books it recommends. There are two real reasons for this: One is that you may in fact just like the authors writing style and way of thinking; then you are also likely to enjoy their reccomendations. The other reason is that the material may be very similar, or, it may be even better! So pay attention to book suggestions that you find in your favourite reads!
Another great resource for helping you choose books it to listen to podcasts. Podcasts are a relatively new, but amazing way to easily learn, and pick up knowledge. They are also known for including book reccomendations. There are some great podcasts out there and i encourage you to look for one that interests you. The best ones, are the ones that have guests actually conversing with the podcaster. From these, you get raw information that just flows of the tip of the tongue of the guest. Because it is like a 1 on 1 conversation, only it is being recorded. Any evidence of holding back from the guest never usually reflects in the audio though. And you can pick up some great wisdom, effectively for free! For some great podcasts, check out the links in this page.
Because of the modern day and digital books, one can easily make the huge mistake of buying books, and never actually reading them! Even with actual books, this has always been a problem. When you see a book you want, especially in digital format, only buy it just before your going to read it. The reason i say this is because it is so easy to just download books almost continually, as you are not losing any physical space like you would with actual books. It creates an almost fake impression that you can just overload yourself with books-to-read, that you will eventually read. Nonsense! You are actually building a very big, invisible obstacle to your reading time. Because now you have an endless list of unread books – where do you start? Buying books before you intend to read them used to be necessary in previous years, but not anymore, so make the most of modern technology! Consider the fact that eBooks exist because you they remove the need for carrying/owning actual books, so why not purchase just in time? Do not get into the very bad habit of putting things of. Even though it is only reading, it will filter through into other areas of your life.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, only read books that you enjoy reading. Do not force yourself to read. Do not believe you have to read a certain book. Do not think that because it worked for one, it will work for you. Do not start all books from the front. And certainly don’t assume that just because you started a book, you have to finish it. Do not be afraid to drop books when they have stopped interesting you. Only read books that are fun!… To you!
So now you know how to choose books with more confidence that they are the right for you. I would love to hear how you choose your books, do you have any ‘filters’ or methods that help you find a good read?