Life of a Book Hoarder

Quick Chat: Picking Up A Book


Today I just want to ramble on about what makes me (and you) pick up a book.

Let me clarify, I don’t mean what makes you pick up a book to start reading it (mood reading, planned TBR, etc.) – I mean, what makes you grab a book off the shelf at a library, or a store, or the table at someone’s yard sale. What gets your attention before you decide whether you want to read it?

I’m going to leave out factors like a recommendation from someone, or an author you know you love, or a title you’ve heard of. Pretend you don’t know any of the titles or authors in this room of books and think about what would grab your attention.

First and foremost, I’m drawn to cover art. This is likely obvious to most of you, since I have a weekly post dedicated to that topic. There are many things that draw me to a cover like bold, bright colors, unique font and typography, or a cute person. Of course, an element that catches my eye on one cover, might not catch my eye on another. I’m finicky.

Titles are also important. Sometimes long titles catch my eye, sometimes one-word titles feel like something I might be interested in. I think it depends on the current trends. For example, I’m still sick of the “The NOUN of NOUN and NOUN” types and the “The ADJECTIVE Life of PERSON’S FULL NAME” types.

Sometimes a blurb on the cover will have a keyword that grabs my eye. Generally, I don’t read blurbs because I don’t find them useful. I also think they ruin cover art. But the word ‘steampunk’ is usually an eye-catcher for me or ‘fairytale.’


Those are the main things that make me pick up a book to read the blurb and find out if I actually want to buy/borrow it. How about you? If you’ve never heard of a book before, what things make you pick it up to find out more? (Wow, sweet rhyme.) Are there any books in the header photo that you’d pick up because of certain elements?

6 thoughts on “Quick Chat: Picking Up A Book”

  1. I think the title and the art on the spine have a surprisingly big influence on me. For example when I’m browsing in a bookshop, mostly I just see the spines of books and some of them still call to me. I’m more likely to pick up books with bright spines or books with fancy lettering. Also, if the title sounds poetic, like Thirteen Doors, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby, I’m definitely intrigues. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting post, Milliebot! What draws me in initially is the title; if it’s intriguing enough I’ll pick up the book and investigate further. At that point, cover art kicks in and, possibly, a blurb on the BACK cover, or the description inside the book. I tend to avoid books described as “lluminous” or “lyrical”, which I translate (rightly or not) as “lots of description and not much else.” I do not pay much attention BTW to authors endorsing other authors. In your header photo, I’d definitely check out Grimwood/9Tail Fox , out of sheer curiosity about the title (in fact, I just did. I must say — it sounds interesting!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s neat hearing about what words you’d avoid. I’d definitely avoid something lyrical too. I almost never read author blurbs. Haha, I still need to read 9 Tail Fox! Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmm title seems to be the thing that makes me pick up most books. The exception I can think of off the top of me head was Neverwhere whose cover caught me eye and then the title made me pick it up and read the blurb. But usually it be title, blurb, then cover.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

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