Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

Top Ten Tuesday new

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

The rules are simple:

  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
  • Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
  • Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
  • Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

This week’s topic is Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book.  I toyed with a number of approaches to the topic, such as what makes me pick up a book in a bookshop, in the library or browse a book online.  In the end though, I decided to create my list around the things that make me pick up a book next.  In other words, what makes me select a particular book from my TBR pile.   I’ll confess that in reality I should simply repeat the first item on my list ten times.  I suspect there are other book bloggers who know the feeling…  However, I’m going to imagine a time when the said schedule doesn’t dominate my reading decisions, such as when I’m holiday.

My reading schedule – I simply couldn’t operate my blog without my plan (a spreadsheet with different tabs and plenty of colour coding, if you’re wondering), especially as I live in constant dread of missing blog tour slots or publication date deadlines I’ve agreed to.  My WWW Wednesday posts are a good insight into my reading schedule.

Blog tours – I’ve been introduced to so many brilliant books that I may not otherwise have come across or read through invitations from blog tour organisers.  (A recent example is The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear, the latest in a series I’d been aware of but never got around to reading until invited on the tour by the lovely Anne at Random Things Tours.) Of course, blog tours do come with deadlines – hence the necessity for item one above.

Reviews by book bloggers – I’ve been lucky enough to find so many brilliant book bloggers to follow since I started blogging that I’m constantly inspired to add books to my wishlist, TBR pile or pick books off my shelf by reading reviews. (A book that falls into this category recently is Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce which I bought following some fabulous reviews by bloggers.)

Genre –  Like a lot of readers, I have favourite genres (mine is historical fiction) but in the same way you probably wouldn’t eat the same flavour of ice-cream all the time (unless it’s rum and raisin, of course) I’ll occasionally crave something completely different for my  next read.  If I’ve read a few historical fiction novels one after the other, then I’ll mix it up with some crime fiction, like Poetic Justice by R.C. Bridgestock or a non-fiction book like Sugar in the Blood by Andrea Stuart.

A book by a favourite author – A new book by a favourite author is always welcome.  I recently devoured the latest book by Philip Kazan, The Phoenix of Florence.

Reading challenges/projects – Taking part in reading challenges or personal reading projects helps keep me motivated on reducing my TBR pile, apart from anything else.  My Buchan of the Month reading project means at least one book from my collection of books by John Buchan gets place in my reading schedule each month, such as  March’s book, The Path of the King.  Without that motivation, they’d just sit on the shelf.

Readalongs – I’d had The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo on my NetGalley shelf for some time but it was the #NightTigerTogether buddy read organised by publishers, Quercus, that ensured I read the book.  Plus there was the enjoyment of sharing thoughts on the book with other readers and with the author.

Format – Sometimes travel or holiday plans mean an ebook title or audiobook is a more convenient choice than a physical book.  Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson was a book I read on my Kindle while sitting on a sun lounger by the pool in Barbados.

Literary prize lists – As a fan of historical fiction, I always look out for the announcement of the longlist and shortlist for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.  The longlist was announced recently and the shortlist was announced earlier today and Warlight by Michael Ondaatje has made it through to the latter.  I have a copy sitting on my bookshelf so that’s moved up the pile as I’ll try to read all the shortlisted books before the winner is announced in June.

Literary festivals – My local literary festival is Henley Literary Festival and I like to support it by attending events and reading books by the authors appearing at the Festival.  Last year that resulted in me reading, among others, Dear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pearce and Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson, both of whom spoke at the Festival.

What prompts you to pick up your next book?

16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

  1. What a great list, Cathy. You sound much more organised than me with your colour coded spreadsheet! I was pleased to see that I’d already read two of the books on today’s Walter Scott Prize shortlist and I’ll be trying to read the others before June too.


    1. At the moment, I’ve only read After the Party, which I didn’t rate that highly and am rather surprised to see make the shortlist. I have a hardcover copy of Warlight and the Harvey and Miller in audio book form. The others I need to acquire or borrow from the library. Like you I’ll try to read them before June and make my own prediction. I’m wondering if The Long Take has a good chance because of its unusual form and the fact last year they chose The Gallows Pole which was a little bit different.


  2. Great reasons! I love that you shared a little love towards blog tours. I’ve found so many good books that way, too, and I feel like it doesn’t get enough credit? It does and it doesn’t. Oh, you know what I mean! Great list, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes, one of my now favourite authors – Philip Kazan – I discovered through being invited on the blog tour for his book, The Black Earth and reading that prompted me to buy his two previous books and look out for whatever he’s writing next.


  3. Blog tours and other planned reading definitely determine what I’m going to read next. Other than that, it’s all about certain genres, themes, time periods, etc. that I love. I agree with you on reviews, too — I have several bloggers whose tastes I trust almost implicitly. If they’re raving about a book, I’m definitely going to be picking it up!

    Happy TTT!


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    1. I actually like to have a plan for my reading and blogging as I think without it I wouldn’t get through so many books and my blog would certainly have many days when I posted nothing! When I was working, I got used to having a daily schedule of meetings, tasks, etc and I guess I’ve just continued with that discipline even now I’m not 😁


  4. Gosh you are organised!! I have a book planner for the blog where I keep my targets of my must reads (ie review copies), track my reading, noted release dates, when & what I post on blog, planned posts and tags I take part in. But colour coded spreadsheet is how I keep track of read books and their details plus themes/protagonists for recommendations etc not for planned reading (you’re giving me ideas!!)

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