Seven Keys to Choosing What To Read

Students provide the key

Readers' Questionnaire

  • How do you choose the books you read?
  • What do you take into consideration? The characters? The pace?
  • Why do you find some topics more attractive than others?
  • Is the cover a factor when choosing a book? What about the blurb? And the first paragraph?
  • What other factors do you consider?


  1. Choosing a genre: It helps if you know what genre you're into: fiction, non-fiction, stories, a novel, a whodunnit, a historical tale, science fiction, ...
  2. Look around you: If you're looking for something to read, why not take a look at your bookshelves at home? You might have a few gathering dust. You can also ask your friends and family about books they recommend. You might also want to read a few reviews from websites you trust. In many the readers give you their opinion and that can help you decide. Visiting a library is also a good source of suggestions, just by browsing the shelves or even asking the librarian. Sometimes there's a "pick of the month", so you can see the titles that are recommended to see if anything peaks your interest.
  3. Cover and blurb: Sometimes the cover and the blurb can give you the push to make your choice -they do say a picture is worth a thousand words.
  4. Try it out: Other times you'll need to read the first paragraph, the first page or even the first chapter in order to make your decision.
  5. The characters: In the end it all boils down to whether there is a protagonist you can identify with or at least relate to.
  6. Pace: Also the pace of the story matters a great deal: is it a gripping tale or does it plod on so that every page is a bit of a torture?
  7. Ending: The ending can also have a lot to do with whether you'll remember it fondly or prefer to consign it to oblivion. You often hear say "the book was fine but I didn't like the ending". That sort of comment puts you off a book for sure.
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