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  1. #16
    Hyperpower! Jack's Avatar
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    As I've mentioned in the Reading-In-June thread, the ultimate rule of thumb for whether a book will be worth reading is the Neil Gaiman Model. If Gaiman says its good, then it must be good. His review for Gene Wolfe's The Knight made me laugh out loud and get the book immediately. I was not dissappointed. I don't have the book with me, but it was something along the lines of "if you don't read this book, all of the cool people will make fun of you."

    My primary method, before coming to this board, of finding other authors was to, say, grab a book I loved, like American Gods , and see who commented on it in the back. Based on their comments, I check out what they've written. The cycle continues ad infinitum. And this is a darn good method. I've found good books in all genres doing this.

    Having said that, nothing beats good detailed reccs from this board. The next issue is, having a stack of books, what book do I choose to read? Well, having read all the aforementioned detailed reccs, and the quotes on the back, and maybe a bit of the blurb (I find blurbs sometimes give away too much of the story, so I avoid them, except maybe the first sentence or two just to make sure the book isn't a total cheese fest or something), I have all the tools I need to decide which book to read first!

    Actually, I just stare at my to-read pile while watching Wheel of Fortune and drooling in a bucket.

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by madeline howard
    Ah, Sell Sword, that's what I like to hear!

    To satisfy my curiosity (and, purely as a side benefit, to keep this thread on topic), what made you pick up the book in the first place?
    I usually peruse the forthcoming titles in the Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror Genres on various web sites. And being the voracious reader that I am, I foolishly delude myself into thinking that I can read everything!

  3. #18
    Tea + Swords = Happiness
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homer
    The next issue is, having a stack of books, what book do I choose to read?
    This used to be my big issue...so many books in the pile..which next. Now my books-to-read pile is so big (200+ bought at present ) I have to maintain strict regimental order or else somethings would never get read. So now I try to read in the order I buy in...but the system doesn't always hold out against enticing newly published yummies. Like the next GRRM...queue-jumping is inevitable.

  4. #19
    the title usually catches my eye, then i read the inside cover synopsis. if it sounds like there is some seemingly insurmountable problem in the story, then it'll either be really terrible, or pretty good. if its good, i type that title into google and find a "if you liked_..." page, and read others.

    i have a few used book stores around me that have deep, dark recesses of books i've never seen. good times on a slow sunday checking them out. i rarely buy books online unless i can't find them within a few hours of my house.

  5. #20
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    So, it seems the least used means to judge a book's worth is the cover art. So why do publishers insist on inflicting us with those cartoonish, buffoonish covers? Especially those Darrell Sweet monstrosities?

  6. #21
    Hyperpower! Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radone
    So, it seems the least used means to judge a book's worth is the cover art. So why do publishers insist on inflicting us with those cartoonish, buffoonish covers? Especially those Darrell Sweet monstrosities?
    You know, it's wild. I avoid reading books with incredibly cheesy covers, because I know out in public I'll get the inevitable, "Whatcha readin'?" The only way to respond is to show them the book your reading. One look at that Romance novel crap artwork, and your new potential acquaintance will not ask what its about, because they already know. It's about elves and dwarves and dungeons and dragons and hobbits!!!

    I think Martin's covers are acceptable. If you're going to attempt to paint a scene that only lives in the imagination of a books writers and readers, at least make it low key and dignified.

  7. #22
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    I actually have thrown away just about everyone of the covers for my HB books. I'm not selling them, and so I figure I don't need them.

  8. #23
    if i were to see the spine of a book that had the look of a Terry Pratchett novel, i might be more likely to pick it up and check it out. same goes for a few different authors, they sometimes have different series have the same style of writing and colors.
    also, if the cover art is kinda whimsical, i might be more inclined to read it. landover book covers might be a good example of that.

    thats about all i respond to cover art, if it looks like a romance novel, i'll prolly pass it by.

  9. #24
    Radone,

    I think you are looking at an atypical sample here (in this thread). A typical casual reader is far more likely to be influenced/intrigued by cover-art then most forum enthusiasts. I do not have any figures by my side but I would imagine that casual readers would consitute quite a large part of the book-reading crowd.

  10. #25
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beleg
    Radone,

    I think you are looking at an atypical sample here (in this thread). A typical casual reader is far more likely to be influenced/intrigued by cover-art then most forum enthusiasts. I do not have any figures by my side but I would imagine that casual readers would consitute quite a large part of the book-reading crowd.
    If publishers truly feel that such covers can really draw in the casual reader, I'm not sure what, if anything, that says about such readers.

  11. #26
    So, it seems the least used means to judge a book's worth is the cover art. So why do publishers insist on inflicting us with those cartoonish, buffoonish covers? Especially those Darrell Sweet monstrosities?
    Just a few years ago I must admit that covers slightly moved me in regards to purchasing decisons (very, very small factor, but still present).

    This absurd, and frankly ridiculous gauge was taken out of me completely upon reading Robert Newcomb's first novel The Fifth Sorceress, which had on display on the cover (a spiffy cover at that) something to the effect "The Year's Best Fantasy", which is still is amusing to me - as it just may be the worst fantasy novel ever written. In a zen like moment, I realized covers truly meant nothing.

    It may be possible that Newcomb is the worst hyped talent to enter the genre in my lifetime..and yes I have read Christopher Paoulini, who is damn close.
    Last edited by Ainulindale; June 9th, 2005 at 07:12 AM.

  12. #27
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beleg
    Radone,

    I think you are looking at an atypical sample here (in this thread). A typical casual reader is far more likely to be influenced/intrigued by cover-art then most forum enthusiasts. I do not have any figures by my side but I would imagine that casual readers would consitute quite a large part of the book-reading crowd.
    Yes, I've watched these people in the book store and have been sorely tempted to go rip the books that they're looking at from their hands and lead them to something that would be worth their time. Then I remember that worth is purely subjective and I probably have no right to do something like that. I have to say, I've spent a fair lot of time in fantasy and sci-fi aisles at book stores and have never (I'm pretty confident in the absolute use of "never" in this context) seen another browser reach for a less "shiny" book.

    I watch what people are looking at and can usually tell if they know what they're after up front of if they're just browsing. The just browsing people inevitably go for the more colorful, cartoony covers, and the authors that have 6 feet of shelf space versus the ones that have half a foot or a few inches. I've had one person ever ask me what I thought of a particular book, and I let him know and gave him some recommendations of other books very close in style and sub-genre but (as I would consider) better.

    Authors I see picked up most by people in fantasy aisles: Eddings, Goodkind, Jordan, Brooks.

  13. #28
    Banned DanielFullard's Avatar
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    I always make sure I have at least 10-15 books I havent read on the shelf of varying genres and usually I dont just feel like 'reading' I feel like reading a certain book. In other words instead of getting the urge simply to 'read' I just get the urge to read a particualr book

  14. #29
    Yobmod Yobmod's Avatar
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    The cheesy and deriative covers of some fantasy books definately put me off - i feel ashamed to be reading something that looks like its aimed at retarded children and sexually obsessed geeks who are scared of women. So i guess i do judge books by their covers, but onl negatively.

    I disagree that the bright cheesy covers are expected to attract non-fans browsing at random. All the most popular books here have much more understated covers usually with muted colours and abstact shapes.
    And fantasy books that get any notice from the mainstream are reprinted with more discreet covers.

    e.g. The WOT and harry potter books are printed with both the cheesy covers and also black disctreet covers for non-hardcore fantasy fans.

  15. #30
    Authors I see picked up most by people in fantasy aisles: Eddings, Goodkind, Jordan, Brooks.
    *shakes head in dismay*

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