Happy Tuesday everyone! As it is Tuesday, it is time for a Top Ten Tuesday update. Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
This week’s given topic: Things That Make Me Instantly Want to Read a Book
1. Book cover
One of the main reasons why I want to read a book is its cover. This was especially true when I was younger. I would literally buy books mainly because of the cover. I have since become more selective but I still do fall into this hole every once in a while. One of my recent purchases that fall into this category is Juhea Kim’s Beasts of a Little Land. I am still to read the book but this is a book I am very much looking forward to. Other books that I bought mainly because of the cover are Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Back then, I didn’t know that the latter was a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
2. The book won (a lot of) awards
This is also true especially when I was younger. I would simply pick a book because it had the line “the winner of *literary award*”. Having the seal of the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, or the Booker Prize is more than enough to convince me. Now, I am placing a premium on books that have the tag “Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature”. In a way, this is also one of the reasons that prompted me to buy and read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and One Hundred Years of Solitude. The experience is not always even but award-winning books have provided me with some of the most memorable and insightful reading experiences.
3. The book is (way too) popular
I have said it time and again. I am not one to be easily swayed by public opinion. More often than not, I try to avoid books that are gaining way too much attention (there is a reason why I avoid Colleen Hoover books). But give me some time to reevaluate my choice and my walls would eventually fall. I think I have reiterated how I was initially apprehensive to read Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove (and by extension, Anxious People) and Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind. It took a lot of convincing for me to finally pick up these books that were gathering dust on my bookshelf. I ended up loving the books. The opposite was the case for Silvia Moreno-Garcia. She has been gaining a lot of attention in bookish spaces so I decided to give her prose a chance.
4. The writer has been recommended by friends and book bloggers
My friends, unfortunately, are not as devout of a reader as I am. Nevertheless, there were those who gave me recommendations. One of the most recommended was Haruki Murakami. Prior to dipping my toes into his prose, his works were ubiquitous. I relented so I read 1Q84 which initially turned me away from Murakami’s works (it was my baptism of fire in terms of magical realism). I would, however, end up reading 12 more of his novels, with plans of reading all of his novels. Writers recommended by book readers I encountered through book blogging are Javier Marías and Han Kan.
5. The writer is new-to-me
This pertains to writers who I randomly come across. This is the reason why my reading list keeps growing because I keep on encountering names that immediately piqued my interest. When I browse through the catalog of online booksellers, many books and writers catch my attention. “Oh, I have never encountered this writer before. Let me check this book.” And before I know it, my shopping cart is already brimming with several books. Morio Kita’s The House of Nire and Naoya Shiga’s A Dark Night’s Passing are among these books; apart from the fact that they are works of Japanese literature, one of my favorite parts of the world of literature. This also holds true for Chilean writer José Donoso and his novel A House in the Country.
6. An interesting or eye-catching title
Like having an interesting book cover, one way to immediately catch my (reader’s) attention is to have an interesting title. This was more prevalent when I was younger but I do still buy or read books (or add them to my to-be-read list) mainly because of their titles. Cherie Jones’ How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House, John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich fall into this category.
7. Latest book by a writer I loved
A good first impression goes a long way. At least most of the time. If I liked a book by a writer, I will be a repeat customer or at least a repeat reader. This is the case for Fredrik Backman’s Anxious People. I loved A Man Called Ove so when I learned about Backman’s latest release (this is 2021), I immediately made Anxious People part of my reading list, and the moment I got a copy of the book, I devoured it. There are also writers whose prose I have explored extensively which is why I always look forward to their latest releases, such as the case for Salman Rushdie’s Victory City and Haruki Murakami’s Killing Commendatore. I am still waiting for an update on the English translation of Murakami’s latest published novel.
8. Part of a must-read list
Another sure way of convincing me to read a book immediately is if it was listed as a must-read. I think it was in 2016 when I started perusing these must-read lists. One, in particular, has captured my attention and has become a major factor in my purchases and reading list: the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list. This list has led me to books I would not ordinarily read, such as Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits, a book I absolutely loved.