Top Ten Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday I’ll be sharing with you ten things that make me pick up a book. I had to spend a lot of time thinking on this one, because I actually didn’t know at first, but I ended up having a ton of fun figuring out what it is exactly that draws me to a book. Some of these will be pretty typical, but hopefully a couple of them will be specific to me.

the cover – I know, you’re never supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but I do it all the time. If the cover doesn’t draw me in, then I won’t care enough about it to learn more. Usually anytime I go to the bookstore I have specific things in mind, but every now and then I’ll go with the intent of purchasing something I’ve never heard of before. The last time I did this I ended up with Samuel Miller’s A Lite Too Bright, and I never would have picked this wonderful book if it weren’t for the amazing cover!

the author – If Gayle Forman’s name is on it, I’ll buy it. Her newest book doesn’t even come out for a year and we know absolutely nothing about it, but you better believe it’s already my favorite book of 2020. There are actually several auto buy authors for me (Ellen Hopkins, Cassandra Clare, Jennifer E. Smith, to name a few), but Forman is definitely my number one.

the synopsis – A book can have a pretty cover, but the synopsis has to hook me too. Who wants to read a book that sounds boring? Probably nobody. That’s why as soon as I read the synopsis for How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox I knew it was a book for me. The part in particular that got me was “Biz doesn’t tell anyone anything. Not about her dark, runaway thoughts, not about kissing Grace or noticing Jasper, the new boy. And she doesn’t tell anyone about her dad.”

the genre – *sings a little song* contemporary books are my faaaavooooooriiiiiiite *el fin* Seriously though, any type of contemporary is going to give me grabby hands. Bonus points though if it deals with messy emotions, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and mental health.

the title – Ummm, hello? Jennifer Dugan’s debut is called Hot Dog Girl. With a title like that, how could anybody not want to read it?! This book got put on my TBR just by the title alone, before I even saw the cover or read the synopsis. Stringing a few words together in the perfect order for your title might be difficult, but it’s important.

my mood – I am probably the biggest mood reader you’ll ever meet. It doesn’t matter how excited I am for a book (*cough*KingOfScars*cough*), if my mood is not in the right place, I won’t even attempt to read it.

the length – Okay, I know this one is probably silly, but I’m much more likely to pick up a book if it doesn’t look like it will take me five years to read it (I’m looking at you Cassandra Clare books). My ideal length for a book is probably around 300 to 350 pages. If it’s shorter then that’s definitely okay. Once it starts creeping up on 500 pages I’m going to start getting wary.

the movie is coming out – Movies aren’t really my favorite thing, but if I see that one is being made thanks to a book, odds are I’ll pick the book up. Will I ever see the movie? It’s possible. Usually I just stick to the book though. The first time I specifically remember picking one up because of the movie was about 8 years ago when the Water for Elephants movie came out. I’m so glad I gave the novel a try because it’s so good!

what did my friends think? – I pay attention to what people are saying about a book, but usually I like to form my own opinions about things. So even if a lot of people I follow didn’t like it, odds are I’ll still give it a shot. There is one person though that pretty much likes the exact same books as me. If Taylor says something is good, it’s getting added to my TBR. If she says something is bad, I’ll probably pass on it.

it’s the novelization of a graphic novel – There are some graphic novels I really love (Lumberjanes, Giant Days, and The Backstagers) that were turned into regular novels! I got so excited as soon as I saw this happening, because it was such a different way to experience the characters. So far I’ve only read two of the Lumberjanes novelizations (Unicorn Power! and The Moon is Up), but all of them are ones I want to read.

Tell me, what makes you pick up a book? Do you have a strict checklist of criteria a book needs to meet before you’ll read it, or will you pick up anything?

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted each week by Jana from That Artsy Reader Girl. Visit her blog to find out what makes her pick a book up and find other’s lists as well!

25 thoughts on “Top Ten Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book”

  1. The movie coming out is such a huge one for me. I HAVE to read the book before I watch the movie, and because I’ve been too lazy to read some series there are huge releases that I still haven’t seen (looking at you, The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner).


    1. I’m probably half and half on reading the book first. If I’m able to then I like to do it, but if it doesn’t happen I’m usually okay with it. The Hunger Games movies are some of my favorites! I read The Maze Runner series, but haven’t seen the movies yet.


  2. I’ll definitely pick up books because of the cover, it seems like all of us do! I’ll also pick up books if they’re by one of my favourite authors. I’m also a bit of length judger but since my favourite genre is fantasy, my acceptable lengths are a little longer than yours (around 600 pages is usually my cutoff but I have read books that are longer). Pretty much all of these things will also make me want to pick up a book!
    My TTT:


    1. My favorite genre being contemporary is probably why I like the shorter lengths. Being into fantasy you definitely have to like the longer books! That could actually be one of the reasons why I struggle with fantasy books.


      1. Probably! Ha ha yes you do, although even I have my limits. Potentially, yeah, if you need any recs for shorter fantasies though (like 300-400 odd pages) then I know plenty!


  3. I’m certainly not intimidated by longer books. 500 pages is nothing. Once they start creeping into the 800 page range… that is on the longer range. Can’t read too many of those in a row. Queen of Air and Darkness could have been two books.


    1. I think it’s probably because I mostly read contemporaries, so when those start getting long I feel like they’re just dragging on too much. Fantasy is definitely a whole other ballpark when it comes to the number of pages!


  4. Except for the last two, I definitely have found myself considering those things at some point during my process. I think the one I use the most is mood as I’m a mood reader. So if I’m not in the mood for a genre, PoV, or series, I generally can’t get into it.


  5. I know what you mean about mood. If you’re not in the right place to read a book, you risk not enjoying it as much as you would have otherwise. Sure, you can reread it, but it’s not the same as the first time, when you don’t yet know what happens. I’ve saved books for YEARS sometimes, but it’s almost always been worth the wait.

    (A recent example — The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Five years ago, I would have thought it was too long, and/or boring to see someone act out. Instead, when I read it, it blew me away.)


    1. There is definitely nothing like reading a book for the first time, and I agree, don’t push it. I’d much rather save it for when I’m in the mood. I actually checked Cameron Post out from the library a couple of days ago! I’m really looking forward to reading it. I’m glad you loved it!


  6. I really liked this post, it’s a different view on why people pick up their books, instead of just the synopsis, cover, or recommendations.


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