In preparation for the bookstore, I've been reading book reviews. What I tend to do is start with books I haven't read and then try to read a review by the same person of a book I have read, just to see if our taste is the same. This in itself is bad policy. I've stumbled onto Harry Potter forums and found myself wondering if some of those bloody morons had even read the book. How dare they be so stupid and like what I like? It taints the whole process and I need a brain shower after reading some of the comments. And at that point, I remember that I hate reviews.
One, because I am a creature of absolutes, I either love something and refuse to listen to any criticism, or despise it and want nothing to do with it. I have owned books that weren't good enough to sit on the shelf with the other books. They sat on a table, or the floor until I got rid of them. And I've yet to read a review that doesn't come off as a cold dissection of what used to be a living, breathing story, even if it was favorable.
Two, because reviewing books or movies is (to me at least) the equivalent of going home after a night out with your friends and ripping them to pieces. You don't treat your friends like that, and I don't treat my books like that. Would I google someone before deciding to be friends with them? It has never occurred to me. So I'm going to stop doing it to books.
So where does this leave me? The tried and true method of going to a bookstore, waiting for something to catch my eye, maybe it's the title, maybe (god forbid) it's the cover, we make a little small talk, I read the first page - is it worth taking home? Is this book sponge worthy?
And sometimes I'm wrong and I picked a loser, so I trade it in for a better book. Just like dating.