- Check out a book because the author has written so much.
Chances are, you’ll end up reading cardboard fiction because the author is churning words out so fast that she doesn’t have time to stop and think. Prime example: Danielle Steel, who has written more than 100 books that are not worth your time. Major exception: juvenile and children’s fiction. Mary Pope Osborn, for example, has written a delightful string of Magic Tree House books along with their nonfiction companions.
- Force yourself to finish every book you start.
Not only will you start accruing late fees before you get around to finishing, trying new books will become a discouraging prospect. If you happen to pick up a book that doesn’t suit, nothing obligates you to finish it.
- Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Peer through the double negative–yes, that says to judge a book by its cover, at least sometimes. If the people on the cover are too beautiful to be true and/or their clothes are falling off, put the book down. If the people on the cover are Amish, standing in a field, and looking very sad, don’t bother. If you’ve ever read Amish fiction, you’ve read it before.
- Always read from the same section of the library.
Always read thrillers? Try a biography about a spy or a nonfiction book on criminology. Always in adult fiction? Mosey on over to juvenile fiction. Try a classic. Try a memoir. Spread your wings.
- Never pick at random.
Sometimes, a book will surprise you by leaping to your hand and begging to be read.