What Makes You Pick Up A Book?

There are so many books in the world to pick up with your hands and read. But a person is not going to be interested in picking up every book. Readers have things that make them want to pick up a book. Whether it be the promise of a fantastic adventure or just the pretty cover, we all have things that we need in order to want to take a book off the shelf.

For me, there are four main things that make me want to gently pick up a book and start reading:

1. A beauty of a cover.

I kind of want the book to look on my bookshelf, so a pretty cover is something that I definitely look for. I know, I know, I’m being vain and I shouldn’t judge books by their covers. But I can’t help it! An attractive cover that stands out from all the rest of those covers will make a book more desirable, thus making me want to pick it up.

Examples of pretty covers: 

Eleanor & ParkUnspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)The Miseducation of Cameron Post

2. An intriguing synopsis.

This is one of those kind of traits that a book must have or else the deal is off. If a book’s synopsis makes me feel like I am already in love with the book, that’s when I know that the book will be very much worth picking up. If a book’s synopsis makes me feel indifferent or bored, I will leave the book.

3. A good first impression.

Another deal breaker. I almost always flip through the pages of book before buying it, searching for things that just pop out. If I am impressed with that first impression, I will definitely be picking up the book.

4. High reviewer ratings.

There are many fantastic people out there writing reviews for all these fantastic books. Might as well find the ones I trust and look out for the books that they absolutely love 😛


The book doesn’t require all of these things, though. I can excuse the absence of a good cover and high reviewer ratings. But #2 and #3 are a must have. Sure, an awesome looking cover will make the book stand out and easier to notice out of all those other books on the shelf and high reviewers ratings are a great way to see if a book is quality or not, but I do choose with my gut also.

Using those main four things (and my gut) as a basis for deciding whether or not a book is worth picking up hasn’t always worked. But hey, I have already put on a wedding dress and danced around with a great story that I adore in my hands tons of times so far. I think it works for the most part 😉

Now just imagine that man with the imaginary me as a book… source

What makes you pick up a book? Please tell in the comments!


22 thoughts on “What Makes You Pick Up A Book?

  1. Ever since blogging I feel like I’ve become a cover snob lol. I never used to be one. But the content is pretty important. I’m one of those people who steers towards reading content that is serious and maybe even non-fiction. I’ve pretty much figured out that I can’t do the whole fluffy reading thing. It’s just not me. The synopsis should be good, but then that can be misleading. *Cough cough. Heist Society I’m glaring at you now. But if the first few pages or chapters are interesting I’ll pick it up. I don’t read too many reviews of books that I haven’t read because I want to form my own opinion first and don’t want to be swayed by others. That’s just me though lol.

    • I’ve ALWAYS been a cover snob 😛 I do liked serious books (normally dark contemporary) but I do like me some light and fluffy every once in a while! Non-fiction isn’t really my thing, unless you count biographies…

      A synopsis can definitely be misleading! Sometimes the synopsis writer is just better than the actual writer’s attempt at creating a story. Although they get to put the story in only a paragraph. But still. (Heist Society was definitely one of those books in which the synopsis misleads.)

      I can’t help but read reviews all the time! I do trust myself to make my own opinions, though, so I don’t try to stop myself or anything… But everyone has their own way of doing things, soooo 🙂

  2. The covers always pull me in. I don’t mind if the book gets a lot of negative reviews; in fact, a lot of negative reviews make me want to read the book even more just to see what all the madness is about 😛 A good synopsis is definitely important too. I guess I’m a little vain when choosing my books since the cover is the thing that pulls me in the most. If a book has a really pretty or intriguing cover, then I’m more likely to want to read it. 🙂 Great post idea!

    • Pretty covers seem to be the thing everybody loves! Us readers are all vain 😛 Hmmm. So negative reviews make you want to read a book? Guess I am not the only one. I do get attracted by a book because of negative reviews, very rarely, though.

  3. The cover, always the cover! The blurb is very important too, if I don’t like that, I probably won’t look much further at the book. I often read the first page (or a sample chapter on amazon) to see if I like the writing, if I do then I’l buy it. And reviews are really importatant, most of the books on my must-buy asap (like Anna and the French Kiss) are there because I have seen glowing review after glowing review.

    • Covers, covers, covers. Us readers all love us some beautiful covers 😛 Seems like some other readers share my habit of trying to get a first impression from a book… Sometimes I get carried away, though, and end up reading about fifty pages. All awhile standing up in the middle of a bookstore.

      There are lots of books I wouldn’t have gotten if it wasn’t for the glowing reviews! It’s hard not to want a book when one constantly sees rave reviews in their feed.

  4. Hiya!.. Girl, those are the points I judge a book with too. I am big time guilty of judging a book by it’s cover!. First impression is a must for me.. Excellent post.. I saw myself in this post..

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  6. Oh, I’m with you on everything except the first impression where you flip through the pages. I rarely ever actually look inside the book before buying it, and I’m not quite sure why. You would think that would be the best way to determine if it’s worth purchasing. But no, I’m all about the cover and synopsis for the most part, and reviews/recommendations if they are fresh in my mind (because I don’t have a phone where I can look it up while at the store otherwise). So in the end, a lot of it is up to the book marketing on the cover to sell me that book! (And unfortunately, that is never a guarantee that I’ll actually like the book. The evilness of pretty covers!)

    • Huh, I can never buy a book without flipping through the pages 😛 I guess everyone is a different type of reader! Maybe it’s because you like being surprised when you have the time to be fully in tune to the story?

      I’m a sucker for pretty covers… even though a lot of books with pretty covers have some pretty toxic content. But I’m a vain girl and only want my bookshelf to be pretty, so I live with the risk.

  7. An intriguing synopsis is probably the most important to me. But reviews from people I trust quite often make me pick up books that I wasn’t interested at first. That’s how I ended up reading (and loving) books like The Selection, Angelfall or Sweet Evil 🙂
    And who doesn’t love pretty covers?? This often leads to letdowns though…. and yet, again and again, I find myself picking up books because I fell in love with the cover. I hear this persistent murmuring in the back of my head that ‘this book might not be for me’ but I just ignore it. Sigh. I’m a hopeless cover whore, I’m afraid 😀

    ❤ that last pic!

    • Reviews also tend to have the same affect on me. Even if I have misgivings about a book I will probably dive in if I see enough glowing reviews 😛 I have heard a lot about Angelfall. I need to read it!

      Pretty covers do lead to letdowns… But I think that risk is totally worth it 😉 Cover whores = my people.

  8. Covers definitely do pull me in, but sometimes they also turn me away for silly reasons. For example, one of the covers you showed was for The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which was a daily deal back in March. I took one look at the cover and the haystack and my inner monologue went something like this, “Hay? No thanks, I’m from Texas, I’ve had enough to last a lifetime.” I didn’t actually ever read the synopsis of the book until several months later, which I then kicked myself because it sounded like an awesome book! But the others are all true for me as well. I always scan books in bookstores on the Goodreads app. My rule is that if it has below a 3 star average rating I put it back, and if it’s a 4.0 + I’m most certainly going to pick it up. It helps if bloggers who I know have kinda similar taste to me recommend the book as well.

    P.S– This is my first time at your blog & I just have to say I love your background and header. It’s adorable!

    • LOL! I immediately picked up The Miseducation of Cameron Post when I got the chance to because of the hay 😛 Different people different reactions, I guess 😛 I *almost* always leave a book if it has a less than three star rating… And if it has a four star or above rating than I am definitely going to get it! So I guess we are the same in that way.

      P.S.– Thank you so much! Your blog is adorable, too! I think I have already said that on your blog, though.

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  10. Like most of us, I am influenced by covers. However, often I will pick up a book *because* the cover is faded and battered and barely legible. I am fond of older adventure books, and the affordable ones tend to be in pretty bad shape because they’ve been read over and over.

    • I never though about battered old book covers that way! It’s definitely true that books in bad shape were probably read more than books that are in good shape 🙂 Maybe I should shop with that in mind…

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