Since preschool, when I first learned the magic of making letters into words and words into sentences, I’ve consumed books voraciously and in large quantities. There were times in my life, when I only read books on a given subject or certain genre, but there was never a time when I didn’t have a book to keep me company. I’ve even overcome motion sickness and learned to read on a bus and as a passenger in a car – without an urge to throw up; although my stomach is still a pretty good judge of a driver’s skill and responds to every bump on the road.
With all my love and passion for the printed word, there is a limit to how many books I can fit in my busy schedule. Regular visits to local Chapters-Indigo stores, a public library, Amazon.com or the Kobo store elevate my spirits, yet, I always get a tinge of sadness: there are so many good books out there, and there is so little time to read them. Would it help if I had a system in place and my priorities all ironed out? The problem is, when it comes to books, my mind works like the mind of my two Sheltie dogs: they drop everything, including their most favourite treats, to chase after a squirrel or rabbit that happen to be passing by.
My squirrels and rabbits come in a form of book covers: the artist in me can be easily seduced by a good cover design, advice not to judge the book by its cover ignored and forgotten. More often though, all the cover has to do to grab my attention is to bear an image of a dog’s face. Not an image of a dog looking away, but a dog looking straight into my eye. Having succumbed to the powers of a dog’s gaze, I recently bought “The art of racing in the rain” and “A dog’s purpose.” “The art of racing” had only lasted 10 pages (Kobo pages that is, in medium type) before I put it aside. Call me narrow-minded or lacking in the imagination department, but a dog telling its story as if it were human (a middle-aged male, to be exact) in every aspect other than its body, gave me a bout of motion sickness. The second book, a paperback with a cute doggy face on the cover, is still waiting its turn. I honestly hope the dog in this book is actually a dog and not a human in a furry coat.
Lucky for me, a dog’s visage on a book cover is not that common, and common sense is not entirely foreign to me. Even with my random selection technique, the majority of books I pick don’t disappoint. But there must be better ways. What do you think? How do you choose what’s next on your reading list?