My “Want-to-Read” Checklist | Book Discussion

What determines whether or not you read a book?

Or rather, want to read a book? For me, and for most people, I’d wager, it’s a combination of a lot of different things. Factors that decide whether you’ll pick up a story, or leave it on the shelf.

Today, I want to discuss some of the conventional things that determine whether or not one adds a book to their TBR, and how important each of those things are to me.

Book Reviews

This is the only thing on the list that has nothing to do with the actual book. Not that reviews aren’t important, but they’re not what you see when you grab a book off the shelf.

When I first started blogging, I liked to read reviews, but if I’d already made my mind up about a book, a review would hardly sway me.

But, now that I blog, and bookstagram, my TBR has grown so much that I like to read a review or two of most of the books I pick up before reading them. If someone can convince me that a book isn’t worth my time, I’ll listen, and put that book on the back-burner. Anything to reduce my TBR, if I’m being honest.


Yes, I’ll judge a book by its cover. Maybe that’s not totally fair, but if I’m in a cavernous book store with a dizzying number of options, then I’m not gonna browse books that don’t look good to me.

That’s human nature, right?


When I stop to think about it, who the author is doesn’t always sway me a whole lot. Now, if my favorite author is writing a new book, then yes, I’m already at Barnes and Noble with my cash ready to go.

But I never feel hesitant to pick up a debut or new-to-me author. I don’t necessarily prefer “seasoned” authors to green ones. If I don’t recognize an author’s name on a book, I’m not usually fazed.


This one’s gonna be the biggest yes on the list. If you’re new here, you should know that I really, really love contemporaries. Especially contemporary romances. Even though I am trying to branch out a bit more.

I’m much, much more likely to buy and read a book if it’s a contemporary because it’s just the genre I reach for more often. I’m also pretty likely to pick up a good-looking sci-fi (sorry, fantasy!).


Before picking up a book, I definitely consider what tropes it has! Whether I’ve learned about this trope through the blurb or through a review, it plays a role in whether or not I’ve going to read something.

Sometimes, I’ve got a hankering for a bad boy romance. Other days, all I want is a friends-to-lovers. I wouldn’t say tropes play the hugest role in whether or not I choose to read something – they have more to do with my mood in the moment than whether not I actually think a book is worth reading long-term.


If a book is being discussed left and right for months on end, am I more likely to grab a copy?

Surprisingly, hype doesn’t affect me as much as I’d expect. There are definitely some books I might not’ve read without all the hype (namely, The Cruel Prince), but there are loads of books with bushels of hype that I feel no desire to read because I have no interest in reading them (I’m looking at you, Mortal Instruments).

Of course, the biggest thing that determines whether any of us read a book? The synopsis. The book could be in my favorite genre, from a NYT Bestselling author, with the most gorgeous cover of all time, but if the blurb doesn’t excite me, I’m not picking it up.

What decides whether or not you add a book to your TBR? Does genre matter? Reviews? Tropes? Or are you more open to trying anything? Tell me in the comments! 🙂

Stay bookish,


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