Guest Post (and free books!): How Do You Decide What to Read? by S.W. Vaughn

March 5, 2013


Many thanks, Zohar, for having me over today!

There are millions of readers in the world, and the ever-present question on the minds of each one of them is, “What should I read next?” It’s a hard question to answer in a general sense, because every reader has different influences, interests, and literary turn-offs that tumble around in their reading brains until they all come together, point at a book, and say, “THAT ONE!”

I can’t speak for every reader, but I can talk about the various ways I come to my reading choices. I’m betting at least a few of these are pretty common motivations.

The Love at First Sight Book

I’m in a bookstore, and a pick up a book off the shelf—idly at first. Maybe I liked the cover, or the title, or something about it seems vaguely familiar. I read the back cover, and if I like the description, I open to page one. Then I realize I’ve been standing in the aisle for like 20 minutes reading this book, and there’s no way I’m putting it back. It will be mine! I’ll fight for it if I have to, because I need to read the rest.


The Why Don’t I Have This Book

This is my typical nonfiction process. I’m reading a blog, or an article, or a website, and I see this item that’s relevant to my interests. It promises to tell me wonderful secrets and help me improve something I want to fix, or obtain something I haven’t been able to get. Lots of other people are saying it worked for them. I am so excited to find out the secret! And boom! Downloaded.

The Drooling On My Keyboard Book

Much like the Love At First Sight Book, I’m online reading a book description or a chapter excerpt, and I just know I’m going to love this character and/or this story. I start looking for more about this book. I see that other people have enjoyed it. And I can buy it right now for less than five bucks—so I do.

The Where Is the Next Book

I have just finished an awesome book, and I find out that it’s part of a series, and I get all giddy because the story doesn’t have to be over and I need the rest of these books right now!

The You Are My Crack Book

Just as I would happily listen to James Earl Jones reading a technical manual, or Peter Gabriel singing the alphabet, there are a handful of authors from whom I will read absolutely anything. Stephen King, I’m still waiting for you to publish your grocery list (you promised!). Lisa Jackson, I cannot help myself. Dean Koontz—I wish I knew how to quit you.

The Here, Read This Book

These books, usually rumpled and dog-eared and creased, are thrust into my hands by one of my dearly beloved people with a command of, “You have to read this now!

The Happy Insert-Occasion-Here Book

My family and friends all know about my book addiction – er, that I like to read. So I get books for birthdays, holidays, and hey-it’s-Wednesdays. It’s pretty awesome.

The Unavoidably Sitting Here Book

A selection from the stack of books hanging around in my bathroom. This tactic also works on magazines and random unclaimed paperbacks at the doctor’s office.

The Hey It’s Dirt Cheap and Looks Pretty Cool Book

Whenever I go to a thrift store to pick up some clothes or kitchen things, somehow I end up with four or five bags full of books. I can’t help it. They’re all from 50 cents to $2, and they need a good, loving home! If a thrift store book looks marginally interesting, I’m buying it. I’ve found a lot of favorite authors this way and went on to buy new.

And don’t even get me started on the annual book sale at the library…

With that being said, here’s my book. It’s dirt cheap (you can’t get cheaper than free, unless I pay you), and it looks pretty cool. Just a few clicks and it’s yours!




No rules. No limits. No escape.

Gabriel Morgan is looking for a secret society, known only by a symbol — a five-colored star. Rumors whispered through the New York City underground speak of drugs, deadly deals, and high-class prostitution. But the society’s main draw is a vicious blood sport fought in a ring with no rules, where millions change hands at every match.

Their fighters are legendary, their leaders cold and ruthless. They are impossible to find, unless you already know where they are.

And they have Gabriel’s sister.

But when he finally hunts down the leader of the society’s Manhattan division, the nightmare is just beginning — Gabriel is taken prisoner along with his sister and forced to fight for her freedom. He is branded with ink, broken and trained by the best of their fighters, and must accept a new identity along with a new name.

Gabriel Morgan is Angel.

And in the ring, he’ll do anything to win . . . because the price for losing is his sister’s life.


Get your free copy here!

Broken Angel (free on Amazon US)

Broken Angel (free on Amazon UK)


Also – don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know how you decide what to read! I’m not collecting the information for any nefarious plans involving world domination or anything. You can totally trust me.

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  • techeditor March 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Here’s how I decide.

    If I won the book from a blog or an author who expects a book review, that’s my next read.

    Otherwise, I ask my husband to pick from several stacks of unread books.

  • S.W. Vaughn March 5, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    That sounds like a fun way to pick a book — have your husband randomly surprise you! 🙂

  • Andrew T. Kuligowski March 5, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I agree with techeditor … if I’ve been asked by a friend to review a book, it gets priority. BUT, once a month minimum, I pick something out of my TBR pile just for me – either a series I’ve enjoyed in the past, or something that caught my eye or came well recommended.

    • Zohar - Man of la Book March 6, 2013 at 8:06 am

      I’m not really sure what my priorities are when reading a book. I usually schedule my reading list out in advance for new books but as my blog became more popular it’s hard and harder to fit in books from my TBR list (currently I have posts scheduled 3-4 months ahead).

      • S.W. Vaughn March 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm

        That is a LONG pre-schedule! I think your blog is great, and I love the more casual format of thoughts instead of formal reviews.

    • S.W. Vaughn March 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      I think I need more friends. I don’t have enough to get recommendations that fill my reading list! 🙂

  • Michelle @ The True Book Addict March 6, 2013 at 1:01 am

    I think I’m going to have to go with the You Are My Crack book. I was just telling someone the other day that Stephen King could publish a phone book and I’d read it. 😉 There are other authors I feel that way about as well…Anne Rice (actually, my favorite), Ken Follett (his historical fiction) and more!

    Actually, I will also read any non-romantic historical fiction. That genre really is my crack, I think!

    Thanks for the free book too!

    • Zohar - Man of la Book March 6, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Thanks for the comment Michelle.
      My “crack” book authors are Ace Atkins, Daniel Silva and several others.

    • S.W. Vaughn March 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Anne Rice is great! I’ve even read her A.N. Roquelaire and Anne Rampling stuff. 🙂

      And I distinctly remember Stephen King writing in one of his afterwords that he knew he could publish a grocery list and people would read it. So where’s my grocery list, Steve? LOL

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