Thursday, October 9, 2014

So Many Books, So Little Time


I’ve loved books since I can remember. One of my first memories ever was the day the bookmobile parked across the street in front of our house (we lived across the street from the elementary school). From that day, I waited eagerly for its next visit the same way I counted the months until the State Fair. There I discovered worlds that waited for me, friends to meet and stories to share. I loved it even more than the skating rink at the end of the block.
While I never thought of myself as nerdy, I am one of those rare creatures that loves school. I’d be in school today if I could. There’s always so much more to learn. Another book to read. But alas, life intrudes and we have to apportion our time accordingly. I work full time and am Mom to five offspring and Grandma to one perfectly lovely granddaughter. My oldest son is disabled and lives with us. While he’s doing well, he needs daily care and medication dispensed. My husband suffered a stroke in 2012 and also needs special daily care. My twenty-four hour days are very full.
Add to that the fact that I’m a publicist. I promote authors and their books for a living. Of course it’s imperative to keep abreast of the industry in which I work so I read books. Lots and lots of books. My clients’ books. Other authors’ books. All kinds of books.

I’m sure your lives are comparable. Everyone is so busy these days, leisure time is hard to come by. So when we finally carve out a few minutes that we can indulge in a new book just for the pleasure of reading it, how in the world do we choose which one to read next in the midst of so many?
Back in the days when I did book reviews as a freelance writer, I operated by the common 100 page rule. If it hadn’t grabbed me in the first 100 pages, I quit reading. Maybe I missed something that was just slow starting but I didn’t want to invest another 200 or so pages to find out. As time went on, my rule shrank to 75 pages, then 50.
Today, when I pick up a book to read it for no reason other than I just want to, there are a few things I consider:
·        Who wrote it. If Robert Crais wrote it, I will read it. If it’s another author I’ve read before and enjoyed, I’ll consider it.
·        Book description. Hopefully there is a description that is concise and engaging. If it looks like the type of storyline I enjoy or otherwise intrigues me, I’ll give it a chance.
·        Reviews and blurbs. Honestly, I’ve never bought or read a book solely on the basis of a review. However, if the reviews or blurbs give actual information as opposed to “this is great” hype, or if there’s a thoughtful mention by someone I recognize and respect, I’ll probably give it a look.
·        Author info. I’ve chosen to read several books over the years based more on what I learned about the author than the typical book information. If an author demonstrates writing skill (even in making sure his/her website is typo free) and presents a professional and interesting bio, I’m easily persuaded to look further and find out what he/she has to say. On the other hand, if the online persona says little about the person, is all about the books, and seems otherwise amateurish, I won’t bother.
·        Ambiance. It’s a no brainer, but if I’m captured by the opening sentence and the scenario set forth on the first page makes me want to keep reading, I’m in. It’s like a positive first impression. If that opening is great, even if interest wanes in subsequent pages, I’ll keep reading for a while, believing it will come back to the place where it began. But if it starts bad, even if it gets better, I’ll exhibit less tolerance if there’s a lot of back and forth.
How about you? I know your time is as fleeting as mine. How do you decide when to put it down and when to keep reading?



About Angel Killer: The death of a child is every mother’s nightmare.  But what if the child has no mother?  What if their little bodies are discarded like garbage and no one even seems to care that they’re gone? 

Shari Markham, psychologist for the Dallas Police Department, knows what it feels like to be unclaimed and unwanted. She can’t turn away, even if it means demons dancing in her dreams at night.  But when her relentless pursuit of information to help apprehend this madman gets a little too close, he turns the tables, warning her that his next scheduled victim will be her own three-year-old granddaughter, Angel!

"Dr Shari Markham demonstrates skills Charlie Fox would be proud of in this
tense hunt for a deranged serial killer. Crackles with romantic suspense."
– Zoe Sharp, author of Die Easy and the Charlie Fox Thriller series

About Private Spies:

When Jesse Morgan’s boss and best friend died, she inherited Private Spies, a private investigation firm that specializes in missing persons. Unfortunately, she knew little about the business aside from her intensive work on the computer. But if Joey thought she could handle it, she felt obligated to at least give it a try. How hard could it be, right?

So Jesse took on her first case. Very straightforward. This guy is missing, find him. Oh but wait, he also kidnapped his own daughter. Find her too. Still not that hard. Except when she ran his report, the picture she found on his drivers license is of another guy. And when she found a guy who matched the first picture, he had another name. And when she found a girl that looked like the daughter, she didn’t match anything. Not good.

Enter a retired police officer named Byron (really?) who says before Joey died, he hired him to work for them. Ok. This might be helpful. But then came a stalker, and a dead guy, a dead duck and an increasing list of incidents that all seem confusing to Jesse. Up to her eyeballs in threats and questions, Jesse’s outraged when the woman who hired her decides to fire her. Unbelievable! Unable to stop at that point, Jesse is determined to find the guy and solve the case. If only it was as easy as it sounded.

Bio: 


In 1998, PJ Nunn founded BreakThrough Promotions (breakthroughpromotions.net), now a national public relations firm helping authors, mostly of mystery novels, publicize themselves and their work. The business is thriving and PJ is also the author of Angel Killer: a Shari Markam Mystery and Private Spies: a Jesse Morgan Mystery. PJ lives with her husband some of their five children near Dallas, TX. Learn more at http://pjnunn.com.
Links:

PJ Nunn 972.825.1171
BreakThrough Promotions
http://breakthroughpromotions.net

2 comments:

Billie Johnson said...

When I read novels we are considering publishing, I read in bed. If I am nodding off in short order, especially if that happens several nights in a row, very likely there will be a NO in that author's future.

I'm enough of a story junkie that I will read all night regardless of how tired I am --if the book compels me!

PJ Nunn said...

I love it when I find a book that's good enough to keep me up at night!