I love to read. Newspapers, magazines, periodicals, books — I even gained 18 pounds one summer eating nothing but fortune cookies to get the delicious scraps of text inside. Suffice to say I take my literary input pretty seriously (and my nutritional input significantly less so). Even with my voracious appetite for literature, however, I can’t read everything. To decide what I should read, I often rely on book and publication surveys.
I started perusing book and publication surveys when I noticed a disturbing trend; I’d always been skeptical of the glowing reviews that adorn virtually every book’s dust jacket, but I began to see online reviews that seemed like little more than wholly biased marketing written on behalf of the author. With polls, however, I could get a more objective analysis of what a wide range of people thought about a given publication; information more valuable to me than one person’s review.
Even the most objective reviewer is but one person, who has her own taste and agendas. With book and publication surveys, I can seek those that ask the questions that I care about, to the people I most identify with. With the ever-growing canon of literature, being able to avoid wasting energy on reading I won’t find interesting is a great way to maximize my time. Books and publication surveys help me love reading even more by focusing my attention on what I’ll enjoy the most.
Whether you read every day or nearly never, finding the best material is important. Book and publication surveys can help you make sure you get the most out of every word. Your time is valuable: don’t waste it with something in which you’re not going to be interested.