I’m pretty well-known at the buyback counter of my local used book store. I’m constantly unloading the girls’ old board books I’ve found I could part with after all, those Dora books they’ve finally outgrown (can I get a thankyouJesus!), and, far more frequently, bags and bags of fiction books that were absolute misses. Many of those books were ones I’d picked up not that long ago from the same book store I was trying to talk into buying them. Some of them had been gifts. Garage sale or consignment shop treasures. Some I had no idea where they had come from – the Immaculate Bookshelf, perhaps.

The point is, I am not always the best judge of what I’ll want to read. When it comes to books, I’m an eternal optimist, an easy sell, a believer of book blurbs. If the blurb sounds interesting, into my Little Black Book of Books that I carry around (hey – you never know when you’re going to need to know what books you meant to look for). Of course, inevitably the times comes when you delve into all of those books you’ve purchased and…it’s not all you thought it would be.

It doesn’t matter if the book in question was a steal found in the middle of the clearance section or a carefully selected full-price book, it burns when I have to “throw back” a book. Heck, I get irritated when I feel I’ve “wasted” a library selection on a book that didn’t catch! And that is why I came up with (what I thought was) a very brilliant plan.

I would use the handy little app available on Amazon to read the first chapter free, thereby weeding out the undesirables. No more wasted selections for me! I could see visions dancing of how I could whittle down my To Read list, smiting my foolish choices before they had chance to annoy me.

And now all of a sudden, I can’t choose wrong.

All nine – NINE – books I’ve tested in my brilliant little beta system have been books I would have purchased on the spot had I unlimited funds. Every. single. one. Bit annoying, really. I mean, it’s fabulous that I have nine guaranteed go-tos if I hit a reading slump and need something delicious to perk me up. But really? REALLY, Universe?? There’s no way I would have hit that streak in the wild.

I might just keep going and see where the happy coincidence ends. Anyone want to place a wager?

What about you? Do you have any tests or methods to make sure you’ll enjoy your next book?