The Library Book Selection Game

I tried Book Club Mom’s library book selection game! It goes like this:

  • Close your eyes and run your index finger along the book spines on a library shelf.
  • Stop at a random place and pull out the book.
  • Do this three times on different shelves (so you don’t get the same author), then take the books home.

You should probably check the books out before you take them home!

Read a paragraph from each of the three books in order to decide which book sounds the most appealing. The winner is the book you get to read. It’s a great way to try new genres or authors.

I read a paragraph from page 69 because of something I learned from the Kill Zone blog: Page 69 is past the intro where the author tried really hard to impress, but it’s not at the exciting climax, either. It’s just the ordinary part of the book. If the prose from the ordinary part sounds pretty intriguing, it’s probably an entertaining book.

The three books I blindly picked

Persuader by Lee Child. Pg. 69:

I said nothing back. He moved his hand and nudged one of [the guns] with his knuckles. Then he sent it sliding across the wood toward me. The heavy steel made a hollow reverberant sound on the oak.

Home to Harmony by Philip Gulley. Pg. 69:

Dale Hinshaw thought maybe it was time to hold another revival. Maybe have two revivals a year. He talked about a church in Florida that had a revival every week. Maybe we could do that. Harvey Muldock suggested putting a lottery ticket in each bulletin. Miriam suggested we become sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and begin inviting people to worship with us. They decided to go with the lottery idea.

Scream at the Sky by Carlton Stowers. Pg. 69:

Jamie hung up the phone, checked on her still-sleeping baby, then began pacing. She wanted to begin making calls to locate her friend yet was numbed by the frustrating realization that she knew no one to contact except for Ellen’s coworkers. And that was being done from the Suds ’N Subs. This is stupid, she told herself. Ellen’s going to come walking in any minute, laughing at me for being so worried.

I chuckled at the excerpt from Home to Harmony, so I went with that book. It wasn’t a mistake. When I settled in to read the story properly, the first page had me laughing out loud, and so did many scenes after that. It’s got a nostalgic feel, like The Andy Griffith Show, but with a modern slant.

I bought a new copy of the book and sent it to my small-town Midwestern MIL. She enjoyed it.🙂

The writing is strange. It reads like an anecdotal memoir, and I couldn’t always tell what the point of the scene was except to tell a joke or to define a character. It was an interesting experience for me as a writer to read something so vastly different from my own style. I think I came away better for it with more writing tools at hand.

Wouldn’t this be a fun book-club thing to do? The group wouldn’t be able to discuss the same book as usual. Each member would have to say why he or she picked the one book out of three then say why it ended up being a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down choice.

74 thoughts on “The Library Book Selection Game

  1. Intriguing, Priscilla! Funny you picked Home to Harmony. That excerpt pricked my curiosity, too. Got a Kindle sample to read more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It takes about 30 seconds to pick a book. Then, once home, another 30 seconds to read a paragraph. So no, not much time. (We pass by the library on the way to the grocery store, so even that isn’t extra time for us.) Have a super weekend, Pat!


  2. Hi Priscilla! I loved your post and enjoyed reading about your reaction to Home to Harmony. I was intrigued by Scream at the Sky and will try to find it at the library! Thanks so much for the shout-out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, and it was a book I wouldn’t have picked out with my eyes open. The cover reminds me of something sappy, but the story was humorous and entertaining (with only a FEW sappy moments). Loved it.:-) I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Denise!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Book Club Mom and commented:
    Hi Everyone! Well my blogging friend Priscilla Bettis jumped into the Read, React and Decide game and picked three random books off her local library’s shelves. Read the excerpts, see which one she decided to read and what she thought about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fun thing to do. It looks like you picked a good one. I have to say the Lee Child excerpt did nothing for me and I certainly wouldn’t have picked it out of the three.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an ingenious idea! I haven’t visited a library in a while, and it’s been on my mind to do so. I’m new to the Prescott area, so this will be an adventure. Thank you for sharing this fun approach to finding new writers we might enjoy. As for my choice of the three, I’d go with Home to Harmony as well. Too strange and comical to pass up! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How interesting! I forgot about the paragraph on page 69 tip. Not only will this help with choosing a book but I also decided to check out page 69 in my current WIP. I think it passed. At least in my prejudiced opinion. 😉 I’ll be interested to hear what my editor and critique partners say. Thank you for an interesting post. I love the mention of the lottery ticket in the bulletin. I’ll mention that to my pastor and watch his reaction. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s