I’m a self-proclaimed book-worm. There is rarely a time I go out of town (or even out for groceries for that matter) and don’t pick up at least one or two books. On that note… I don’t remember the last time I read a novel… or something non-business related. (Isn’t that weird?)
In any case, I read. A lot. And one of the things I frequently run into when trolling various bookstores is the decision: Which and whose few thousand words to pick up next. I consider reading a significant investment of time… so as in business, I always look for a great return on time invested. Making good, informed quick decisions is a pillar of time management, so I always look for a way to optimize my time.
I recently heard about an iPhone app called SnapTell and it’s since become a secret weapon in my time efficiency arsenal. A quick picture of the book I’m considering and I get quick access to a wealth information about it, including online pricing, wikipedia entries, google entries and best of all, Amazon entry (side note: the US version is WAY better then the Canadian one).
My rule of thumb is at least a four-star average, from at least 50 reviewers. Something I’ve learned a couple of years ago when working with an author is that Amazon and other bookseller-site reviews can be skewed. Any author with a larger circle of friends or a good size social circle can skew their reviews. Something to keep in mind. So I generally look for “Top 50 or 1000 reviewer” or “Amazon Verified Purchase” as well.