Usually, when I walk into a book store, the first thing I do is :
Then I'll just start browsing. I generally go to YA or children's lit first because I read alot of that. I buy a lot of my books for my 5th grade classroom so I'll read the books first in order to be able to match them with a kiddo..
It really just depends on my mood though. I've got a mood for every genre.
I am trying to grow as a reader. I read in four genres--generally in order--fiction, general non-fiction, memoir, and spiritual. I pick a spiritual book either from my church library (where I am the librarian) or a book that I will be putting in the library. I read reviews from New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, BookMarks, and New York Times to pick the rest of my books. I am starting to get books from publishers, so I am adding them to my list. I try to read as much as I can from the public library...also whatever my book club is reading. I'm having a great time!
BTW, my blog is mimi-cyberlibrarian.blogspot.com
Miriam, neat blog! Are you a New Yorker? I am moving back soon and miss the Strand greatly, because I loved perusing the different display tables and finding random selections. The same goes for any great used bookstore, or an independent one. Sometimes even Barnes & Noble has great displays - I got a bunch of interesting titles from the one in Union Square, where they had a table full of great history and science books labeled "Who Knew?" My review that grew out of one of those selections: http://bit.ly/dGRm4q
I generally read children and YA fiction or Christian fiction. I automatically buy any new book written by a favorite author. For books by unknown authors, I choose the ones with interesting stories to tell. Before I buy, I check out the reader reviews on Amazon that gave the book 1 or 2 stars. It helps me to see why a person didn't like it!
There have been times when a book "calls" to me! I usually end up buying it. Some of these books I have kept and read (usually with good result), and some I have given away to someone else who seemed to need it more than I did.
Interesting!! "5 Star Reviews paid for by **** Publishing Company"!!!! It's like a political endorsement!