I must admit I judge books by covers. Covers are to make a first impression - to reel me into reading a book. Books today lay it ALL out for everyone to see - especially on the cover. I will not even bother to read a book with a half-dressed woman (or man) on the cover and I tend to steer away from titles written in gold cursive. If the book has been made into a movie, I try not to carry the copy with Richard Gere kissing Diane Lane around, even if the story is clean. I find another copy!
I judge by titles. Font. Pictures. The blurbs on the back. I steer away from words like "passion", "erotic", "sensuous", and "affair". Some things are just subtle clues to tell you what's inside. Some people are attracted to that. Not me.
I might read nonfiction which states certain facts (like Anne Morrow Lindbergh's affair with her doctor), but keep away from the fiction on the same topic... that she had an affair was enough information. I don't want details.
I also flip through the book backwards (so I don't actually find myself reading ahead!) and allow certain words to jump out. Usually sex scenes are not on a page loaded with quotation marks. Long paragraphs may be about the weather and the hillside... sometimes. Sex scenes are not usually in the first chapter, but I erred there this week. I found something disturbing in one book on the third page!
Women writers used to be safer. Not anymore. Sometimes their "scenes" are dirtier.
I steer away from sexual descriptions of body parts - not just "scenes".
I usually stop a book immediately if there is something in it that makes me blush. Rarely do I continue. If I did continue, I will warn you. If I tell you I am reading a book, and then I stop, I will tell you why.
Why does any of this matter? Because "a man is known by the books he reads". My book choices will tell you who I am - who I used to be - and who I hope to become. Books affect us. We need to be changed for the better by what we read. With so many books out there, and so little time, we need to help each other muck through the junk to get to the gems that will change us all for the better.
How do you choose books?