There are so many parenting books out there which can make it very confusing when you are trying to pick ones that will be right for you. You will find that out of the selection of books that are highly recommended there will be all sorts of different approaches and opinions and so it can be hard to know which are best. It is therefore a good idea to have some way of evaluating the different options so that you can make sure that you read the books that are most relevant to you.
It is good to think about what sort of topics you want help on. There are so many aspects to parenting that you need to be aware of what you need help with. There will be some general books but there are also many more specific books on things like discipline, feeding and things like that which may be more useful for you. It is good to see what sorts of topics the books cover so that you can decide which you think will be the best for you. You may need certain topics now but need other things in the future and so this is worth bearing in mind as well.
Books vary in the style that they are written in. Some will just be lots of text but there are others which will have the text split into boxes with coloured sections, pictures and diagrams. Consider whether you might benefit from something which has a style that is brighter and easier to read or whether you will not mind just reading lots of text. This is a very individual thing but it can make a big difference as to how easy you find the book to read and whether you in fact manage to finish the book. It can even help the information go in better.
It is worth flicking through a book first and reading a bit of it to see whether you think that you would find it easy to read. There are some authors that have a style which is not easy for some people to read. It could be due to them using long words, a tone that does not work for you or something else. It is therefore really wise to read a bit first as you may find that you do not want to read the book once you have bought it if you do not find that it is easy to read. You should know, on previous experience, whether there are certain books that you give up on because you find them hard to read. Some people can read anything though but you will know whether this will apply to you or not.
It is good to read some reviews of the book before you get it. Although these are other people’s opinions and therefore will not reflect your own, they can still give you an idea of what the book is about and whether you might like it. It is especially useful to find out whether people are saying that they found the book useful and acted on any of the information in it. Whether the advice works, at least for others, is something that is very useful to find out as well, as if it works for others it may work for you but if it does not work for others then the chances are that it will not work for you either. Try not to just look at the ratings of a book but read the reviews as it is possible that a book is rated low because it was not delivered on time, has information in that they knew already or things like this that may not be relevant to you.
Likelihood of use
It is also worth thinking about whether you are likely to use the information in the book. Think about whether you think that it will apply to you and your children or not. Consider also whether it looks like something that you will want to apply or not. It may be that the book is about children older than yours so it could be worth waiting until they are older before you read it so that it is more relevant. If you read it too early, chances are that you will have forgotten the contents of it before you need it. You will also know if you are the sort of person that buys lots of books meaning to read them and then does not get around to it.
This may seem like a lot to think about just because you are buying a book. However, there are so many parenting books available that if you start to look for one you are likely to find that you get overwhelmed with the amount that there are and do not know where to start. There are also books on a variety of different subjects and this can mean that you have to decide which will be relevant to you. It is also important to make sure that you do not waste your money. If you are a parent or about to become a parent you will need to spend as little as possible as you will have a lot more expenses until your children leave home. This means that you do not want to waste money on books that you will not read or that will not be helpful for you. So unless you are borrowing them from the library or a friend then you will need to be careful about what you get. You should also be careful of your time too as it will be limited and you do not want to waste it reading books that are not useful. Lastly you need to be careful about worrying about whether you are a good parent based on the content of the book. It is easy to think that you are being judged and feel that you are not being a good parent for a number of reasons so be careful not to let a book make you feel inadequate as well.