There's a few ways you usually guess a book should be good before reading it. Maybe it's a classic that passed the test of time. Many people from different backgrounds and in different times liked it. It has to be good, even if it is not for your taste.
Maybe it was recommended to you by someone whose taste you know and trust, or it was written by an author you already tried and loved. Maybe it's in the top 10 of the moment, and you have heard a lot about it. The thing is when you pick one of these books you kind of expect to like it. But who doesn't love to be pleasantly surprised by a book? Who doesn't like to find a pearl?
A pearl is one of those books you decide to give a try for some vague reason and turns to be precious. Might be in a yard sale, or in a little free library, or you just pick it in your library because the cover catches your attention, or simply was in the same shelf as the book you were initially looking for. Pearls are probably the first reason why I sink my head in any book table or box that crosses my way. There's something so special and gratifying in finding a pearl! Last time it happened to me was just a few days ago when trying to find a book for my 10 years old picky reader. I thought "Who was that masked man, anyway?" would got him because of the title and the masked boy in the cover. First Avis's book for both of us. It ended being an absolutely pearl!
Now that I thought about it, it would be interesting to create a shelf exclusive for pearls. Off to rescue my pearls and give them a proper place.