1. First up are book I need to read for reviews. I currently review at least 5 books a month for journals (VOYA, Booklist, SIGNAL). These have to be at the top of the TBR stack because of deadlines.
2. I also write a monthly blog post for Follett, so I generally try to have some sort of short reading ladder of books for each month. The next one for my deadline is October, and I think I will talk about the NBA Award for Young People's Literature.
3. If I am on a selection committee (right now that is the NBA Award for YPL), those books take priority.
4. Once deadlines are all met, I employ a method I think is similar to one that many others use
a. cover--is it interesting, attractive
b. title--does it suggest interesting content
c. author--is this someone whose books I automatically read because of my past experiences
d. format--I need to mix it up. Picture books, graphic novels, chapter books, etc.
e. genre--again, I try for a mix. Historical, realistic, fantastic.
f. blurbs--if Neil Gaiman is blurbing a book, I generally want to read it. Ditto any of my favorite authors. the endorsement implies the promise of a good read.
g. packaging--sometimes the books arrive in such an interesting package that I have to place them on the top if the TBR stack.
h. length--yep, sometimes I just need a short book. I know that does not mean an easy read or even a quick read, but...
i. opening paragraph--is there a promise of a great read right at the outset?
j. flap summary--have you noticed how well these are written?
I think showing kids how we select books (or how they select US) might be a good thing to model early on. Forget a "method," and aim for what readers in the wild do.