I was having a look through my book shelves last night and I came to the conclusion that the books I like to read often have a similar cover style. It seems to be all about muted colours and photos of swaying grasses and the like. This one's pretty indicative (right down to its Oprah's Book Club sticker...):
I read somewhere that there is a whole science behind book cover design and I think there's some pretty basic rules in place that allow us readers to easily distinguish what sort of book we are picking up.
Beyond the cover, there's a few things that are guaranteed to get me interested in a book. A few themes seem to link most of the books I like. Here's a list of the things that are guaranteed to make me seek out a book.
Historical themes, particularly if they involve WW2 and its aftermath (but not actual war stories - All Quiet on the Western Front style. Now before you purists kick up, I know this was set in WW1, not 2 - but I couldn't think of a WW2 example).
I also like a bit of English history
So, what about you? What are the things guaranteed to get you reading a book?