Currently, I am greatly influenced by my fellow book bloggers and their spot-on recommendations for books. When I read a review of a book that I think I would enjoy, I immediately go to my library website and place a hold. I have learned that I do much better if I can preview the book over 3 weeks in my own home, than I can in trying to preview a book in a local bookstore in under 30 minutes.
After the preview I have a pretty good idea if this is a book that I am probably not interested in reading at this point in time, in which case it is returned to the library; it is a book that I would like to read soon, but just don't have the time, in which case it is added to the TBR excel list; or it is a book that I absolutely must read now, in which case I do before the book is due.
After reading the book I then decide if it is a book that I wish to add to my personal bookshelves (in which case I add it to the TBR excel list to buy) or if it is a book that was a good first read, but will probably not need to be read again (in which case I just return to the library). The area that I need to improve is keeping track of who recommends that book in the first place. By the time I receive the book from the library -- I forget where I read the wonderful review.
Due to finances, I rarely buy books sight-unseen from the bookstore. I simply can't afford it (but.....I am seriously considering changing professions and becoming a bookseller so that I can take advantage of their awesome discount).
So there you have it...my rather-elaborate-but-it-works-for-me book system.