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jamiehall
12-01-2006, 12:38 AM
What habits do you have in book buying?
Do you have a few authors whose work you must obtain in hardcover the moment it comes out?
Do you find yourself often waiting until books show up in the used book store even when you are a huge fan of that author's work?
Do you often avoid buying books at all by borrowing them from friends? And, if so, about how frequently do those books ever return to their real owners?
Do you buy more nonfiction, or more fiction?
Do you buy mostly the newest books, or do you seek out older classics?
Do you engage in particular book-buying stategies because you know they will financially help a favorite author (such as buying a book you don't like from an author you do like, buying both a hardcover copy and softcover copy of the very same book, or begging all your friends to buy a book from your favorite author)?
Do you spend more on books you need (college textbooks, nonfiction books related to the writing profession, other books you need for job-related purposes, books bought as Christmas gifts for others) or on books bought purely for your own pleasure?
Are you mainly an impulse buyer ( *ohhhh! pretty cover* ) or do you plan and research before buying?
Do you keep track of how many books you buy in order to try to keep your total purchases within a certain budget?
How good are you at judging whether you will like a book in advance? How frequently do you purchase books and then regret it?
Where do you find "buzz" about books that you eventually decide to purchase? Your friends? Books on the "hot" shelf at the library? Book reviews?

In my personal case, I'm a poor book buyer. After looking through my shelves, I'm surprised at how few of my favorite books I actually own. Furthermore, I tend to make bad decisions in the store. I own a large number of books that I did not like. Conversely, I seem to make my best judgments in the library, after much research. I own more nonfiction than fiction, and I tend to favor older classics over the hottest new thing. A large amount of my book-buying budget does, alas, go towards textbooks and other books that I need rather than want. Perhaps I'll become a better book buyer after I graduate.

Kate Thornton
12-01-2006, 12:49 AM
I buy lots and lots of mystery fiction, some lit fic and a few self-helps. Because I had a stroke and can't focus my left eye properly, I "read" on tape or CD, at least one book a week, sometimes more.

I buy authors I know & like and lots of stuff I see recommended on blogs and other sites and here. Oh, and stuff recommended at Sisters in Crime meetings and by friends in the art world.

Toothpaste
12-01-2006, 01:15 AM
I am a huge judger of book covers (judger, really, you want to use that Toothpaste? Okay, whatever). If I like the cover I make a bee line for it. Then I read the back. If I still like it, I buy it. That's how I acquired The Vesuvius Club

TrainofThought
12-01-2006, 01:23 AM
I buy mostly fiction with a few non-fictions and the subject matters range. I'll read modern to the classics. The bestseller list isnít something I base a buy off of especially if I have no desire to read it. If I have a reliable source on referrals, on AW or in life, then I will look over the book. I also look for new books by authors I enjoy.

Before purchase:

1. The cover usually is the first thing that captures my eye and then the title.
2. I read the back cover.
3. If there are magazine, newspaper and book reviews, Iíll read them sometimes finding a comparison to another author.
4. I read the acknowledgments.
5. Finally, I will read the first page or two to see if I like the authorís writing.

Normally, if all of the above are to my liking then I will buy the book.

Right now I'm reading "The Count of Monte Cristo".

Shadow_Ferret
12-01-2006, 01:53 AM
I buy 90% of my books from Half Price, used.

I have no idea where the "buzz" is. I'm very out of touch with what is popular.

Planet Revels
12-01-2006, 02:03 AM
I buy every Sherman Alexie book as soon as it comes out. I used to buy mainly nonfiction humor books and biographies (favorite book ever is "The Dirt". Lately I've been buying a bit of everything.

Carrie in PA
12-01-2006, 02:09 AM
Dean Koontz and Stephen King: I *must* have their books the minute they're released. (Ok, maybe not the minute, but close.)

I buy a lot of books at Borders, paying full price. I also buy a lot of books from Amazon, and Amazon marketplace. The majority of them, I read once and donate to the library. (yay! Tax writeoff!) I have a few authors that I keep their books to re-read.

ETA: Total impulse buyer, I never borrow or lend good books, I buy far more fiction, I buy a mix of classics, new releases, older stuff... I don't care. If it looks good, I'll buy it.

Simon Woodhouse
12-01-2006, 02:13 AM
I don't really pay much attention to the cover. Seeing as it's very rarely produced by the author themselves, it's probably not going to reflect their writing style. Titles catch my eye, and if I'm inspired, I'll read the back cover blurb.

I tend to read two books at the same time (not literally), one fiction and one non-fiction. I've never read a current best seller, but I do read a lot of classics.

Tiger
12-01-2006, 02:30 AM
I usually only buy reference books. My fiction I try to get from the library. No $$

Shara
12-01-2006, 02:31 AM
My husband and I are probably responsible for keeping London book shops in business, as between us we spend a lot of money of books. We have a three bedroom house that is occupied by the two of us, and there are books - lots of them - in pretty much every room.

'3 for the price of 2' is our downfall. We will go in a book store, and we will both find a book we want that's in the 3 for 2 sale. So we both go off to find a third book and both find one, so then we have four. So then we have to go off and find another one each, to make 6 for the price of 4. And during our search one or both of us has usually found another book, that's not in the 3 for 2 offer, that we want. So by the time we get to the till we're handing over £50 or £60 or so in books, and this happens on average about once a month.

For my own personal book-buying habits, I don't buy hard backs because I read books on the train on my commute to work and they are too bulky to carry. But I read a lot, as reading on the train will get me through one novel every two weeks or so. I like buying books, rather than borrowing them, because I like to keep them. There is something comforting about being surrounded by books.

My favourite authors I will buy their latest as soon as it comes out in paperback. But in browsing, if a cover and a title strikes me, I will pick a book up and read the blurb on the back. If it sounds interesting, I will often take a chance on the author and buy it, even if it's by someone I've never heard of before.

I tend not to read the first page in the store, as some people do. Hence, I have bought a few rather bad books along the way. But I tend to feel I should be rooting for new writers, and offer them some support by buying their books. Hopefully, one day, I'll be one of those unheard-of authors with a debut novel in the book store, and I'll be hoping that someone will take a chance on my book and buy it without having heard of me!

Shara

jenfreedom
12-01-2006, 03:38 AM
I'm so anal about and in love with books that I have a book organizer on my pda that updates my books, gives them a grade (so I know if I want to buy them), and categorizes them by author, type, date, etc. I can glance at it to remind myself about which books and authors I love (or hate). I buy tons of books at my library book store -- you can get hard cover Wally Lamb and other great books for like one or two dollars!!!

I write about birth and mothering often and own just about every single good birth, pregnancy, and parenting book there is. Along these lines I own tons of anatomy, biology, micro, and med texts.

I also have an entire shelf of writing books. I used to have mostly web writing, tech writing, and resume writing books but I've flung out past copy work and towards magazines lately so now I have a bunch of freelance books too.

Overall I own WAY TOO MANY books. I have second ed. copies of cool old books like Little Women and A Tale of Two Cities. I have great Shakespeare texts from England. So much fiction that it makes my brain spin and for when I need an easy brainless read I own every Dean Koontz. I also like books that give me ideas for new topics -- old craft books, home building books, cookbooks, gardening....Yes way too many. Moving is the worst for me but I just can't give up any of my books.

Oh, plus now I've got my son in on the act -- he's just five but has two bookcases full of books already.

CBeasy
12-01-2006, 06:25 AM
I literally can spend hours in a books store. I have such diverse taste that I just walk around look at titles until I see something that interests me. I could buy anything from a novel, to a religous text, to a technical manual.

WriterInChains
12-01-2006, 08:21 AM
I have far too many books for an average person & will use any excuse to go to a bookstore (& usually I need to talk myself out of one). I have a B&N just down the street, but only use them for emergencies or sale books (& not often, although I'm surprised at how often I have a book emergency after the library's closed even though I own enough that I haven't read yet to fill a couple of bookshelves). Usually, I go to one of my local indies, esp Powell's and the St. Helens Book Shop. Powell's isn't hurting for money as far as I can tell, but SHBS is a very small indie & I'm always glad to give Luanne my money.

I buy both new & used books, whatever calls out to me. Mostly fiction, but I hit every library booksale & usually end up with some cool reference books and/or old maps too. Plus, they use the $$ to buy new books I get to check out. :D

Finding books is less difficult than choosing which to read at a given time. I get ideas from friends, the internet, the library's New Books area, and sometimes I just walk down the rows (library or store) and whatever catches my eye I'll read a bit of to see if I like it. Oh, the other thing I use B&N for is their New Writers stuff -- I love to give those folks the first shot at my $$. But, I'll wait & buy the books from an indie unless it's an emergency situation. :)
15 years ago, my To Read list had a table of contents; now I have a Word file on my puter. I also rate the books I read & transfer some authors to my Must Read Everything list from there. Oh, boy, I sound at least a little obsessed.

Authors on my MRE list are cause for an emergency, especially if I missed a release date (or forgot it). I don't buy them all, & even if all of them were released in hardcover I'd still check some out &/or wait for the trade or mm editions.

This year I'm using the Willamette Writer's charity Books For Kids as an excuse to go book shopping even more. I tell myself I'm going for more SciFi (for the older teenage boys who're in danger of giving up on reading), but end up with at least one for myself too. :)

I haven't bought too many books I haven't liked at all, but have returned many books to the library unread or partially-read. I always feel a little curious whenever I stop reading a book, the feeling that I stopped right before the good part hits as soon as I drop the book into the library slot, but I do it anyway. Too many books (to read & write) and too little time.

Hehe, wow, I thought I was wiped from my 10-hour workday until I read this thread! :)

Freckles
12-01-2006, 07:27 PM
I could spend hours in a bookstore as well. I buy more books than I have to time to read, which is quite a problem in itself. :)

Evaine
12-01-2006, 07:46 PM
Here we have the Honesty Bookshop, which is actually outdoor shelves in the gardens of Hay Castle, and is the last chance saloon for any books that have not sold in the owner's main bookshop. It's called Honesty because there are no staff - you just put money for the books in a box in the wall.
I tend to notice when books are being put out over the summer, and then I'll go round and collect 20 or so at a time - I can afford to pick something up on the grounds that it looks vaguely interesting, knowing that I can just bring it back if it turns out not to be.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are three or four authors that I want every single book they wrote, and I want it now. Katherine Kurtz is one such (I'm waiting for her new book, Childe Morgan, now).
I've just discovered how wonderful a local author, Phil Rickman, is - I have the first two in his series about Merrily Watkins, the diocesan exorcist for Hereford, and I want them all now (and his kid's series that starts with Marco's Pendulum, set in Glastonbury, and under the pseudonym Thom Madley).

And there is No Such Thing as having too many books.

WriterInChains
12-01-2006, 07:57 PM
Here we have the Honesty Bookshop, which is actually outdoor shelves in the gardens of Hay Castle, and is the last chance saloon for any books that have not sold in the owner's main bookshop. It's called Honesty because there are no staff - you just put money for the books in a box in the wall.

And there is No Such Thing as having too many books.
Wow, I love the idea of the Honesty Bookshop! That's too cool. :)

The term "too many" as I used it, is relative to the space I have to store them, otherwise I'm in total agreement! My books are in piles and two-deep on bookshelves all over my apt. (except for the signed first editions shelf), and to the uneducated (unobsessed?) mind it looks like my place is overrun. Really, it's just happy.

CaroGirl
12-01-2006, 08:06 PM
I buy almost exclusively literary fiction. Sometimes I buy the latest stuff, but I'll also buy a classic or recent classic if I read enough great things about it. I'm influenced by award wins and award nominations, and by whether I've read and liked a particular author's previous work. I almost never buy hardcover, but I might get one as a Christmas or birthday gift. I typically wait for the soft cover version to come out. There are enough great books out there I haven't read yet that I can wait. Sometimes my friends and I will go to the bookshop and buy a book each with the intention of swapping them 'round.

I've also been trying to make better use of libraries and used bookstores, but there's just nothing like the feel and smell of a brand-new book that's all my own!

Kelly Raine
12-02-2006, 01:34 AM
As with most of you, the title is the first thing, along with the cover, that catches my eye. Then its the back cover of the inside front jacket. I tend to get hardcover books from the library tho, and just buy softcover books that can fit in my purse. (you can always tell a writer if she's got a notebook and a book in her purse) I love first person accounts about writing, i.e. Stephen King's On Writing, and I'm working my way through L.A. Banks series. She's hot and she gives me ideas for my own vamp literature. I've noticed that I'm becoming a more compulsive happy go lucky book buyer, whereas before I always hesitated and asked myself, Can I borrow this from the library?

a tree of night
12-02-2006, 01:48 AM
I very rarely buy anything newly released. I typically stick to older "classics", though I have a fairly liberal definition of "classic". Most of what I read is "literary" novels or short story collections, but a couple times a year, I'll venture into another genre. For example, I've been gathering some essays recently.

If it's strictly up to me, I'll usually hit the used book store. Often, though, my wife is looking for the latest women's fiction releases and she'll do a mass-order from Amazon or somewhere (my company gets a nice discount w/Barnes and Noble and they still don't compete) and I'll throw in an item or two if there's something specific I'm wanting.

I'll get hardcovers used, but not usually new if it's for myself. Other people like to buy me new hardcovers and I certainly don't discourage them, but I don't make a habit of it myself. I will get first editions of my favorites at times, but not often.

I get ideas from friends mostly, though I'll sometimes browse major bookstores for ideas on a new genre I'm curious about. I also find a fair amount of essay/review/short story collections reference contemporaries or influences of authors I like, so I pick through those as well. Since I buy cheaply and get a pretty good return at the used bookstore, I don't mind taking a flyer on something I may not keep.

Linda Adams
12-02-2006, 01:59 AM
Do you have a few authors whose work you must obtain in hardcover the moment it comes out?

No. I used to, but those authors starting turning out books that weren't as good as previous ones. It's awfully expensive paying $25 for a book and then finding out that there's no story.

Do you find yourself often waiting until books show up in the used book store even when you are a huge fan of that author's work?

No. If it shows up in a used bookstore, it's usually too old. I try to keep up with what's current. That means new books, not used.

Do you often avoid buying books at all by borrowing them from friends?
And, if so, about how frequently do those books ever return to their real owners?

No. Though co-writer will grab my books when I'm done.

Do you buy more nonfiction, or more fiction?

Fiction. I rarely buy non-fiction.

Do you buy mostly the newest books, or do you seek out older classics?

New, genre books only. I don't read the classics.

Do you engage in particular book-buying stategies because you know they will financially help a favorite author (such as buying a book you don't like from an author you do like, buying both a hardcover copy and softcover copy of the very same book, or begging all your friends to buy a book from your favorite author)?

No. I get the books because I want to read them. If the author doesn't do a good job with them, I'll check out the next one from the library.

Do you spend more on books you need (college textbooks, nonfiction books related to the writing profession, other books you need for job-related purposes, books bought as Christmas gifts for others) or on books bought purely for your own pleasure?

Books for pleasure only. I stopped finding writing books helpful so I don't buy any, and the books for my profession are pretty expensive (and unfortunately tailored to beginners, not to advanced. I don't want to pay $50 for a book that tells me how to open a program and create a file.).

Are you mainly an impulse buyer ( *ohhhh! pretty cover* ) or do you plan and research before buying?

Definitely impulse.

Do you keep track of how many books you buy in order to try to keep your total purchases within a certain budget?

Going to the bookstore once a month takes care of this.

How good are you at judging whether you will like a book in advance? How frequently do you purchase books and then regret it?

It's about 50/50.

Where do you find "buzz" about books that you eventually decide to purchase? Your friends? Books on the "hot" shelf at the library? Book reviews?

Usually, I don't see any buzz on the books that I buy. Occasionally I'll see a review for a thriller or mystery in Romantic Times and get it based on that. While I'm researching for queries, I did hit particular books based on blurbs.

jbal
12-02-2006, 05:29 AM
Ok, I needed some time to answer all these, so here goes:
What habits do you have in book buying?
Do you have a few authors whose work you must obtain in hardcover the moment it comes out? no, sadly I can't usually afford that. Even things I've been looking forward to I generally buy used or in paperback.
Do you find yourself often waiting until books show up in the used book store even when you are a huge fan of that author's work?
Do you often avoid buying books at all by borrowing them from friends? Not usually. Generally I only borrow books if someone is trying to turn me on to a new author or the like. And, if so, about how frequently do those books ever return to their real owners? Invariably.
Do you buy more nonfiction, or more fiction? Fiction, maybe 70/30
Do you buy mostly the newest books, or do you seek out older classics? I gravitate toward new, but also buy older stuff. It bears mentioning that there about a thousand books I've been meaning to buy, but something new will usually take precedence
Do you engage in particular book-buying stategies because you know they will financially help a favorite author (such as buying a book you don't like from an author you do like, buying both a hardcover copy and softcover copy of the very same book, or begging all your friends to buy a book from your favorite author)? no. Their income is their problem.
Do you spend more on books you need (college textbooks, nonfiction books related to the writing profession, other books you need for job-related purposes, books bought as Christmas gifts for others) or on books bought purely for your own pleasure? Books for pleasure, without a doubt
Are you mainly an impulse buyer ( *ohhhh! pretty cover* ) or do you plan and research before buying? I wish I could impulse buy more, but budget is limited and usually when I have the cash there's already something I've been meaning to get.
Do you keep track of how many books you buy in order to try to keep your total purchases within a certain budget? no, I just buy whenever I can. My income varies month to month, so it's hard to budget luxury items.
How good are you at judging whether you will like a book in advance? How frequently do you purchase books and then regret it? Once I get two or three I don't like, I generally trade them in and get something else. Maybe one out of three or four I buy and don't like. Usually these are something like when I'm stuck in a hospital or airport and selection is limited.
Where do you find "buzz" about books that you eventually decide to purchase? Your friends? Books on the "hot" shelf at the library? Book reviews? All of the above I guess. Also, I tend to stick with an author through a few books I don't like if I've read even one from them that I like a lot.

In my personal case, I'm a poor book buyer. After looking through my shelves, I'm surprised at how few of my favorite books I actually own. Furthermore, I tend to make bad decisions in the store. I own a large number of books that I did not like. Conversely, I seem to make my best judgments in the library, after much research. I own more nonfiction than fiction, and I tend to favor older classics over the hottest new thing. A large amount of my book-buying budget does, alas, go towards textbooks and other books that I need rather than want. Perhaps I'll become a better book buyer after I graduate.
Whew, hope that helped.

Arisa81
12-02-2006, 06:25 AM
I have not bought books in a long time for one very good reason: we have no room left. My current books are still sitting in boxes because I have no place to put them. I only pull out what I need.

When I was buying books I would usually get them at the second hand shop a block away. I own almost all of VC Andrews books.

I borrow a pile of books from the library every week. I would do that even if I bought books though. I am a book freak.

And I love buying brand new books, but since I don't have money for many of those I usually do the second hand thing. I love buying the classics like Anne of Green Gables. I would love to have an actual room when we get a house devoted to books. Or at least a section of a room.

threedogpeople
12-03-2006, 03:17 AM
I buy, borrow, loan, swap, etc.

I buy some authors regularly and am always looking for a recommendation for someone new to read. My taste is all over the board but it must be well written and catch my interest in the first chapter or two or it gets put at the bottom of the "to be read" stack. It won't get picked up again until I'm out of something to read.

I generally buy from Cost-co, Walmart, wherever I happen to be. There are only a couple of book stores within 60 miles of where I live so I have to be flexable.

One of my best "swap" places is the Seniors Center (really!). My tai chi group rents the hall on Wednesdays. There are often hard bound books on the shelf too. I'll read then return the books or pass them on.

I have two friends that are readers and we exchange too. They can be counted on to return a book to me if requested. Important since I will sometimes read a fabulous book more than once or have promised to pass the book on to someone else that I know will enjoy it.

Judy

soloset
12-03-2006, 04:06 AM
I buy 90% of my books from Half Price, used.

I have no idea where the "buzz" is. I'm very out of touch with what is popular.
Yay! Me too. At least 90%. And I love Half-Price -- there are two, with completely different angles, about the same distance from us.

Of all the books in our collection, I'd guess 70% or so are non-fiction. The rest are my old collection (half SF, a quarter mystery, a quarter everything else) from when I was growing up.

There are also a very, very small number (not more than twenty or thirty or so) of the fiction books floating around here that are more recent than that, mostly my SO's picks.

I've never purchased an e-book or a fiction book online, with the exception of books I'd read in the past but couldn't find my copy of. And once I bought an old favorite I already owned because I couldn't stand to look at the Sweet cover for one lousy more second.

I'd have to say that only a handful of the books I own I really didn't like that much. There're a few later books in a couple of series that lost my interest but I keep for the sake of completeness. Maybe a few semi-classics I didn't particularly like but I can't toss because my SO is going to start liking SF any day now (I'm holding my breath) and they're just the kind of thing he'd enjoy.

As far as "buzz" goes, well, I stopped worrying about that during the first big mid-list reshuffle I noticed. A glance at the shelves in any given genre tells you what people are reading right now (I would have killed for some vampire-heavy paranormal romances when I was a teenager; I can still remember spending hours looking at every single book in the section just in case I found one. And the Nancy Collins damage that resulted) and if that fails, the guy behind the counter probably knows what people are looking for.

That's one of the reasons I keep meaning to get down to Murder By The Book. Despite the damage to my wallet (they have a section labeled "Historical Mysteries". An entire section.), it's always a rewarding trip, and the people who work there are always up on the latest.

Oh, and can't forget the big used book sales. The library near here does one every 6 months, and while a lot of it is rehashed junk, I've filled in more than a few gaps in my SF collection with older editions, cheap.


Are you mainly an impulse buyer ( *ohhhh! pretty cover* ) or do you plan and research before buying?
Do you keep track of how many books you buy in order to try to keep your total purchases within a certain budget?
How good are you at judging whether you will like a book in advance? How frequently do you purchase books and then regret it?
Where do you find "buzz" about books that you eventually decide to purchase? Your friends? Books on the "hot" shelf at the library? Book reviews?

For fiction, I pick up on impulse (unless I'm looking for a specific author or title). A glance at the front cover, a quick read of the back blurb, followed by reading the first paragraph and then a skim near the middle, and I'm either sold or not.

Keeping track is limited to "how much can I spend on this trip" more than anything else. I have become comfortable with the idea that I will always have more books than anything else, including money, and I'm genuinely happy with this. As a kid, it was my dream to someday have a safe house of my own, lined with as many books as I wanted. And even now that I'm an adult and "books" don't mean "safety" anymore, I still appreciate having them nearby.

I'm more likely to tell my friends -- one in particular is going quickly broke on my stumbled-over blog finds -- than they are to tell me, but then, I don't read so much any more.

Melissa_Marr
12-03-2006, 04:08 AM
I browse a local store when possible, but supplement with online purchases and the library (the last two spots I've lived had that great online request system).

To select them, I read reviews (PW and Kirkus), listen for suggestions, and shelf read. I keep track of what's coming soon and what I missed. I read mostly contemporary fiction or folklore these days. I taught the classics, so I've worked through a lot of the major ones that appealed to me. There are still holes, so I try to continue to read ones I've missed or newer literary texts.

For non-fiction--texts on folklore/fairy tales/narrative theory--I buy instead of borrow. If there's a used copy, I'll go there, but hardcover is fine too. For fiction (the bulk of my reading), I buy or borrow with no real logic. Since I can't keep everything I buy, I donate or pass on many of the books I've bought. I do keep classics, books I may re-read, or ones my kids will like.

I am never disappointed by puchasing a book. If I don't love it, I donate it to a library and hope that the next reader will like it better.

There are authors whose names I recognize & pick up, but I am as likely to read a new author as a older fav. I keep a lists of books that appeal & their release dates. I have stacks of "to be read" texts all over the house. In the past year, I have also watched for ARCs (and begged my editor for access to one ARC I was insanely impatient to read).

I rarely lend or borrow books. I'll pass them on, but I never expect to get them back if I lend them, so I try not to do that.

Fun questions . . . I've enjoyed reading the responses here.

Serenity
12-03-2006, 05:12 AM
Do you have a few authors whose work you must obtain in hardcover the moment it comes out?

Nope, the only time I honestly buy hard cover is when they're seriously on sale (I'm talking Borders bargain books) or when it's a gift.

Do you find yourself often waiting until books show up in the used book store even when you are a huge fan of that author's work?

Okay, I was going to say 'no', but then realized that I do. I did it for the Terry Goodkind series (well, up until book 4, when he lost me) and for a few others as well.

Do you often avoid buying books at all by borrowing them from friends? And, if so, about how frequently do those books ever return to their real owners?

I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that they'll hunt me down and ransack my book shelves.

Do you buy more nonfiction, or more fiction?

Fiction all the way. I think I've only ever read one or two non-fiction books by choice.

Do you buy mostly the newest books, or do you seek out older classics?

I read what looks interesting to me. Sometimes I'll pick out a classic on a whim or a recommendation, but I guess most of what I have is newer.

Do you engage in particular book-buying stategies because you know they will financially help a favorite author (such as buying a book you don't like from an author you do like, buying both a hardcover copy and softcover copy of the very same book, or begging all your friends to buy a book from your favorite author)?

Not as such, no. There are some books I will buy because a certain author wrote them, but I don't go insane about it.

Do you spend more on books you need (college textbooks, nonfiction books related to the writing profession, other books you need for job-related purposes, books bought as Christmas gifts for others) or on books bought purely for your own pleasure?

Pleasure first, but I work with kids and therefore at least three of my bookshelves at home (plus another at work) are filled with children's books.

Are you mainly an impulse buyer ( *ohhhh! pretty cover* ) or do you plan and research before buying?

Hey! We're you following me at the bookstore the other day??? Seriously, the cover can grab my attention, but then I'll read the blurb and sometimes a bit of the first chapter before I'll actually buy it.

Do you keep track of how many books you buy in order to try to keep your total purchases within a certain budget?

I've actually cut way back on the books I buy lately. Mainly because I have a ton already here that I haven't read yet, and Chaos has several bookshelves that I could choose from too. I actually have two of her books sitting by my clock radio to read right now. I need to get off of AW and go read them...

How good are you at judging whether you will like a book in advance? How frequently do you purchase books and then regret it?

It's iffy. I normally buy a book that has been recommended to me or one that I've wanted to read for a while. There have been a few where I've said, "Well there's $7.00 I won't see again." (I hate returning books, even if I don't like them.)

Where do you find "buzz" about books that you eventually decide to purchase? Your friends? Books on the "hot" shelf at the library? Book reviews?

Some from here, some from my mom, some from Chaos. Most are just titles that stick out in my head when I hear about them. I don't read book reviews, don't trust them all the time. I like my own reviews better.

This was fun. :D

K1P1
12-03-2006, 11:34 PM
Do you have a few authors whose work you must obtain in hardcover the moment it comes out? No.

Do you find yourself often waiting until books show up in the used book store even when you are a huge fan of that author's work? No.

Do you often avoid buying books at all by borrowing them from friends? No. And, if so, about how frequently do those books ever return to their real owners? Occasionally a friend will lend me a book they want me to read, and these all (eventually) make their way home.

Do you buy more nonfiction, or more fiction? Fiction, unless I need to buy nonfiction for a current project (like right now).

Do you buy mostly the newest books, or do you seek out older classics? New - My husband and I already own just about all the "classics" we want.

Do you engage in particular book-buying stategies because you know they will financially help a favorite author (such as buying a book you don't like from an author you do like, buying both a hardcover copy and softcover copy of the very same book, or begging all your friends to buy a book from your favorite author)? No, but I bring promising new books to the attention of my local bookstore in hopes they'll stock them.

Do you spend more on books you need (college textbooks, nonfiction books related to the writing profession, other books you need for job-related purposes, books bought as Christmas gifts for others) or on books bought purely for your own pleasure? Books bought for pleasure.

Are you mainly an impulse buyer ( *ohhhh! pretty cover* ) or do you plan and research before buying? I usually go in knowing what I want and order it if they don't have it in stock.

Do you keep track of how many books you buy in order to try to keep your total purchases within a certain budget? No.

How good are you at judging whether you will like a book in advance? How frequently do you purchase books and then regret it? Only occasionally, and those can always be given to others as gifts.

Where do you find "buzz" about books that you eventually decide to purchase? Your friends? Books on the "hot" shelf at the library? Book reviews? AW, TLS, NPR and friends. Unfortunately, I usually lose the little scraps of paper with notes on the books I want before I actually get around to purchasing them.

Lyra Jean
12-04-2006, 12:00 AM
I make a beeline for the science-fiction/fantasy section of any bookstore I go into. There is a new/used bookstore in Sarasota I go to occasionally and a used bookstore at the flea market I go to occasionally. I mostly buy my books new from BAM, Borders, B&N, and Waldenbooks.

I'm usually disappointed because the science-fiction/fantasy section has far more fantasy than science-fiction. After I browse the sf/f section I go hunt through the non-fiction sections usually history, science, and writing reference.

With fiction I look at titles and covers. Non-fiction is the same although I do take a look at books that people suggested to me. The only author I buy because of it is a particular author is Ray Bradbury. If a book I pick up is part of a series then I will buy the whole series. With series books I would rather have the whole series written first but if the author has been around for awhile then I'll go ahead and start buying it.

I prefer new books over used and hardback over paperback although paperback are far easier to find and with my budget more affordable. I don't have a budget for my books I'm a total impulse buyer and rarely return books to get my money back. If I buy a book and find that I don't like then I will take to a used bookstore and trade it for some books that I will like.

Sean D. Schaffer
12-06-2006, 02:59 AM
I buy whatever books interest me. It does not matter whether it be hardcover or paperback, although I will purchase hardbound if I can afford it.

There used to be authors I would follow, but I haven't heard anything about them in a very long time. Mostly, I just buy whatever I think will interest me as a reader, regardless of author, title, or publisher. If it's hardbound and I can afford it, cool. If it's paperback, that's cool too.


I'm not really all that picky a guy, unless it be in the area of subject matter.

truelyana
12-06-2006, 03:29 AM
I buy any book, when i feel im getting into it by what, i read in the introduction or the back comments

benbradley
12-07-2006, 09:46 AM
Do you have a few authors whose work you must obtain in hardcover the moment it comes out?

I only recall one, I had finally read every book Heinlein had published, having got some from the library and bought most at used book stores, and "Job: A Comedy of Justice" came out. Then there was "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls" or whatever it was. Then one more, "To Sail Beyond The Sunset."

There were a couple of the Niven/Pournelle collaborations I had to buy new, I remember "Footfall" being one.

Perhaps I shouldn't admit this, but I'm a closet Crichton fan, and "Next" is tempting to me. The other day I was looking at the new books in the grocery store, and there's (at least) three big names with new books that have just come out: Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Their publishers are no doubt happy.

I browse a lot on amazon.com, mostly to read reviews. I see book titles everywhere, on Usenet and mailing lists, mentioned on the radio (usually politically oriented, but also that's where I head a "strong recommendation" for The Five People You Meet In Heaven, bought it for a couple dollars at Goodwill and really enjoyed it). I've ordered from Amazon, half.com, eBay, and from some of the dealers through bookfinder.com, but I get most my books at thrift stores. I borrow from the library, but I'm out in the country and they don't have as large a selection as I'd like. I just borrowed and read Stephen King's "On Writing", I was pleasantly surprised they had that.

Six months ago I joined paperbackswap.com, it's a great deal (free) for trading books (hardback and audio books too) for only the cost of Media Mail shipping.

Oops, fair disclosure, I also sell books on amazon.com.

RG570
12-07-2006, 09:18 PM
I buy most of mine from the used bookstore. I never buy hardcovers, unless it's from the used bookstore and the price is 2 dollars. I find them cumbersome to deal with anyway.

Most of the time I research the books I want, or at least the authors in general. I can't remember the last time I picked up a book on a whim, or because I liked the cover.

My only connection with what's "in" is when I'm at my girlfriend's house and there's a new science fiction book club catalogue on the table. But even that ends up being mostly reprints of old standards anyway.