Saturday, July 13, 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge - Day 6

It's day 6 of April's Book Blogger Challenge!  For more info on the challenge, or if you want to participate, visit her blog, Good Books and Good Wine.

Day 6 - Book-Buying Habits

As I was thinking about this day's challenge, I realized that my book-buying habits have changed a lot over just a few short years, not only in how I buy books but also in the where and how much.

First, I used to be an avid Barnes & Noble girl.  Almost every single book I bought came from their store or website.  My dad would say, "Who wants to go to B&N?"  And I was waiting by the door in minutes, and then coming home with a pile of books.  But after I came back from college and got a full time job, I started using Amazon more and more.  It was more convenient and less expensive, and I had been having less than satisfying dealings with B&N's customer service.  Now whenever I buy a book, it's through Amazon.  I honestly can't even remember the last time I walked into a physical book store.

Second, I used to buy books by the dozen.  There were packages arriving at my door once a week, sometimes more.  It got to the point where the UPS guy knew my name and my family member's names.  Of course, when I was doing this, I had all the money in the world (or at least it felt like it).  I'd just gotten a full-time job, I was using my parents' old car (still on their insurance), and I had no big expenses.  Well, a lot changes over a few years (new car, monthly expenses, unforeseen expenses, vacations, etc.), and now I'm way more careful with my money (cuz I'm broke).  So the Amazon boxes are more like once a month, and they only have one or two books in them.  Either they're books I REALLY, REALLY want and have wanted for a long time, or they're the next books in the different series I'm reading.

Third, how I shop for books has changed A LOT over the past few years.  I used to just buy books that looked good without knowing anything about the book itself or other people's opinions of it.  If it was fantasy, I just grabbed it up without a second thought.  Which meant I ended up with plenty of books I didn't end up enjoying.  That has completely changed.  Now I have a specific set of criteria that I follow.

  • Genre  -  I admit that genre plays a big role in whether or not I bother to check out a book.  For example, if the book was in the horror section, it's an automatic turn-off.  If it's paranormal or romance, I might give it a second glance.  If it's fantasy, I'll probably grab it up in a second.
  • Cover  -  They say "Don't judge a book by its cover," and I try really hard not to, because I know there are great books out there with boring covers.  But if I'm browsing through a list of books and it's a choice between the book with the plain cover and the one with the pretty/interesting cover, I'm going to look into the pretty one first.
  • Author's name  -  I'm always looking to see if my favorite authors have written something new.  I'm way more likely to pick up their books than an unknown's.  And if it's an author I don't like, it's hard for me to get past my feelings for his other books to look at new ones.  Which isn't a good thing - I didn't want to read The Host at all because it was written by Stephenie Meyer, and I'm so glad I pushed past that because I loved the book.
  • Book blurb  -  I do not like to go into a book blind anymore.  I've done it way too many times with blah results.  The book can be the right genre, have great cover, and be by an author I like, but if I read the blurb on the back and it doesn't interest me, I don't buy it.
  • Buzz words  -  Certain buzz words make me want to buy a book immediately.  Mythlogy, fairy-tale retelling, mystery or detective, Jane Austen, dystopian, regency - those are examples of words that catch my interest and make me want to get the book.
  • Goodreads rating  -  Since I only signed up for Goodreads around a year ago, this is a newer criteria for me.  But now, I'm always looking a book up to see if it got good ratings.  If I see that a lot of people really loved a book, it definitely sways my opinion in the book's favor.  It doesn't work out all the time of course (people have different tastes), but it's still helpful.
  • Blogger recommendations  -  I have discovered so many new books and series thanks to other bloggers.  And there are a few who I know have similar tastes as me, so if they love a book, I'm pretty confident I will too.
  • Sales/Used books  -  And then of course, all of these criteria go straight out the window if there's a sale or if they're used books.  If I can get a pile of books for the same cost as three full-price hardcovers, I'm being way more relaxed and just buying up the books.  That way I don't feel so bad if I don't like the book, because it won't have cost me that much anyway.
So those are habits.  They're mostly driven by a desire to save money and not go broke buying books.  If I ever again reach a comfortable place financially, who knows what will happen?  I could stay frugal, or I could go back to buying my books by the dozen.  We shall have to see.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for commenting! I always appreciate reading what you have to say.