Thursday, January 15, 2009

How I Buy Books

The books I ordered online came (finally) while I was out of town last week. I certainly loved all the gifts I received for Christmas, but a couple of my favorites were 2 bookstore gift cards! I must have scanned through all the bargain bins countless times online looking to maximize my purchase (yes, as an accountant, I frequently lapse into quantity over quality).

At last, I settled in on a mix of classics and new. I read the classics to become well-rounded and a better writer. New books are reserved for fun, or in one particular instance – the support of a new author! No, it is not me.

Side tangent -- I love Barrie Summy’s blog and so to support her, I purchased her new book, “I So Don’t Do Mysteries”, which came out back in December. Now, please don’t tell anyone, but the age market is middle school girls. In honor of Barrie, however, I bought it and have already finished reading her debut novel. Barrie conveys a very unique, well-written voice. If you’re a new author, you should definitely go read her blog. Regardless of the blog, I recommend you request the enjoyable “I So Don’t Do Mysteries” at your local (or online) bookstore.

Anyhow, back to online book shopping– I was reminded in my book search that books are expensive, now more than ever. New hardbacks cost you $20 and a paperback at least $8. Having a limited budget (err ..., uh ..., 2 gift cards totaling $60), I could only get a few books. I started by using a wish list feature and ended up with over $200!! That was not going to work. I had to narrow it down. How?

This is the important part – I went with a few books that I thought would:
1. Make me a better writer for having read
2. A more well-educated person
3. I went with other books that I thought would teach me about ancient history (my realm of interest)
4. I chose a couple of novels that I thought I would enjoy.

Goodness, does everyone go through this? Absolutely. It doesn’t discourage me, but it does make me realize how important it is to provide a quality product and make it as enticing as possible. What is your criteria when you go looking for a book? Do you buy online, at a local bookstore, or at a chain? Or, do you just borrow from the public library?

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