Monday, September 1, 2008

How Do I Choose Books? Let Me Count The Ways

Ah books. The romance bloomed in childhood and continues to this day. Many authors and marketing people suffer angst over encouraging people to buy books. As a writer and passionate reader, here's how I make my personal book-buying decisions:

Genre - I'll try new genres, but a strong story is essential. Same-old, same-old with a different setting and characters becomes a cure for insomnia.

Lately, I've experienced some genre surprises. Edgy fiction makes me think. I don't always agree with the ideas, but at least it keeps me engaged. A foray into Christian chick lit provided laughs, while still carrying a serious undertone.

Author - Have I ever heard of this person? What kind of reviews are out there? Have any of my friends read this book?

I once heard someone say the difference between a woman sports fan and a man sports fan is she wants to know about the athlete's life, while the guy is primarily concerned about the athlete's performance. As a woman, I need to connect with the author, as well as the book. It's one of the reasons I read blogs almost as voraciously as I read books.

My list - Since my funds rarely keep pace with my reading appetite, I've started a Wish List on Amazon. The stress of remembering titles and authors drawing my attention became overwhelming.

Speaking of Amazon, I do shop there. Another happy place is my local Christian bookstore, especially when they send out flyers with coupons. Hurray for coupons! This weekend, they have a 25% off coupon on regular and sale-priced merchandise, making them competitive with Amazon and my other favorite, Christianbook.com.

While I suppose a lot of people read the back-cover copy, I'm not one of them. If I turn a book over, it's to check the price. My research is done via computer and word of mouth. When I go into a store, 99.9% of the time I know exactly what I want. However, seeing something I want on sale with the added spice of a coupon often causes me to switch gears (and usually spend more than I'd planned).

With all the books out there, how do you decide what to purchase?

2 comments:

Christina Berry said...

I don't read the back cover copy until I've finished the book. I don't liek any surpise to be ruined. Right now I've just started Allison Pitman's TEN THOUSAND CHARMS and love how I found out who the character is and what the plot will be about. Love it so far!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Christina -

I'm currently reading, "The Last Jihad," by Joel Rosenberg, "Widows and Orphans," by Susan Meissner, and "The Shack," by William P. Young. Quite an eclectic group. I'm enjoying them, but it's slow going because of limited time.

I'll have to look up, "Ten Thousand Charms." This is the first I've heard about it. Thanks for the recommendation.

Blessings,
Susan :)