Thursday, June 10, 2010

What Kind of Reader Are You? (part 2)

This week's discussion: the buying of books. Who, Where, When, Why & How?

I buy books everywhere. The supermarket, the library, actual bookstores, Goodwill and The Salvation Army, the internet, Walmart, and Target. I love book sales too. If I see books for sale somewhere, you can bet I'll be checking them out. If I go somewhere new to me, I have to check out the local B&N. It doesn't matter that they are all homogenized and carbon copies of what I'm familiar with - I have to check them out. I can't wait to go back to The Strand in NYC later this year and plan to have a good long list burning a hole in my pocket. I'm addicted to trading them online and in the two years I've been trading, my book count has doubled. I'm trying to work on that.

I tend to order hardbacks online. After I let my B&N membership lapse a year plus ago, I find that it just makes more sense. I know I won't die if I don't get my hot little hands on some new hardback (it just feels that way) so I make myself wait for them. I order them from evil Amazon typically for the free shipping and cheap prices. I've been pleased with The Book Depository so far so you can be sure I'll be comparison shopping there as well. Occasionally, I will pay cover price for a hardback but it won't be at a regular chain bookstore. The other day I paid the full $25 for a gorgeous copy of Peter Pan for my nephew at an independent toy store and it was totally worth every penny.

Paperbacks are a different animal altogether. I don't usually order them online unless I can't find them locally. I'm reluctant to pay cover price for trade paperbacks; why should I pay something like double the mass media price for larger print? Granted, the covers are usually more visually appealing but I'm not buying them to look at the covers. I don't like those newer, longer versions of regular paperbacks, the ones that are several dollars more? They're supposed to be more comfortable to hold while reading but for me, it's the opposite.

Which authors do you consider to be automatic buys? I have a relatively short list of authors that I will always buy as soon as they're released (hardback and paperback) and an even shorter one that will get me in the car and on my way asap. Charlaine Harris, Ilona Andrews, Karen Chance, Meljean Brook, and Jim Butcher are in the former group. Deanna Raybourn is in the latter group. I'll even buy her new books in trade paperback size.

I don't usually buy books just to collect them. There are times, like last week when I ordered a copy of The Demon's Lexicon to keep (I got it from the library before), when I loved a book so much that I have to have my own copy and that's pretty normal. I've never been into hunting for first editions or anything like that. For me, what they look like isn't all that important as long as they're in english :)

So...How do you acquire your books?


The Never Fairy said...

Acquiring books, as you said, is a whenever and where-ever kind of deal. :)

and hooray for Peter Pan!

May I suggest two other books to you...
First, a continuation of Pan adventure based on Barrie's own idea for more. Despite your aversion to ordering paperbacks online, I suggest the paperback of this one. It's much cheaper for one thing, and it has a few extra pix to boot. Click!

And then, yes, another Pan story. It's a great "What if?" of Wendy following a different path. But this one insn't for kids! Click!

Hope you like them!


Jane said...

I’m very much like you Jen, getting books from various places. During the winter I tend to order my books from Amazon and the rest of the year I usually get them from garage or book sales. It doesn’t matter to me if they are brand new or well loved with many spine creases. As long as they don’t smell! Suzanne Brockmann and Nalini Singh are on my auto-buy list. It’s rare for me to hang onto a book after I’ve read it and usually pass it on to someone who I think would enjoy it or give it to our local library for their biannual book sale.