"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Why I Bought it, Edition 1

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I finished The Luxe by Anna Godbersen and have moved on to Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller. I'm really excited to read these Kiki books!

Head over to The Spectacle where I'm blogging about the stigma associated with reading science-fiction and fantasy.

The topic of beautiful dresses on covers and costs of hardbacks got me thinking. See most of us write books, and the end goal for many of us is to have people actually buy our books, right? Yes, there's the old theoretical question of whether you'd write even if you never sold a book, but we'll put that aside for today.

It got me thinking about why I've bought certain books I've bought. And I'm not talking borrowed. And I'm not talking read. I'm talking about books I've bought with my cash, and what compelled me to do so.

Here are six random books I bought (in no particular order), and why I bought them:

1) Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller
I've seen it around here and there, and after BookPeople had a Kiki Strike summer camp where I had to sneak in a secret document, I was tempted. But it was really seeing the cover of the second book in Barnes & Noble that pushed me over the edge. So the short answer: seeing the cover of the second book in person compelled me to buy both.

2) The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine by April Lurie
April is and awesome Austin author, a terrific person, and we share the same agent. That said, even though I would have eventually bought it, the thing which really made it an immediate must-buy for me was reading a writing sample of hers at a workshop and being just awed. Yes, this book is that good, too.

3) Bliss by Lauren Myracle
Recommended by Cynthia Leitich Smith as a great example of voice. Add in the paranormal element, and I was sold.

4) Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
I bought all 27 Class of 2k8 books, so it was a gimmie that I would buy this. But what really sold me on this was the mystery element. Two friends go biking cross country and only one returns.

5) Screwball by Keri Mikulski
Keri is a fantastic blogger, always positive and energetic. Not to mention she went out of her way to comment on my blog :)

6) The Gods of Manhattan by Scott Mebus
Recommended by Topher at BookPeople. He also recommended The Lightning Thief which I loved, so I went with the recommendation.

Happy Monday, everyone!


Christina Farley said...

I think a lot of about why I read or buy books. Usually it's if I know the person or it's recommended to me. I will go to the library or bookstore with a list and take it from there. BUT when I get home, the one with the most intriguing cover will pull me to read that one first. I just can't help myself!

Of course, there are so many books that are out that we don't have here in Korea, so I have quite a list when I go home for the summers.

D.A. Riser said...

I'd say personal recommendations of people I trust probably ranks #1as to why I buy a book.

That "Gods Of Manhattan" book looks interesting. I might have to look into getting it.

Donna said...

I often feel guilty buying used books at thrift stores or Half Price Books because the author won't see a dime. So, I try to support new titles at retail shops. I rely heavily on reviews and personal recommendations, but a catchy cover is hard to pass up. I still like shiny and colorful things.

Amy said...

I usually buy on recommendations or books that seem really interesting/intriguing. Or if the author has become an auto-buy for me.

Thanks for sharing your thought process!

Lady Glamis said...

I enjoyed your post about the stigma around SFF. I certainly shied away from that genre because I didn't want to be a "nerd." I'm easing my way back in... thanks to HP, as you say.

Not sure I'll ever write it, though. :)

Great recommendations on books! They all look like great reads. Nice to know that covers do carry weigh. I don't always judge a book by its cover, but sometimes it's hard not to.

Thanks for a great post!

Lapillus said...

Unless I have a specific book I'm going to the store for, I almost always choose a book based on the cover (unless the blurb really doesn't interest me.) I'm a sucker for great cover art, even though I know you "can't judge a book by its cover."

Most of the books on my to-read list today are based on recommendation and ratings, which usually guarantees a great (or decent) read!

lotusgirl said...

It's always interesting to me what makes people buy a book. That's part of why I include it in my book reviews. I won't buy a book on cover along, but cover will often get me to pick up a book and read the hook on the back or inside the front cover.

Some covers will keep me from buying a book though. If they are gross or scary or embarrassing to carry around.

PJ Hoover said...

I find it hugely interesting to trace why I bought or read something, Christina. And I bet your summer reading list is huge!

They say word-of-mouth is number one, D.A!

I know what you mean about the guilt thing, Donna. I've started buying a LOT more books :)

Oh, I should have included an auto-buy in the list, Amy! Good point!

Funny Glamis, as I'm not sure I'll ever write anything but SFF :)
To me covers are huge!

Great cover art does seem to be worth the cost, doesn't it Casey. Combine that with a great book, and it's a sure success.

A nice cover does make it easier to pick up, doesn't it, Lois. And of course face-out placement on the bookshelf sure helps too!

Thanks for visiting, everyone!

Keri Mikulski said...

Interesting... I always wonder why people choose to buy books. :) And Myracle is an amazing example of voice.

Recommendations from other authors, blog reviewers, and teachers is a definite buy.. Otherwise, I purchase books to support my author friends. :)

PJ Hoover said...

I'm with you on the support thing, Keri! I think this is really huge, and it makes me happy to do it!

Stacy Nyikos said...

It is interesting why one buys certain books. It seems like, even if I know little about them, when I read them, I find I'm going after a similar theme. It's like inborn in my book-buying DNA. So it's great when people give me books. They are often ones I wouldn't have picked up and and then love. There are just so many great ones out there!

PJ Hoover said...

I totally agree, Stacy! It's such a treat when someone recommends a book I normally wouldn't buy and I love it!

Lenore said...

This gets me thinking too. The last books I bought were Graceling (saw great reviews), The Fetch (fell in the love with the concept), and Ten Cents a Dance (many friends telling me I must buy it!).

PJ Hoover said...

It is fun to find the tipping point, isn't it, Lenore?

Thanks for visiting!

Angela said...

PJ, I find you and I have similar tastes. When ever I need a book to read, I know where to come for ideas.

Kelly H-Y said...

Recommendations from others. But, the covers are a big hook for me. They get me to at least pick up the book and read further to see if I want to purchase.

PJ Hoover said...

Cool, Angela! And ditto right back at you!

Covers really do make one pick up a book and look at it, don't they, Kelly. Combine a great cover with a recommendation and it's almost a sure sale!

Lenore said...

I'll have to let you know the next time a cover hooks me into buying.

I visit often, I just need to be better about leaving comments.

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Lenore! I'm thrilled you visit!