Saturday, July 19, 2014

On Reviews and Book Buying

I follow at least five blogs that regularly post book reviews. The problem with reading book reviews is that I'm often overwhelmed by the volume. I have too many unread books sitting on my shelf (but which I mean the floor of my bedroom, since I don't let myself put a book on the actual shelf until I've finished it) and too many books on my to-read list that I'm not in a position to actively seek out recommendations.

So what draws my attention to a book?

-Usually, I have to hear about the book at least three times before it sticks in my mind long enough to think about buying it (or reserving it from the library).

-I usually scroll through most book reviews, unless the title or cover is intriguing enough to catch my attention. (Note: Covers with a man and a woman in a sexy/romantic pose are overdone and are an automatic "no.")

-If I've heard of the author before, I am more likely to read the book summary.

-If the book summary sounds like it has potential, I might add it to my goodreads to-read list. I will probably forget about the book within a couple of days.

-If I really think the book has potential, I might follow the author on twitter, so that I know if the book goes on sale. (I currently have no income, so it's hard to justify buying books that might be decent.)

-If it's the type of book I want to see more of (NA speculative, villain/unlikeable protagonists, LGBT, nonwhite protagonists, books with no romance, scifi written by people who actually know science), I am much more likely to buy the book, though I prefer to wait for the paperback release.

-If I loved something else the author wrote, or I'm a huge fan of the author's blog, I am much more likely to buy the book.

-If it's a bestseller or over-hyped, I am much more likely to request it from the library.

-If I checked it out of the library and loved it, I might offer to buy it for a friend on his/her birthday.


Books I've bought and read in the last year:

1. Secret for a Song (S.K. Falls) - NA about protagonist with Munchausen's
2. Control (Lydia Kang) - science + author is a doctor
3. The Painted Darkness (Brian James Freeman) - it was cheap
4. The Wicked We Have Done (Sarah Harian) - NA speculative
5. The Secret of Isobel Key (Jen McConnel) - sounded interesting + on sale

(Most of the books I actually have read were taken from the library or ARCs I collected at BEA. The thing about library books is that you have to give them back, so there's an actual deadline on reading them.)

Books I've bought in the last year and haven't read (or finished) yet:

1. The Dirty Streets of Heaven (Tad Williams) - loved Otherland
2. Charm and Strange (Stephanie Kuehn) - sounds totally up my alley
3. The Onion Girl (Charles de Lint) - sounds unique
4. American Gods (Neil Gaiman) - one of the few urban fantasy writers I actually like
5. Feed (Mira Grant) - heard great things about this book
6. Dark Places (Gillian Flynn) - I've wanted to read her books for awhile
7. Some Girls Are (Courtney Summers) - loved Cracked Up to Be
8. Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie) - I worship this lady
9. Arclight (Josin L. McQuein) - wanted to read for awhile + on sale
10. Born Wicked (Jessica Spotswood) - loved one of the author's blog posts + sounded interesting

So that's ten books that are sitting in my room, staring at me, tempting me, that I still need to read. (Along with the books I bought long before then, which I won't bother listing.) The thing about buying books is that you already own them, so there's no rush to read them right away.

I'm looking at this list right now and punching myself for all the awesomeness I'm probably missing out on.

(Hence, I will not be buying any new books for a long, long time.)

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