Why do you buy a book?

Name of writer?

 

Subject?

 

Recommended by a friend?

 

Reviews?

 

Other marketing?

 

Cover?

 

Anything else?

 

Or all of those?

Comments

  • Always by topic first. Next the title. Then the cover. If the blurb tells me what I want to hear then I buy it.

  • If it is by a writer whose work I like, and I haven't read it, it's almost a certain purchase.

     

    If it has a catchy title, I'll read the blurb; if the title and the blurb interest me, I'll read a couple of pages.

     

    I have bought books for the title alone, such as, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, which is a novel about an old Ukranian man and the misadventures of his second marriage. Or -- and this one didn't disappoint me -- An Arsonist's Guide To Writers' Homes in New England, which was the fictional story of a man who, as a teenager, had accidentally burned down Emily Dickinson's house.

     

    I bought The Lock Artist because the first few pages caught my imagination and promised a fascinating plot (again, I was not disappointed.

     

    I bought The Chemist based on the first chapter, and I was disappointed that what I thought would be a technothriller turned out to be a romantic comedy with performing dogs.

     

    I bought Framed because I was curious whether "The Rocket" was about to transform himself into the Dick Francis of professional snooker. The answer is, "Not Quite." Still a good read, though; gave a copy to my brother at Christmas.

     

    So IMHO it is a complex decision based on a series of factors, some of them nearly random, including how I feel at that moment, the state of my finances, and what I've had for breakfast.

     

     

     

     


  • Skoob_Ym wrote:

     

     

    So IMHO it is a complex decision based on a series of factors, some of them nearly random, including how I feel at that moment, the state of my finances, and what I've had for breakfast.

     

     

     

     


    I was thinking the same thing. If I go out and specifically buy a book, its due to a recommendation - be it friends or a book review online - but if I'm at the book store browsing, it ends up pretty random most times. I once bought a book just because the author had a cool name (the book turned out nearly un-readable).

  • For every reason you have listed!

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Reviews. Subject matter.
     A citizen of the world.

  • If I am in book buying mode and an ebook costs $ 0.99 almost anything can persuade me to buy but mostly it will be the topic and if the blurb and preview look ok then I will buy without too much hesitation. I have however, bought books with wonky covers and books that were so poorly written that they were actually fun to read. I don't pay too much attention to reviews.


  • TheJesusNinja wrote:

    Always by topic first. Next the title. Then the cover. If the blurb tells me what I want to hear then I buy it.


    Mainly it's down to the blurb then?


  • Skoob_Ym wrote:

    If it is by a writer whose work I like, and I haven't read it, it's almost a certain purchase.

     

    Me too.

     

    If it has a catchy title, I'll read the blurb; if the title and the blurb interest me, I'll read a couple of pages.

     

    And then?

     

    I have bought books for the title alone, such as, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, which is a novel about an old Ukranian man and the misadventures of his second marriage.

     

    Did you not read the description before you bought it?

     

    Or -- and this one didn't disappoint me -- An Arsonist's Guide To Writers' Homes in New England, which was the fictional story of a man who, as a teenager, had accidentally burned down Emily Dickinson's house.

     

    Bought on title alone?

     

    I bought The Lock Artist because the first few pages caught my imagination and promised a fascinating plot (again, I was not disappointed.

     

    What first attracted you to it though?

     

    I bought The Chemist based on the first chapter, and I was disappointed that what I thought would be a technothriller turned out to be a romantic comedy with performing dogs.

     

    Oh dear, a fine example of why one should find out what a book is about first.  Smiley Surprised

     

    I bought Framed because I was curious whether "The Rocket" was about to transform himself into the Dick Francis of professional snooker. The answer is, "Not Quite." Still a good read, though; gave a copy to my brother at Christmas.

     

    Gosh, I thought he only played the game. Did you buy it because of having heard of him?

     

    So IMHO it is a complex decision based on a series of factors, some of them nearly random, including how I feel at that moment, the state of my finances, and what I've had for breakfast.

     

    I agree. In fact I buy most of my books second hand for often no more than £1.

     

     

     

     


     

  • I was thinking the same thing. If I go out and specifically buy a book, its due to a recommendation - be it friends or a book review online

     

    I think that's how most people buy them, they already know that a book exists because a friend has told them (and it's good) or they have read a good review or many. One of my sons actually introduced me to China Mieville because he started to buy the books after them being recommended. I started to read Neil Gaiman because he co-wrote Good Omens, and so on.

     

    - but if I'm at the book store browsing, it ends up pretty random most times.

     

    I think I was last in one (they are very rare!) around 6 years ago when I went in to buy a specific book. That's all I looked at.

     

    I once bought a book just because the author had a cool name (the book turned out nearly un-readable).

     

    And the name was?


  • Ron Miller wrote:

    For every reason you have listed!


    Not just the cover then Ron?   Smiley Tongue


  • Em_Press wrote:
    Reviews. Subject matter.

    Yes, that is very logical. Do you look at/for the subject matter first though?

  • We manage a digital marketing agency in Australia and as part of the team development we hold hard copies of books related to related subjects in the related SEO and search engine marketing fields.

    So to answer your question, it has to be on topic and then on recommendations from peers or influencers.

    Interesting answers though in the thread.

     

    Anthony

    Step Up Digital Marketing


  • stepupdigital wrote:

    We manage a digital marketing agency in Australia and as part of the team development we hold hard copies of books related to related subjects in the related SEO and search engine marketing fields.

    So to answer your question, it has to be on topic and then on recommendations from peers or influencers.

    Interesting answers though in the thread.

     

    Anthony

    Step Up Digital Marketing


    Which means you are buying very specific books for a commercial reason, so perhaps your reply does not count  Smiley Happy

  • Yes, storyline first. Then lots of reviews.

     A citizen of the world.

  • I buy two sorts of book.

    1) books I need for my research.

    2) books I'll read for entertainment


  • kevinlomas wrote:

    Skoob_Ym wrote:

    If it is by a writer whose work I like, and I haven't read it, it's almost a certain purchase.

     

    Me too.

     

    If it has a catchy title, I'll read the blurb; if the title and the blurb interest me, I'll read a couple of pages.

     

    And then?

     

    Skoob_Ym: And then I'm on the road towards purchaseville.

     

    I have bought books for the title alone, such as, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, which is a novel about an old Ukranian man and the misadventures of his second marriage.

     

    Did you not read the description before you bought it?

     

    Skoob_Ym: Of course I did, but the title was the single thing that tipped the scales.

     

    Or -- and this one didn't disappoint me -- An Arsonist's Guide To Writers' Homes in New England, which was the fictional story of a man who, as a teenager, had accidentally burned down Emily Dickinson's house.

     

    Bought on title alone?

     

    Skoob_Ym: Yes. That's a fantastic title. Read it slowly and think about it. It tells you that it's comedic and at the same time an adventure, with a high-brow twist. What more do you need to know?

     

    I bought The Lock Artist because the first few pages caught my imagination and promised a fascinating plot (again, I was not disappointed.

     

    What first attracted you to it though?

     

    Skoob_Ym: Now, that's a different question. It had an interesting title, it had an interesting cover consistent with the title, and that lead me to read a few pages. Had they been utter crap, I'd have put it down and walked away. But the reason I bought the book was that the first few pp. were gripping and promised a good tale.

     

    I bought The Chemist based on the first chapter, and I was disappointed that what I thought would be a technothriller turned out to be a romantic comedy with performing dogs.

     

    Oh dear, a fine example of why one should find out what a book is about first.  Smiley Surprised

     

    Skoob_Ym: I did my homework, Old Bean. I looked at the cover (online purchase), I read the blurb, which said nothing AT ALL about it being a romantic comedic with performing dogs. I read the first chapter, which read like a technothriller. Not quite Lee Childs, but all the signs of a book for intelligent readers who like cathartic violence.

     

    My one regret was not googling the name of the author, which would have turned up the Twilight Series. Had I realized she was that writer, I'd have left the page without buying the book.

     

    I bought Framed because I was curious whether "The Rocket" was about to transform himself into the Dick Francis of professional snooker. The answer is, "Not Quite." Still a good read, though; gave a copy to my brother at Christmas.

     

    Gosh, I thought he only played the game. Did you buy it because of having heard of him?

     

    Skoob_Ym: I'm a fan of Dick Francis, especially his earliest stories, when he was first transforming from Jockey to novelist. The idea that "The Rocket" might take up that mantle -- sports legend turned writer -- was appealing for that reason. I'd heard of him because he is currently the best snooker player of all times, though Judd Trump certainly may take over for him in the coming years. In one recent tournament, O'Sullivan dropped three centuries in three consecutive frames.

     

    Still, I looked at the covers (again, online purchase) and read the blurbs. I read the "Look Inside" and generally gathered enough information to know that I was very likely to read the book and enjoy it. The most critical selling point was whether he might become the next Dick Francis, even so.

     

    FYI: He has written a total of three books; Framed is his only novel thus far.

     

    So IMHO it is a complex decision based on a series of factors, some of them nearly random, including how I feel at that moment, the state of my finances, and what I've had for breakfast.

     

    I agree. In fact I buy most of my books second hand for often no more than £1.

     

    Skoob_Ym: My town has a dearth of secondhand bookstores, and they seem to close for reasons other than being unpopular. Deaths in the family, moving out of state, etc. seem to be the primary causes. I've thought of opening my own if something is ever done about Self-Employment Taxes (insert rant here).

     


     


     

  • Skoob_Ym wrote:

    If it is by a writer whose work I like, and I haven't read it, it's almost a certain purchase.

     

    Me too.

     

    If it has a catchy title, I'll read the blurb; if the title and the blurb interest me, I'll read a couple of pages.

     

    And then?

     

    Skoob_Ym: And then I'm on the road towards purchaseville.

     

    I have bought books for the title alone, such as, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, which is a novel about an old Ukranian man and the misadventures of his second marriage.

     

    Did you not read the description before you bought it?

     

    Skoob_Ym: Of course I did, but the title was the single thing that tipped the scales.

     

    It is an interesting title, but it does not sound as if it describes the content. It does not sound as if you enjoyed it.

     

    Or -- and this one didn't disappoint me -- An Arsonist's Guide To Writers' Homes in New England, which was the fictional story of a man who, as a teenager, had accidentally burned down Emily Dickinson's house.

     

    Bought on title alone?

     

    Skoob_Ym: Yes. That's a fantastic title.

     

    Indeed it is, if he had burned many homes down.

     

    Read it slowly and think about it.

     

    I can read it fast and think about it,  Smiley Tongue  all the same he still only burnt down one home, and that by accident. It reads more like a newspaper headline that's more interesting than the article.

     

    It tells you that it's comedic and at the same time an adventure, with a high-brow twist. What more do you need to know?

     

    I would have still read the description if I had any interest at all, which I would not have done. Such stuff is not my bag, man.

     

    I bought The Lock Artist because the first few pages caught my imagination and promised a fascinating plot (again, I was not disappointed.

     

    What first attracted you to it though?

     

    Skoob_Ym: Now, that's a different question. It had an interesting title, it had an interesting cover consistent with the title, and that lead me to read a few pages. Had they been utter crap, I'd have put it down and walked away. But the reason I bought the book was that the first few pp. were gripping and promised a good tale.

     

    In my opinion that's the only way to buy books.

     

    I bought The Chemist based on the first chapter, and I was disappointed that what I thought would be a technothriller turned out to be a romantic comedy with performing dogs.

     

    Oh dear, a fine example of why one should find out what a book is about first.  Smiley Surprised

     

    Skoob_Ym: I did my homework, Old Bean. I looked at the cover (online purchase),

     

    The title makes it sound more like Breaking Bad. What did it have to do with a chemist?

     

    I read the blurb, which said nothing AT ALL about it being a romantic comedic with performing dogs. I read the first chapter, which read like a technothriller. Not quite Lee Childs, but all the signs of a book for intelligent readers who like cathartic violence.

     

    The dogs were not violent then, or even werewolves? It may have been a good time to read some reviews.  The name of the writer would have put me off though. This is the same book is it?!   http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31176886-the-chemist  there really is no mention of dogs!

     

    My one regret was not googling the name of the author, which would have turned up the Twilight Series. Had I realized she was that writer, I'd have left the page without buying the book.

     

    Ah, so it is the same book then, so >  Indeed ...   

     

    I bought Framed because I was curious whether "The Rocket" was about to transform himself into the Dick Francis of professional snooker. The answer is, "Not Quite." Still a good read, though; gave a copy to my brother at Christmas.

     

    Gosh, I thought he only played the game. Did you buy it because of having heard of him?

     

    Skoob_Ym: I'm a fan of Dick Francis, especially his earliest stories, when he was first transforming from Jockey to novelist.

     

    He did indeed write about what he knew, and knowing the horse racing world, some is possibly true! I have never read any though.

     

    The idea that "The Rocket" might take up that mantle -- sports legend turned writer -- was appealing for that reason.

     

    Ron is not exactly known for his intelligence.

     

    I'd heard of him because he is currently the best snooker player of all times,

     

    Many would argue about that.

     

    though Judd Trump certainly may take over for him in the coming years. In one recent tournament, O'Sullivan dropped three centuries in three consecutive frames.

     

    Still, I looked at the covers (again, online purchase) and read the blurbs. I read the "Look Inside" and generally gathered enough information to know that I was very likely to read the book and enjoy it. The most critical selling point was whether he might become the next Dick Francis, even so.

     

    Just because of the sport connection?

     

    FYI: He has written a total of three books; Framed is his only novel thus far.

     

    Two were autobiographies, which does not actually mean he literately wrote them (or in fact his novel). Do you not wonder if his famous name (in the world of snooker that is) was why his novel was published?

     

    So IMHO it is a complex decision based on a series of factors, some of them nearly random, including how I feel at that moment, the state of my finances, and what I've had for breakfast.

     

    I agree. In fact I buy most of my books second hand for often no more than £1.

     

    Skoob_Ym: My town has a dearth of secondhand bookstores, and they seem to close for reasons other than being unpopular.

     

    The secondhand shops I mean are ones run by charities to gather money for good causes, like OXFAM. They are often national chains of shops, and sell far more things than just books. Rather than close down, what happens is that when commercial shops close, a charity shop will often move in!

     

    Deaths in the family, moving out of state, etc. seem to be the primary causes. I've thought of opening my own if something is ever done about Self-Employment Taxes (insert rant here).

     

    I would assume selling on line via mail order is the best way to go.  Have you ever noticed that some bookshops that sell used books are often dark sinister appearing places that never seem to be open?

  • with regards to An Arsonist's Guide To Writers' Homes in New England,  as it happened, several homes were burned, and it turns out... Well, don't want to spoil it for you. Very funny book. I highly recommend it. But the title does fit perfectly, especially when you see that... Well, I don't want to spoil it for you.

     

    with regards to The Chemist, yes, it's that one. And if you read the first few pp., you'll see why it's titled the Chemist, and why the casual shopper might mistake it for a technothriller. No mention of dogs indeed.

     

    with regards to A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, the old man wishes to fulfill his life's dream of writing a short history of tractors in the Ukrainian langauge, and he happens to know quite a lot on the topic. The first chapter had promise, but from there it got a bit dull, imho.

     

    with regards to "The Rocket," one might argue that despite his council-flats accent and clear lack of formal education, the ability to shoot with such speed and accuracy -- he was able to drop 4 reds + color and then run the table in the time that it took for the Stig to make a lap on the Top Gear test course in Ronnie's Bentley -- shows an aptitude for math and geometry. Given his lack of opportunity as a child, I'd say that it takes a man of a certain intellect to keep his nose clear and to rise to paragon status in a sport.

     

    With regards to used bookstores, most are reasonably well-lit and open on regular hours. I'll grant this: the best in town used to be a dark little shop where the proprietor only turned on the lights when he had a customer. He himself sat beneath the light of the shop window in an oxblood wingback chair, smoking his pipe and reading, which gave the strong impression that the store was an excuse to escape the missus. He had a snow-white mustache with two bright yellow highlights beneath his nostrils, testimony to his tobacco smoking... 


  • Skoob_Ym wrote:

    with regards to An Arsonist's Guide To Writers' Homes in New England,  as it happened, several homes were burned, and it turns out... Well, don't want to spoil it for you.

     

    You will not.

     

    Very funny book. I highly recommend it.

     

    It's not to my taste.

     

    But the title does fit perfectly, especially when you see that... Well, I don't want to spoil it for you.

     

    Really, you will not.   Smiley Very Happy

     

    with regards to The Chemist, yes, it's that one. And if you read the first few pp., you'll see why it's titled the Chemist, and why the casual shopper might mistake it for a technothriller. No mention of dogs indeed.

     

    I prefer cats.   Cat Very Happy

     

    with regards to A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, the old man wishes to fulfill his life's dream of writing a short history of tractors in the Ukrainian langauge, and he happens to know quite a lot on the topic. The first chapter had promise, but from there it got a bit dull, imho.

     

    A story written by a Ukrainian farmer regarding tractors? no it does not sound at all dull ... although it does surprise me that he owned such advanced machines.

     

    with regards to "The Rocket," one might argue that despite his council-flats accent and clear lack of formal education, the ability to shoot with such speed and accuracy -- he was able to drop 4 reds + color and then run the table in the time that it took for the Stig to make a lap on the Top Gear test course in Ronnie's Bentley -- shows an aptitude for math and geometry. Given his lack of opportunity as a child, I'd say that it takes a man of a certain intellect to keep his nose clear and to rise to paragon status in a sport.

     

    Or as they say, a misspent early life, allowing a vast amount of practice. As an ex-player of pool I can vouch for that. Hurricane Higgins was also top of his game and he was normally constantly drunk (and did not live far from me, in George Best's old house). 

     

    With regards to used bookstores, most are reasonably well-lit and open on regular hours.

     

    Gosh. Not here they are not, or in most novels.

     

    I'll grant this: the best in town used to be a dark little shop where the proprietor only turned on the lights when he had a customer.

     

    Well electricity is expensive and candles can be dangerous in a shop full of paper.

     

    He himself sat beneath the light of the shop window in an oxblood wingback chair, smoking his pipe and reading, which gave the strong impression that the store was an excuse to escape the missus.

     

    Many did appear to be run as a hobby, often by strange ancient reclusive bachelors. (Read Good Omens. There's a stereotypical SH book shop in that).

     

    He had a snow-white mustache with two bright yellow highlights beneath his nostrils, testimony to his tobacco smoking... 

     

    Or jaundice.


     

  • The book, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, was not written by a farmer and it's not about tractors. It's also not written in Ukrainian. It is a book about a man who WISHES to write a book in Ukrainain about tractors. But no actual tractors appear in the story. The story is told by the man's daughter.

     

    Also, there is much more mechanical equipment in the Ukraine than you might imagine.

  • Possibly now there is somewhat more.

     

    _73846914_ukrainefarm.jpg (624×351)

     

     

  • The keyword there is 'young', not to mention that that 'news' site is government owned.  The photo I pasted is also young. It's a place of massive contrasts still.

     

    It's not a 'happy' place. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26270866    some things really put a crimp in your farming efforts. When Russia ran the place one possibly had to place your name on a list for a tractor and two years later you may have got one, and that is not very long ago.

     

    Nowadays, they do grow a lot of wheat for us though, or they did before they started fighting again.

  • Far be it from me to contradict a pre-conceived notion.

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