Good morning ya’ll. So this week I’ve been thinking about the ways we all find new books to at to our TBR lists. I think that as book bloggers, we can agree that reading reviews on one another’s blogs definitely helps add to the list. However, I also know that I am a lazy book-blog reader – I am more likely to read non-review posts, like memes or personal posts, etc. I don’t know why… sometimes it’s that I’ve already seen a bunch of reviews of the same book, sometimes it’s that I realize a book blog I follow really doesn’t read stuff that I’m interested in and I’ve just been too lazy to take them off of my Google Reader, etc. Every now and then a particular cover or title will stop me and I’ll read the whole review, and if it sounds good enough I’ll put it on my “look for at the library” memo on my phone.
But as we know, there are so many other ways to find out about new books.
And for me, that’s kind of necessary. I’m a very eclectic reader - I’ll read general fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, classics, YA, historical, non-fiction, westerns, etc. However, I know a lot of book bloggers have one preferred genre – romance only, YA only, classics only, etc. And if I’m not in the mood for YA, I kind of tend to skim the blog posts of those bloggers. Same if I’m not in the mood for romance, etc. I’ve noticed that there are very few bloggers out there reviewing sci-fi or westerns on a regular basis – maybe because the majority of book bloggers are female, and sci-fi and westerns tends to be thought of as more “man genres”. So basically, I’m always looking for other ways to hear about good books.
When I used to work at Waldenbooks, it was THE BEST because I was so knowledgeable about what books were really popular, were really in demand, etc. And since readers of all genres come into bookstores, I was constantly exposed to different books in different genres just by helping customers, and by shelving books. (My god I miss shelving books.) It’s been like 6 years since Waldenbooks closed, and I MISS IT so much still. I can’t wait for the day when the honeyman is making enough that I don’t need to work anymore, because then I will quit my job and go get a part-time bookstore job. Just cause.
ANYHOOOO, what I’m getting to here is the way of learning about new books that’s hardest for me – bookstore browsing.
We all know that crazy excitement that comes over us when we enter a bookstore – there’s BOOKS! And they’re new! And there’s SO MANY! Imagine the possibilities! But the thing is, I’m not always willing to fork over some cash for a book that I just discovered while browsing. I know nothing about it – I don’t know if it got good reviews, if it’s popular, I’ve never heard of this author, etc. And hell, even knowing something about the book ahead of time may not be a good thing – the hype monster could have extremely exaggerated the wonderfulness of a book and it ends up sucking (coughThe Weird Sistersahem). Which basically means that while I love, love, love browsing around a bookstore, I hardly ever really discover a great new book while doing so.
However, I am happy to report that last week I browsed, I bought, and I LOVED. I was killing some time in the Barnes & Noble in my mall before heading to Second Job, and I was browsing around the sci-fi/fantasy section. I eventually noticed a group of books by this guy Robert J. Sawyer, and I picked up a couple of them up and they all sounded really different. One of those books was Flashforward, which apparently was the basis for that tv show a few years ago (which I never got around to watching, since it was cancelled). And I kind of wanted to try reading that, but the book was really beat up. So I looked again at a few of his other books, and Hominids sounded really, really interesting. Plus it had one of those “Hugo Award winner” logos on the front. So I said what the hell, I’ll try this author out – I purchased Hominids, and a trade paperback book by the author called Calculating God.
SUCCESS! Hominids turned out to be a fantastic book, and after I finished it I went and drove like 20 minutes away to pick up the sequel, which I plan on starting today. I haven’t started Calculating God yet, because I want to finish the Neanderthal Parallax trilogy first, but I am now totally confident that it will be at least decent, if not awesome.
I’m always so jealous of people who say “Oh yeah I was browsing around the bookstore and this looked really interesting and it turns out it’s a hugely amazing book” because that NEVER happens to me. But now it did! I feel like I’ve cleared a major hurdle of some sort… like now browsing around bookstores, great books will just jump out at me. Or at the very least, I won’t be quite so scared to shell out $8 for a paperback I know nothing about.
How do you find out about new books?
Do you find great new-to-you books while browsing?
Or am I the only weirdo that has a problem finding good books whilst browsing?
Is it just too risky to spend money on a book you’ve never heard of before?
For those of you with e-readers, how do you browse? Is e-reader browsing boring, or ineffective?
Can’t wait to hear what you guys think! And I’ll be home and being lazy today, so I’m particularly looking forward to chatting with you guys!