So many books, so little time.

So many books, so little time.

At one time, I had a rather long list of books I wanted to read saved on my phone. I’d look them up and check them out a couple at a time, and the list was always with me when I stopped by a library.

Then my library webpage added Wish Lists, allowing you to create multiple lists of books that were available at a public library somewhere in the city, and then all you had to do was click a button to put them on hold. I thought that was pretty amazing, so I transferred most of my TBR books from phone to website.

Not long after, as if Fate had a hand in it, my phone died violently, losing all my data–except for those titles I’d transferred.

I also have a To-Read list on Goodreads. (These lists on different websites total about 200 books, and my best efforts to read or cull titles results in my breaking even at best, not the numbers going down.) This weekend I went through a section of that list, adding a couple of titles to my wish lists, and checking if I could do an Inter-library Loan (ILL) for the others. Generally, if a library or three in your state has the book, and it’s at least six months old, you can get it shipped to your local branch for free.

Out of the nineteen books I did so far, six of them aren’t available for ILL.

What I’m trying to figure out, now, is the criteria for buying a book based solely on wanting to read it. Generally, books I purchase are either–

a) discounted (daily deals, used book sales)

b) a series/author I adore greatly

c) borrowed from the library first

Do you buy books simply because they seem interesting? Or pass on them? How do you decide what to purchase?

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

4 responses »

  1. Sometimes I’ll buy spur of the moment if a book I see reviewed looks really good, other times I’ll put it on my wish list and periodically go back and go over the wish list to see if there is something on it that’s saying “Buy me now”! Currently I have 884 books on my to read shelf at Goodreads. On Amazon I have 913 items but some of these are repeats of Goodreads and also some are items that aren’t books.

    • caitlinstern says:

      Wow, that’s a lot of books! My need to organize and keep things under control is the only reason mine are so short(ish)–I discard repeats and anything that looks so-so.

      The idea of having more books on there than I can feasibly read–languishing for years, taunting me… Nope. Not happening.

      Oh, for more time to read!

  2. Carrie-Anne says:

    I’ve bought books at book sales and discounted rates from Alibris because they’re in my areas of historical or personal interest/expertise, both fiction and non-fiction. Some of them have turned out to be meh or even horrible, but I’ve tended to like most of them. If I like a library book enough, I’ll want to purchase my own copy. I’ve also been very lucky in that my parents have let me take a number of the books from their collections for my very own. That’s how I discovered Hermann Hesse when I was fourteen, and how I acquired some modern classics for my own library, like Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451.

    • caitlinstern says:

      I get free of very cheap books all the time because they ‘look interesting.’ If they’re not, no big loss.

      But these books that I found–probably on a blog–are all full price. So do I buy them? Or forget about them? The terrible trials of a reader!

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