Four BOOK SOURCE IDEAS on Friday
Today, let’s talk books. Specifically where to get new ideas. There are thousands of ways to get ideas for new books to read. Friends give advice, some celebrity endorses it as part of his/her “book club,” your receipt from Barnes and Noble states “if you like this . . . , you might also like this . . .” This last one always annoys me a bit; how can you understand my reading tastes based on this one purchase. So what if I bought five Regency Era mysteries . . . it doesn’t mean anything. And of course, it isn’t like I don’t already have
a few a lot of books to read. But as I have told my husband numerous times, if there is a zombie invasion tomorrow and I can’t get to the bookstore, I need to be prepared. Anyway, here are some of the ways I find new things to read.
Let me start by saying that I am not on Goodreads. Okay, get your shock and horror out of the way. I have been informed by many . . . including my daughter . . . of the utter travesty of this lack of participation. In my defense, I have looked at Goodreads and intentionally opted NOT to participate. I akin Goodreads to Pinterest. You know what I am talking about. It is like a vortex that sucks you in and you can’t ever escape. I am sure that I would like it; I am sure that I would read about lots of new and interesting things; I am sure that I would feel compelled to make comments and lists and recommendations; and I am sure that I would never get out of my bathrobe for days! However, if your willpower is greater than mine, go for it!
There are many places online that I do use to find books. Book blogs are a great starting point . . . I happen to like one in particular! A wonderful woman I met at a book signing has another great blog – SmartGirlsRead. It is nice to see what different people think and I often find that reading commentary about a book that I was interested in will help convince me to either purchase or pass on the book. I also enjoy authors’ websites and blogs, as they often give up-to-date information that allows me to get an inside view of their stories and the writing world.
Author’s Facebook Pages
Sticking with the online theme, I love to follow different authors on Facebook. Their posts keep me updated on new releases and background information on a variety of different topics. Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby series is set in Scotland and she is always posting fascinating facts and photos from Scotland. They are beautiful; albeit a bit dangerous . . . as if I didn’t want to travel there enough! Another great thing is that they often give away advanced reading copies!! Squeak! I have won two! But the BEST part of author’s Facebook pages is that they support other authors and announce new releases by friends and colleagues. I love reading a recommendation from an author I enjoy and have gotten hooked on many new authors as a result. And . . . at the risk of going a little fan girl here . . . I have even been able to chat with a few of my favorites; it’s very exciting!! If I could get them to follow my blog . . . well . . . mind blown!
Yes, I am an old-fashioned girl and I still receive some catalogues by mail. Two of my favorite book catalogs are Bas Bleu and Chinaberry. Sometimes I will order a book directly from them but often I just write down the titles for future reference. Both catalogs are also available online. I love reading the book descriptions; they go well beyond the plot lines and delve more into what makes each book unique. I like that the catalogues don’t just focus on new releases. Many times I discover books that have been out for years and are being re-released; they tell classic stories that aren’t officially “classics.” Both catalogues also have great gift ideas for book lovers; I admit to having cut out pages and just casually leaving them around for my family to see. Bas Bleu is mostly literature for adults; Chinaberry sells books for all ages.
All of these other ways are great, but truly my favorite way to find a new book or author is simply wandering through the bookstore. I love to read the backs, note which authors I know and like make comments on the cover, admire the artwork, and check the publication dates to make sure I have determined which is the first in the series. I tend to collect and pile up the books, prompting clerks to offer me baskets. I usually go into a bookstore with a self-imposed approved purchase limit . . . then I give myself a few book leeway. Once I have agonized, negotiated, and categorized my possible purchases, I make my choices. Grudgingly, I put the ones that didn’t make the cut back on the shelf for another day. I love to mentally organize which book I will read first, which book I have at home that will have to be pushed back in the queue, and whether this book will be a nightstand, shelf, or purse book. It is a very focused and serious strategy, and yes, I am a nerd, but . . . gosh, I love books!