How Do You Buy Books?

Posted October 9, 2014 / Discussions, Features / 20 Comments

I guess the emphasis should be how do YOU buy books? I can assure you I know how to buy books and I’m not asking for your help. I’m curious, how do you go about buying books?

  How do you decide what books to buy and the format they’ll be in?

As you know, I read and listen to books in a variety of formats. I think most readers, in general, read books in multiple formats too. Everyone knows that for the most part Kindle books tend to be cheaper than physical copies, and audiobooks tend to be the most where buybooksexpensive of all without a subscription to a service. There are a lot of things to consider when buying a new book and choosing the format you’ll “read” it in. I know I can be cheap and just buy the Kindle version, but maybe I’m missing out on gorgeous fonts and covers and the feel of a real book that needs to be seen in person. I could go with the audiobook but maybe I’ll regret using my credit on it and the story isn’t a good fit for listening. I like to switch it up as much as possible so I can have variety in what kinds of books I read/hear and when. I like to alternate between Kindle and real books, while always having an audiobook for the times of day when I normally can’t read. How do I decide what book to read in which format?? Why is this decision so hard for me?

♥ Audiobook credits are a precious, precious thing.

Each month, you get the coveted one credit for any audiobook subscriptions you have. In my case, I decide to waste spend my money on two subscriptions. Hey, it’s better than buying multiple audiobooks at the full $30 price tag. At least with two subscriptions I get TWO books for that price. You definitely pay for convenience with those things. When my monthly credits are delivered, I immediately launch into my analysis. What books would be better to listen to than read? What book is already expensive and I’ll save money on the audiobook if I do that instead? I don’t want to spend my audiobook credit on a book that only costs $5 on Kindle. Why “waste” the credit on something I can get cheaper another way?!!tom parks and rec i want it now

♥ Library books are FREE. Problem solved?

It’s pretty safe to say if a book or audiobook on your TBR is actually there, you’re going to do the smart thing and check it out for free. All money saved. But… WHAT IF I LOVE IT? What if it’s my new favorite book and I don’t even own a copy?? I can go out and buy the book afterwards, sure – but I’ll feel like a weenie for buying a book I just read. For free. Couldn’t I spend that money on a brand new book instead?? My funds are limited, folks.parks and rec leslie books

♥ I already own book 1 in the series as an e-book. but shiny and new book 2  just came out and it’s so beautiful AND in stores a day earlier (more often than not).

Gah! I’m a proponent of keeping all books of a series in the same format. You have no idea how much it pained me to own a paperback of Shadowlands and have to buy the next two books on my Kindle. (In my defense, they didn’t have the second book in the store and I needed to read it IMMEDIATELY. Then, by default, I couldn’t buy the hardcover for book three. Obviously.) If I already own the e-book or physical book in one book, you better believe I’ll do everything to keep the rest in the same format. But what if the whole series isn’t complete yet and I don’t wanna spend a million dollars on the new hardcover!? But the covers in that series are soOoOo pretty! See, it’s not that easy. I won’t do whichever option is cheapest. For example, I’ve been dying to read Nantucket Blue followed by Nantucket Red. Of course book one is in paperback (and the cover is adorable) so I want that in physical form….but then that means I need to either (a) wait for book two in paperback or (b) spend a million bucks on the hardcover. Sigh.treat yo self donna tom parks and rec

♥ My cost-benefit analysis is rendered useless when I go to the store/library/app and ~issues~ arise. 

This isn’t fun either. After running my usual analysis, I make my choice. I’m going to buy the real book/buy the e-book/take it out from the library/use my audiobook credit….. and then that doesn’t pan out. Why can’t bookstores have ALL THE BOOKS? Why does that narrator sound like a whiny child instead of a grown adult? Why does this book have to have such a perfect cover and be so expensive? Things come up and change my mind. It can be a pain and maybe this problem is very -first world pains- but it happens. It’s frustrating when the internet advertises one price and the store has another, or that great audiobook deal isn’t worth it when the narrator’s voice makes you want to rip your ears april parks and rec

  So what do I normally do?

book buying decision processWhat do you guys normally do for buying books? Do you struggle with prices, series consistency, narrators’ voices, and libraries like I do?

20 responses to “How Do You Buy Books?

  1. I love reading a real book but sadly prices tend to get in the way so eBooks win mostly and when I plan to buy an Audiobook I always have to check the narrator’s voice, for me it could ruin the whole book if it’s wrong.

  2. Oh man. I’m probably one of the few people who *usually* only buys books in one format. I’m still a very fond fan of the printed word, so I tend to buy hardcovers. Occasionally I’ll buy paperbacks, but that’s usually if I know I’ll end up reselling them.

    I do take advantage of free Kindle books, but not often because I either have to read them on my computer or on my iPod, and I hate reading that way.

    I’m probably going to renew my library card soon. I let it expire after I went away to college, but now that I’m back, it makes sense to have one again just in case I want to read something that I don’t really want to buy.

  3. Book buying…I try not to do too much of it but occasionally (every other month) I will get about 2-3 books total. Other than that I will borrow from friends, get it at the library, or re-read something. I prefer physical books over eBook and i’ve never even considered listening to audio book. A perk about being a book blogger though is that there is always something to read and it’s usually in eBook format.

  4. Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections

    Hahaha, that graphic is awesome! I usually buy physical books in book stores, on book fairs, or on Amazon. I usually wait for the paperback to come out, because they’re cheaper and I prefer reading them in paperback.
    Audiobooks, I never really got the hang of. I lose focus too easily.
    I’ve got a similar problem with library books. I recently read One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern, which I really loved, so what if I want to read it again? Obviously I’m gonna need a physical copy of that baby, but I think I’ll wait until Christmas.
    I do take advantage of free Kindle books, because, well, they’re free! And like you said, limited budget.
    I’d probably try to keep the same format when I’m reading a series, though it hasn’t happened to me yet.

    • Haha thank you!
      I almost never buy hardcovers because they’re way too expensive. Generally in that case I’ll just buy the Kindle version. I prefer paperbacks for sure, but when I read library books most of them are hardcover.
      I go through the same issues too – I checked out Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke, which was one of my highly anticipated books this year, and LOVED it. It’s in hardcover so I didn’t want to buy it. Once it comes out in paperback I’ll buy it for my collection haha

  5. I’m REALLY against audiobooks because I often can’t handle the narrators (like female narrators deepening their voices for male dialogue..? No thanks). I think if I started finding less time to actually sit down and read I’d probably say okay to them, but right now they bother me a bit. Gosh I haven’t bought an e-book in forever. I only buy e-books now when a book is ONLY available in e-book format. I don’t mind my e-reader, but I have the older Kindle and it’s definitely starting to show its wear. :/

    Most of the time I get books in one of two ways: library, or work. It’s hard to NOT buy books when you work in a bookstore and are surrounded by them. It’s seriously so easy to just snatch one off the shelf and head on up to the counter. You have no “Oh…but it’s so far away from my house!” excuse anymore. You’re literally RIGHT THERE. Also, I like library books but I have like $10 in fines because I forgot to bring back like 5 books for a few weeks. :c So now I just don’t even want to go in there.

    I’m a repeat edition buyer! lol guilty as charged. For example, I have both hardcover, paperback, and ARCs of Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass. I’m also biding my time for the UK editions which I really really want. So basically, I’ll have about 12 copies of the entire series as a whole on my shelf by the time I’ve finished buying the editions. Why you ask? Because she’s my favorite author, it’s my favorite series, and I’m a book pusher. Having extra copies lets me lend out non-hardcovers and keep them in good condition. ;D

    This was so long…oops.

    • Lol! It took me a LONG time to get used to audiobooks. I’m happy I was able to get over all the annoyances though because it’s nice to “read” in the shower and in the car! I loveeee the library and haven’t bought a real book since I got my card. I want to work in a bookstore SO BAD

  6. Oh boy. Generally I will get books or audio books from the library if I think I’ll want to read it but not own it. Sometimes I end up buying it later, but often I’m pretty good about making that decision. I get all my audio books from the library, no need to pay for them when my 8-library system has so many available! I’m super crazy about having all books in the same format… If I get into a series late, I will do everything in my power to either wait until they are all in paperback OR try and find the earlier books in hardback. It still irritates me to this day that my first three HP books are paperback, and I’m ALWAYS looking for them in hardback at local book sales. Great discussion!

  7. Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA

    I prefer ebooks so I buy most of my books that way. I don’t buy hardcovers at all. I just don’t like them. That’s another reason I prefer ebooks. They usually come out at the same time as the hardcover so I don’t have to wait months/a year for the paperback. I give away most of my physical books when I’m done with them so I don’t care about having mixed formats on my shelves, but I still try to stick to the same format for a series. I’m not sure why.

  8. I’m the odd one out here, because I don’t own any books/buy them. I get all of the books I read from my amazing local library 🙂 I go 1-3 times a week and pick out a few books that grab my interest, read them and then return & repeat. I love how simple my reading system is and best of all-it’s totally free 🙂 Which is a good thing, since i read over 100 books a year lol.

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