Monday, November 16, 2009

What makes you buy a book?

A few weeks ago I was browsing through books at Seagull Bookstore. I picked up Soul Searching by Shannon Guymon and found myself smiling and even chuckling as I read the first few pages. The book wasn't my typical read, but the voice captured me enough that I plunked down my money on an author I'd never read before. This should be a huge compliment to Ms. Guymon because I spend a lot of time in bookstores reading the first couple pages of any book that catches my eye. I never read the back cover blurb, just the first few pages. I've gone through thirty books before without wanting to buy a one.
What about a book captures your attention? The back cover blurb? The cover? A referral by a friend or reviewer? The first few pages? The clever author bio?


  1. I am like you. It's all about the first few pages. And yes, I can go through thirty as well before I find one. And then I will also skim several pages through the middle. That eliminates the next thirty. It's why I buy so few books. The last one I bought was The Hunger Games and its sequel Chasing Fire. The Hunger Games was well worth my money, but not Chasing Fire.

  2. A cover always grabs me first, then I read the back. If it looks promising I add it to the stack. Once I have a stack, I settle down with a Mocha and read the first few pages of each one until I decide on what I am going to purchase.

  3. I'll have to look for Hunger Games, Karen. Kind of depressing when the sequel isn't as good!

  4. That's a fun idea Amy, get a stack and then settle down and read. It's too much fun to hang out at bookstores!

  5. Hey Cami- my name is Gillian and I work at Cedar Fort making their blogs. I like the book "Soul Searching" as well! It took me a while to get into it for some reason though. I thought it was going to be a really cheesy teen novel- which it kind of is- but the more that I got reading, the more I loved it! I couldn't put it down. I am one of those people that likes to get through the first couple of chapters before I know if it's going to be good. For example- Nicholas Sparks has alot of amazing books (one of my favorite authors) but his books are hard to get into sometimes. I know that when I read one of his books, I will have to read into it a bit before it really catches my attention. I too like the cover. I will walk through the library for an hour grabbing the books that look interesting on the cover as well. Anyway, just thought I'd drop in a comment on your blog. Thanks for the post! Kinda fun.
    -Gillian from Cedar Fort

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Gillian. You're right. You definitely need to give a book a chance. I usually make my boys give any book 50 pages before they decide they don't like it. But then look at me, I'm so impatient - a couple of pages and you're out!
    I think for me, though, I can usually tell within a few pages if I'm going to like the voice, which is often more important to me than the storyline. "Soul Searching" was definitely a teen novel, but I liked it because her voice was cute.
    Thanks again for the comment,

  7. Well of course you can tell whether it's going to be good- you are a writer, and you probably know how to tell better than any of us :)

  8. Hi Cami--my name is Heidi and I recently read "The Sister Pact". You seemed like a fun person from your book, so I looked up your website and found this blog. I've always dreamed of publishing, so I think it's really neat that you've managed to publish while being a mom (I have two young boys).

    I like how you ask questions in your posts... To be honest, I love to read but don't have the time/money to browse bookstores. So I browse the Family Christian Bookstore and Deseret Book catalogs that come in the mail and read the blurbs. If one looks good to me, I request it at our library and then read it (unless I'm so distracted re-writing the novel in my head as I read that I can't concentrate on the plot and just give up). If I find an author I like, I request more books by him/her.

  9. By the way, I really enjoyed "The Sister Pact". :)

  10. Thanks, Gillian. Sometimes I think I know what's good, but most of the time I'm grasping! Books are so subjective anyway. It's wonderful that we all enjoy something different.

  11. Thanks, Heidi. I really appreciate you requesting and enjoy The Sister Pact!
    I'm a big library fan too. There's no way I could keep up with my sons reading addiction without the library's help. But we also buy books for every holiday. My oldest said to me the other day, "Mom, some of my friends don't like getting a book for every birthday." I was floored!

  12. LOL! When it comes to children's books, I have no self control. I attend every used book sale I hear about and we go to the library constantly.

    Just recently, my intention of buying "just a few books" for Christmas for the boys turned into over 60 books purchased (they were so good and cheap!!). And I couldn't wait all the way until Christmas, so I potty trained my son just so I could give them to him as rewards. :)

  13. I love it! We definitely use books as rewards and each of my boys knows the way to stop Momma is the magic words, "Read me this book." Gets me every time!

  14. Awww, that's awesome! Just the other day I was thinking, "How cool would it be if my son's earliest childhood memory was of me reading to him?" I'll bet it is with yours. :)

    After my second son was born, I was a little worried about how to prevent the older one from feeling resentful of lost time with me. We ended up getting a recliner couch off Craigslist so I could feed the baby and read to/snuggle big brother at the same time. Fortunately, it did the trick and now every time he sees me sit down to nurse, he runs to get a book for me to read. :) I also learned how to read upside down/sideways while changing a diaper. And "librarian style" while he sits on the ottoman if I'm nursing in a glider. But I do have my limits--I've had to say no to reading while I try to eat. :)

    p.s. I think we have similar views on TV, too. We don't watch more than 10 minutes a day (if at all) and I think it helps a lot in development and fostering a love for reading.

  15. Heidi,
    I think we should be bosom buddies! I loved reading to my boys while nursing, never did it while changing a diaper though. You're amazing! The reading gets really fun when they're older and you get to read fun chapter books like Harry Potter, Serpentide, or Fablehaven and call it "one-on-one time."
    Best of luck with your babies,

  16. Cami,
    LOL! Yay! You did it, too! We're definitely meant to be bosom buddies. :)

    Oh, those chapter books do sound fun! Do you ever have to suppress the urge to pull out a romantic fairy tale? :)


  17. I know. I really need a girl! I did manage to get the boys interested in Gail Levine's Ella Enchanted, Fairest, and Ever. But it's good for me to read the fantasy genre (my oldest's favorite) because I wouldn't pick that on my own.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving my friend!

  18. Wow--I'm impressed! Did all of your boys listen in on that one? What ages are they? (And when did you start introducing chapter books?)

    I agree--fantasy's not usually my genre either, but Levine's work ("Fairest" was my favorite) is very engaging. I'm sure you've read Shannon Hale's "Bayern" series?

    Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  19. Just my oldest listening to that one and I definitely pushed it on him! My boys are 11, 7, and 3. I started chapter books with Denver at six (but easy ones like Junie B. Jones, Magic Tree House, A to Z Mysteries).
    I'm embarrassed that I haven't read Shannon Hale's work. That is going to be a priority this year. I've heard she's fabulous.


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