TTT: First Impressions

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Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish, and was taken over by That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is simple: what makes me pick up (and buy) a book? As I do frequently wander into stores with no immediate need for a book, it is a good thing to ponder. What causes me to ultimately buy a book, or add it to my library holds? (This also works for my Netgalley shopping too!)

The author

Obviously, if I have relationship (meaning I have read something of their previous work) with the author, I am going to pick it up. I do have auto-buys: Victoria Schwab, Harlan Coben, Kim Liggett, Scott Sigler, Angie Thomas, to name a few. But if I don’t know much about the author, I am a little more on the fence about just out and out buying the book. And honestly, I am biased about authors that I’ve been burned on in the past. Claire Legrand has me rethinking this though!

The genre

I am a little burned out by traditional fantasy, and seem to be leaning heavily towards romance and mystery these days. Given that my reading taste buds change about every month or so, the wind will shift soon. Still, I usually hit up the YA area before adult, and then eventually non-fiction.

The cover

I love a good cover. I don’t deny that I am a a bit of a cover snob! Hell, I host a podcast born out of this concept. And I am also very very swayed by alternative covers. And I have found one of my favorite authors because I fell in love with the cover first.

(Don’t ask me how many Schwab books I own in duplicates simply because their covers are perfect.)

And I’ll be honest, I have missed out on some books because of the covers. I am not saying my system is full proof, just is.

The publisher

This is more for my Netgalley perusing, but I do actively keep up with publishers such as Tor, Sourcebooks (particularly their non-fiction), Quirk books, and Farrar, Stratus, and Gioux to see what they are doing. And at book conventions, I am quick to stop at their tables to see what’s new and what I can look forward to!

Goodreads reviews

I live for my goodreads account, if you can’t tell. It is one of the few aspects of my life I keep up to date, and I rely on it endlessly for my book decisions. Here are a few things I look at when I pull up a book on goodreads:

  • Has one of my trusty favorite reviews read the book? This includes a few actual close friends and some reviewers I just follow.
  • What’s the average star rating?  This is super subjective, and I am always fascinated by people’s thought process. For me, if it drops below a 3 I am probably not going to pick it up. But I have been burned by high 4-star books that I should have paid more attention to my favorite reviewers and trusted my gut.
  • Is there any controversy? Doesn’t automatically stop me from picking it up, but I might be talking to Elle about a new podcast season!

Can I get it in paperback?

I’ll be honest – I really hate hardback books. Most of the ones I own now were because I absolutely love the cover and impulsed shopped, my brief stint with Book of the Month Club, or, most likely, it’s a signed book. I love to write in books and make notes and fold back books – I love books that look like they were EXPERIENCED in some way – and it’s just hard to do that with hardback books. Plus, my commute makes hardbacks tough.

Library Check

I have both a NYPL and a Brooklyn library account, so of course I am going to check to see if something is there. This primarily happens because:

  • I am super on the fence about wanting to own it (or my shelves are full and why am I in a book shop?!)
  • It’s a comic book trade and those are $20 a pop and while I own so many, if I start the series as a library book odds are I am going to finish it as one.
  • I super love audiobooks, and if I can find it for audiobook, then heck yes! New running book time.

Is there a signed copy?

Books of Wonder has foiled me with this SO MANY TIMES.

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