02 May 2008

How do you decide what to read next? - Part 1

Deniz the Niece asks this question on her blog. To me, this is a 2-tiered question. First, how do I decide which books to buy? And then, how do I decide which book from among those on the to-be-read-shelf-o'-books to read next?

Rarely do I buy books at regular prices from ordinary bookstores; it seems that the only time I do that is when I am in Turkey. Most of the books I buy are discounted books from on-line bookstores, primarily Amazon. Recently, I bought several sale books from the NHBS Environment Bookstore in England. I had picked those books by going thru their sale catalog on their web site. That being the case, I usually don't go to bookstores to look at books. So, how do I decide which books to buy?

The problem is once I buy and read a book, I usually forget why I had decided to buy it to begin with. An example is Sven Hedin's My Life as an Explorer (1925) that I recently finished reading and wrote about in several posts. I started reading that book last February after it had been in the to-be-read-shelf-o'-books for about a year. I don't recall how I got the idea to buy that book (from Amazon). I must have either read a review of it somewhere or read about Hedin himself in an article and then searched for his books.

Speaking of reviews, I have bought some books that I had first read about in blog posts. So, keep posting those book reviews, folks.

The only bookstore that I visit regularly, well, once every other month or so, is the local "friends of the library" bookstore that sells used books at ridiculously cheap prices for the benefit of the local public libraries. There, however, what I buy is the outcome of 100% chance. I have bought books from them mostly because they were so cheap and that I wouldn't have bought at full prices elsewhere (example). I figure, even if I don't like the book at least I am supporting a good cause.

I will answer the 2nd part of the question some other time.


1 comment:

Dave Coulter said...

This happens to be a recent subject of conversation over at osage+orange too!