I’ve been thinking about this question during my commute this morning and I’ve summarized a few items which actually affects my decision to buy books:
- Author – If the author is one of my 5 favorites (Stephen King, John Grisham, Isaac Asimov, Robert Harris & Dennis Lehane) then I would surely buy the book without any hesitation. If the author’s name is familiar, even though I haven’t read any of their books, or if their books have become source material for movies then I would likely buy them as well (Tom Clancy, Michael Connelly, Robert E. Howard, J.R.R. Tolkien, Brad Meltzer, etc.)
- Good Buzz/Reviews – If I read about a discussion surrounding a certain book on a Web site or an e-mail thread with positive remarks, then I would also buy those books when I see them (The Historian, The Traveler, etc.)
- Bestseller Tag – I’m a sucker for those “#1 New York Times Bestseller”-labelled books (The Rule of Four, The Book of Fate, etc.)
- Captivating Cover – On those occasions where I’m unfamiliar with the author but the cover strikes me, I would sometimes buy that book and be surprisingly rewarded — but this rarely happens! (The Ghost War)
- Part of a Series – This is basic. If I’m collecting a series of books, then I would buy that book if it’s part of the series I’m collecting. As Sherlock would say, that is elementary (Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, William Shatner’s TekWar series, Star Trek Excalibur series, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and Robot series, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, etc.)
Previously, in my younger years, I used to based my book purchases on those books that are based from other popular media (G.I. Joe novels, Marvel novels, Indiana Jones novels, etc.) But as I grow older I noticed that some of those novels are not quite good and they rely heavily on the popularity of their characters to succeed.
So that’s it. I’ve discussed some of the things that influence my book purchases. And one last thing, lest I forget. There’s just one more thing that influences my decision on whether I would buy a certain book or not — its price 🙂
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