Nathan Bransford, Author


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Have Your Book Buying Habits Changed in the Last Year?

We live in a tumultuous time all around, with the economy sinking and technology continuing to change habits and proclivities. It's also an interesting time for the publishing industry, as we're all watching to see how the economy will affect sales, and also keeping an eye on e-books and other new technological developments.

Have you noticed a change in how you buy books? Do you buy fewer? More? New/used? Do you buy them online or in bookstores?

My habits have definitely been changed in the past year. Now that I have a Kindle, I look first to see if books are available as an e-book. The ease and convenience of reading on a Kindle has been indispensable for me -- I'm able to get so much more done now that I can read for work or pleasure anywhere, anytime.

What about you?






124 comments:

Dan said...

Yes. I use the public library a lot more!

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I think I'm buying more books. I'm meeting so many great authors this year that I want to read everything they've written!

My clothes budget has taken a hit though. :(

Margaret Yang said...

At karate class, a fellow student was reading Brisingr by Christopher Paolini, which is like 800 pages or something. Huge, huge book. He said he was going on vacation and couldn't take the book with him because it was too big. He was going to take a small paperback. I said, "Times like this, you wish you had a Kindle, huh?"

He gave me a completely blank look and said, "What's a Kindle?"

It is to cry.

As for my book buying habits, I have made it a point that every single time my kids get invited to a birthday party, (which for my daughter is like every five minutes) we are buying the birthday child a book.

I will support the industry that I want to support me!

Cat Moleski said...

I use the public library heavily for new releases and keeping up with favorite authors. This year I did buy books at author talks and once compulsively at Walmart because of the price.

I think a book is the best Christmas present ever. There is nothing more fabulous to me than opening a new book knowing I don't have to get out of my jammies or stop reading all day!

K.S. Clay said...

I don't think my buying habits have changed that much except that I probably do buy more books online via Amazon. It's just so convenient and I live in a small area where the only bookstore doesn't even carry some of my favorite authors. As to money, I've always been cautious about spending but books are my weakness. I'd go without a lot of things before I'd stop buying them.

R.C. said...

I with Margaret, I'm buying more books as presents for my kids' friends. Most of the stuff kids get at birthdays is junk, anyway. I usually tuck a gift card for the Sugar Shack in there, too, so everyone is happy.

I love to share books my kids have enjoyed. My kids haven't been blacklisted from birthday parties yet.

I'm making more of an effort to go to my local bookstore, too, rather than use Amazon.

Kim Haynes said...

The economy hasn't slowed my book purchases. The only thing that has ever done that was realizing I'd run out of space to put them all!

The other side of this question, though, is troubling: how has the economy changed agent & publisher "purchases." Nathan? Care to weigh in?

A Paperback Writer said...

My parents grew up during the Depression. Hence, I was raised to buy something ONLY when I had the money to pay for it FIRST. Plus, I've always tried to conserve gasoline, energy, and water (I live in Utah; drought is common).
Granted, my bank could go under and I could lose everything, but at the moment, I have a job, don't owe money to anyone (except monthly utility bills), and have careful habits.
So, no, my buying habits haven't changed much. I still buy books either from my two favorite independent bookstores (The King's English andFrost's) or from Amazon. If I see a good deal on a used book, I'll buy it. I also use the library a lot.
But all this is what I've done for years.

Didn't Santayana once say, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"?
Well, thanks to vicarious memories from my parents, so far I haven't had to repeat the economic past.

Carolyn said...

I'm putting more books on my wish list rather then buying right away. And in the book store, I'm looking at the prices of hardcovers and thinking I'll wait for paperback. Last Saturday, though, I spent $50.00 on paperbacks (at a store). I'm weak.

Loren Eaton said...

I have something I call The Middle Shelf. Since I'd rather read books than collect them, I tend to only buy titles that I'll read until they become dust. And, yes, my library card gets quite a workout.

Ana Cristina said...

Books are my addiction, so I can't say I'm buying less this year, but I will say my buying habits have changed - now I buy only when there are sales or when I get those coupons from Borders, plus I joined an online book club, qpb.com, that has good sales from time to time.
Like Dan above, I should probably start using the public library more, with the way our economy is going.

Eva said...

I am buying more than ever before. Escaping to other issues/problems/times seems to comfort me in distress.

I buy from Costco, Amazon, Ebay, indie book stores, garage sales, etc. Wherever I can find a title I want.

So yes, more books, bring them on!

Anonymous said...

I'm buying more books because I'm trying to support the authors I love. :-)

Amber said...

I buy about the same. Our budget actually has an amount for my books - though I must admit, unless I get a recomendation for an author, I'll check them out first from the library or the used store. If I like them a lot, then I'll buy their other books new.

Susan said...

I'm buying more books, in shops and online, for myself and as presents. Just posted on my blog about having a book-centered Christmas this year, instead of the usual piles of junk.

Deaf Brown Trash Punk said...

I don't buy books. I go to the LIBRARY!!!

Sandra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
scargosun said...

I am still buying books but I swap them with friends more regularly. I can't resist books no matter the econ. They are like an antidote to the problems swirling around daily life.

Sandra said...

My reading has slowed down anyway since I have a toddler. But whenever I do have a chance to visit B&N, I buy several books at once. Gotta keep the industry going! Besides, aren't books a necessity?

Stacey said...

I think I have been buying more, because I have been reading more. There have been times when I want to buy more books, and can't afford it, but then I remember I have to catch up on the books that are on my shelves anyway.

I suppose I have also started using the library to read things that are reccomended to me that I am not sure if I want to buy them, but if I love it, it goes on my "To Buy" list anyway.

Leatherdykeuk said...

I've been buying more, and buying online more -- especially 'new and used' from Amazon sellers.

Lauren said...

I buy about as many books as I did before. The one thing that has changed is the type of books I buy. I used to buy a lot of paperback classics; these days, when I want to read a classic, I get it from the library, or borrow it from a friend. What I buy now are books from authors who are, y'know, alive. That's my way of telling the book industry to publish more of what I like. I try to support debut authors a lot, as well as those all-important second and third books. And as my favorite category of NEW fiction is YA, I can afford to buy a lot of those books in hardback. Hardbacks run about $15 - $18 in YA, and even less on Amazon. So I'm acquiring a really nice hardback collection of great YA novels.

I go to the library a lot, too. Both the husband and I buy about one hardback per month, and then we get about 7 - 8 books from the library, between the two of us. That makes for a very full month of reading.

shilohwalker said...

I'm actually taking more time to read this year. My brain needs the recharge. So I'm buying more.

Deirdre Mundy said...

We've stopped buying books... but only because we're trying to pare down our collection to get it to fit in our house.

That said, I still am a sucker for the booksale shop at the library--especially if I can pick up something for the kiddies.

But until we can afford a bigger house, we have to shed books faster than we accumulate them... and we already got rid of all the easy ones!

BriMaresh said...

I have gotten less books this year than any year since second grade. It's not an economic thing--at least, not on my end of economics.

The book stores locally are carrying more copies of books, but the books are by fewer authors. I just can't get my hands on anything new. And browsing online is great if I've already read the book, but it just doesn't have the same charm of going into the store and picking up a book and bringing it home.

Gwen said...

I am extremely broke this year, so I cannot afford to buy the books I want to. I'm probably going to start using the library system, even if it isn't very good in this part of the city.

Anonymous said...

I buy more books on Amazon or at Costco and I buy mostly trade rather than hardcover or mass market.

Adaora A. said...

Yea I've definetly been holding onto my petty cash a lot more. Buying books this year for uni was an entirely different experience. I avoided the seemingly easy university book store (and its steroid worthy prices) and hit chapters indigo online for used books as well as renting some books for the library which I'd only need for a couple of weeks. I constantly have to argue myself out of buying books I want which 2 years ago I would have thrown down for without a moment of hesitation. After all, when US of A coughs, Canada sneezes. Great topic.

markwise said...

I buy more used and paperbacks rather than New Releases. The library is another good place to save some cash.

Heather said...

I'm buying more books than ever. Mostly new, but a few used. Having started a reader blog, I now have more incentive to entertain myself with books than with mindless television shows. I feel very lucky that I can afford to do this even during a tough economic period.

lotusloq said...

My buying habits haven't really changed with the economy. I give up other things--not my books. I'm totally addicted. I'm actually buying more because I'm now supplying my habit and that of my 14 year old daughter who devours books faster than I do.

I frequent B&N often--sometimes Borders if I'm in that part of town (I don't really like how their store in my town is set up.) If I can't find the book I want in the stores I look online and generally go with Amazon or, on occasion, specialized publishers. Once in a blue moon I go to a used book store.

I'm glad your Kindle is working out for you. I can see where that could make life easier. I have an eBook, but I don't like to read my books that way.

superwench83 said...

Me, my book-buying habbits haven't changed. And I think the economy will have to get quite a bit worse (which it probably will) before my book-buying is affected. The thing we've cut back on most is eating out, and that's how we're saving money. But since I'm a writer, I consider books--fiction and nonfiction--a necessary tool to use in furthering my career, so if I can't get them at the library or used bookstore, or if I know I'll read the book more than once, I buy it, just like always. I imagine, though, that if I wasn't a writer, my book-buying habbits might be affected.

Additionally, today's post at BookEnds' blog addresses the issue of books and the economy, for anyone who's interested.

Dara said...

I generally only buy a book if I've read it through the library or by borrowing it first. That, or I'll buy it if it's something I can use for novel research.

If it's a fiction and something I loved when I got it from the library, I'll buy it. There have been occassions where I've bought before I've read it, but I've been burned too many times by it. So I've never really bought many books to begin with.

I like e-Books and I've debated purchasing a Kindle, but I wonder--what happens should it malfunction? Am I going to lose my whole library of books? Electronics tend to have too many issues with them.

Then again, my house could catch on fire, a tornado could hit it, etc. and all my traditional books will be destroyed. I guess I'm still undecided...

cedunkley said...

Now that I am back up north I am buying more books from the nearest book store (down south I had to drive over an hour to get to any book store and nearly 2 hours to get to a major bookstore) and fewer from online.

I've actually dramatically increased the amount of books I normally buy. This is due to a combination of increased exposure to authors through their online blogs as well as studying the genre market (SF/F) as I am working on becoming published.

I have an extensive CD/DVD/Book collection. Book buying is the last thing I cut back on.

Dave F. said...

Bought more and read less...
Now I'm playing catch up on all the books laying around.

spyscribbler said...

Hey, I just got a Kindle for my Birthday (and for Christmas)! I didn't buy books for a whole year to help save up. It was torture, but well worth it!

I now only buy books available for the Kindle (or convertable form). I am buying more books, though, and the sample feature helps me remember all the books I want to read soon and gives me the confidence to try new-to-me authors.

I love my Kindle. I've got about 200 books and another 60 samples on it right now.

I think the Kindle is the cat's meow.

Jeanie W said...

I have a huge TBR pile, so I've slowed my book-buying to give me time to catch up. I'm not trying to save money. In fact, I feel a bit guilty cutting back when the industry is most desperate for consumers.

I think we should all give books for Christmas and Hannukah this year in order to support the industry we want to have feeding us. Now, what books can I give to my relatives who don't like to read? I know - cookbooks!

Kate H said...

My habits haven't changed. I still try the library first, and buy only books that (a) I can't get from the library, (b) I want to keep around for reference, or (c) I'm so in love with that I have to have them on my shelf (and I don't know this until after I've read it from the library).

This conservative buying policy is partly due to a limited budget and partly due to the fact that my house is already bursting with books and I have no more shelf space!

Anonymous said...

I buy more books I am sure I am going to read for pure enjoyment (fiction) and less for research or information (nonfiction).
I used to never hesitate about books. But now I focus on enjoyment of stories. The other ones I look over, get what I need in the store and do not buy.
I no longer use a credit card in the bookstore.

Marilyn Peake said...

My book-buying habits have temporarily changed within the past few weeks. I usually buy large numbers of books in all sorts of formats, for many different reasons: hardcover, paperback, eBooks, books from both the big publishing houses and small press publishers, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning books, books by fellow small press authors, non-fiction books for background research into factual details as I write my novel and short stories, and so on. The past few weeks, with the economy so unstable, I’ve cut back on buying books, ordering only those I need for background research or plan to give as gifts. I plan to return to buying books in larger numbers again, but right now I’m spending much more time writing than reading, and I have huge piles of "To Be Read" books, so I feel that I can wait to add more books to my shelves and computer. My older son has a Kindle and loves it; I hope to buy one for myself at some point, especially as my own books are now available in Kindle format.

I’ve started following business and financial news throughout the day, and plan to learn more about how the economy works, as I’m actually finding it fascinating. Funny story about an indication that I might be watching too much news ... Today, the Asian stock markets fell, followed by the DOW falling and gas prices going down. I fell asleep watching the news and woke up hearing the following words on TV: "Only $3.99! Get it before we’re all sold out. Only $3.99!" In a kind of irrational dream state, my eyes still closed, the thought ran through my mind, Gas is only $3.99 and it’s almost gone? I made myself wake up and open my eyes. They were selling a mop on TV.

Michael said...

I don't think my habits have changed much at all. I still buy a lot of books (way more than I should) and I still do a lot of that buying online from Amazon.com Marketplace sellers, usually gently used. I also keep my eyes open in the bargain books section of bookstores for deals, and find them very often, that's why the list of books that I have bought and haven't yet read is growing all the time. I still haven't turned to the e-book side. I don't know if I ever will.

Anonymous said...

Today is my day to run errands. I forewent lunch so I could buy the new John Green YA, PAPER TOWNS.

I'm sort of hungry right now, but my mind will be full in a matter of minutes as soon as I crack those fresh pages open.

That's the hard thing about the library -- they so seldom have the books I want to read -- the waiting list for a new title is months long. So, while I'd rather read for free, or wait for a paperback because the price is cheaper, I can't wait that long for my favorite authors.

boxofficegirl said...

I still ask for book vouchers as birthday and christmas gifts. There is nothing more wonderful that mooching around a book store with money to spend and when the money runs out, as it invariably does, then the intenet is a marvellous tool for searching out a good deal.
I have bought second hand books from ebay etc but much prefer to have brand new.

B. Nagel said...

Since I got a job at a library, yes. I tend to look first at what is available for free, then online. I never did spend a lot of money on books, I always waited for paperbacks or used copies (university town).

Elyssa Papa said...

I think I'm buying about the same books, but it depends on the month and what books are being released. Can I take "depends?" *g*

Savvy One said...

Yes but not because of the economy. It is because I quit smoking. Now that I no longer smoke, I admittedly read less, no more going outside ot burn one and read the next chapter.

Janet said...

I'm buying more actually. So much so, that I've had to declare a moratorium. (Yeah, right.) I've got a whole shelf full waiting for me.

Cari said...

Well, I'm a librarian, so I rarely buy books. (If I bought every book I read, I'd go broke very quickly.) I do like to buy them to support my local authors and favorites, but this past year I haven't had as much money to support this habit. In fact, I don't think I've bought any books this year. One day I hope to sell a novel, but I don't expect to make much money from it. I just want people to take it out from the library!

AmandaKMorgan said...

I definitely buy a LOT more books now than last year. I actually make more (this is not to say I make a lot) but I think the biggest thing here is that I've moved--I used to live in a very small town where very few books were available to me, even via the library. Now I live in a city, and actually have access to Borders and BN, not to mention writers conferences and book festivals. It's kind of bad for the budget, but for the first time in my life I have a to-be-read pile.

And I can't go e-reader. I love my little at-home library.

Anonymous said...

I'm self-employed (advertising) and my business is in a world of hurt right now. I've had to stop buying books, along with a lot of other things. Thank God for the public library.

acpaul said...

My buying habits haven't really changed. My favorite authors I wait for, and buy in hardcover the day the book is released.

New authors, authors people recommend to me, out of print titles, etc and so on I buy online at abebooks.com

wallofcheese said...

Three factors changed my book buying habits this year: a new child, moving, and learning that all these remainders I've been online for years don't give a cent to the authors.

While my wife and I are trying not to buy new books for space, time, and economic reasons, I'd say we still pick up 1-2 new ones per month.

Jeff said...

I'm buying more books this year than last, though more in Spanish than English (that's because I live in Buenos Aires). If I had an e-reader of some type then I probably would buy more English-language books.

Deirdre Saoirse Moen said...

I go through spurts of book buying. I haven't stopped buying books, I just haven't hit a spurt in a few months, but that's normal for me.

I'm definitely buying fewer albums and movies, though I am buying more individual songs. So I'm definitely spending less there.

Summer said...

I've bought more books in the last year than I did the year before. If my total income has changed at all, it's only gone down, so I'm not sure why that is. I'm just reading a lot more than I was before, and since my local library doesn't have the budget to be open as late as the bookstore, I wind up buying a lot of books.

ashley said...

I find myself buying more books than ever these days. In college, I got in a funk where I didn't read much of anything new because I was so busy (though I did reread LOTR/The Hobbit a few times).

Now that I have graduated, I have a lot more time for reading. Fortunately, my husband and I have a budget that we stick to so we always budget for "entertainment". Usually, that money goes to buying new books!

Sometimes we buy off Amazon but only because my husband loves a lot of old English authors: Lewis, Chesterton, MacDonald, etc., and many of their books can't be found in-store. But we LOVE going to the bookstore, buying something new, grabbing a coffee on the way out and then going home to crack open those new books!

I get excited just thinking about it. :)

Doomkat said...

I've noticed more of a change in the type of books I've been buying than anything else. I've started buying more used books, but I've also started buying more books in general.

I've also started buying a lot of literary magazines, since I've been trying to get published in them...

In relation to the economy, it hasn't affected my book buying any. Then again, I'd rather live poor and surrounded by books, than have money and noyhing to read...

Richard said...

Great question!

I'm using the library more to get audio books on CD or MP3 format. Being able to use exercise, drive, or chore time as reading time makes those tasks more enjoyable.

AmyB said...

In the last month or two, I've cut back on all my discretionary spending, and yeah, I slashed the book budget. It's okay for now--I have a huge stack of books still waiting to be read; I'll make some inroads on that while the economy is down. And if it stays down long enough for me to get through the stack, well, hello public library.

K.C. Shaw said...

I'm actually buying more books for some reason. I may have cut back on some other purchases without realizing it, though--I know I haven't bought any DVDs in about six months.

Scott said...

My habits have not changed. I normally buy from Amazon . . . after browsing at Borders first. Amazon is normally cheaper, even with the Borders coupons. So far, I haven't gone the e-reader route. I personally like the feel of a book, the pages, in my hand as I read - a security blanket, of sorts. I guess the day will come when the only option for reading a book will be with an e-reader. (sigh) That will be a sad day, at least for me.

RachelB said...

I always buy my books from a bookstore. 99% of the time they are new. I haven't really changed the amount of books I'm buying.

NP said...

I'm less likely to buy a book I'm not sure I want, but borrow it from the library instead. I used to buy almost anything I could get my hands on, and if I didn't like it, I'd donate it somewhere or give it to a friend. Now I'm a bit more selective about what I buy.

Furious D said...

Since I've actually had some money this past year, I've bought some new books.

Though I still clean out the library's used book sale every summer.

Just_Me said...

It's library and gifts only. I actually went to B&N today and didn't buy anything. I did buy a book last weekend, at an antique store. A sci-fi hardcover from 1954 just for amusement. But, until our budget settles in, I won't buy any new books.

Lisa Iriarte said...

Since I am writing more, I am reading more, especially in the genre in which I write. Therefore, I have bought a lot more books in the last year.

Other Lisa said...

Not so much. I buy non-fiction, usually in hardback, and some fiction, usually in trade paper. I used to get a lot of free novels, and with that source gone, I expect I'll be buying more fiction and also using the library more often.

I might pop for a Kindle when the next model comes out...I think I'd like having that for fiction.

terryd said...

I'm buying more books, but that's only because so many of my friends have new books out.

Getting antsy to join 'em, I am.

Jeanne said...

Good for you Margaret Yang. I totally agree with supporting your own industry. We do the same thing- support my husbands industry.

Okay- I'm counting the past year as the past 12 months, and not just the past 3 freaky weeks. So, no difference. Bought the 17 yr old Brisingr hot of the press. Bought plenty of books at the school book fairs last year. I'm sure I will this year. And just bought "One Thousand White Women" last weekend, on my friends suggestion,

Reading is an excellent escape for adults. And maintaining normalcy is important for my kids. I'm not ready to curtail all spending. I still believe in propping up the economy by making normal purchases. I just wouldn't buy an overpriced piece of real estate right now.

jo said...

I've purchased around 10 books in the past month...about half online, the other half at Borders.
That's probably more books than I've bought the rest of the year.
(Other than getting the first 5 Harry Potter books at a garage sale for $25).

tara said...

The economy has affected the purchase of big-ticket items in our household, but not books.

I've actually been buying MORE books this year. As I've been writing more, I've been reading more.

Still, I only buy a picture book after we have read it at the library. My children have to love it before I spend the money on it.

Erik said...

I finally got my bookshelves built which enabled me to open boxes that had not seen daylight in years. My reading habits have changed in the sense that I'm discovering old friends more than reading anything new.

It is cheaper, too.

Maya said...

My book consumption has gone up, but it has nothing to do with the economy. As I get more entrenched in the writing world - including reading blogs like yours - I feel like I should support authors and buy books rather than go to the library. Not that I'm dissing libraries - I grew up with them and would never have fallen in love with books without 'em.

Anonymous said...

No - only that I buy more non-fiction these days than fiction, because what publishing thinks is an absorbing, wonderful novel isn't mine. Lots of great non-fiction out there, though.
And - I buy at the Tattered Cover in Denver almost exclusively, because in the long run, a good independent book store is in my own best interest as reader and writer. No chains, no discounts ... although for a dead writer, I may buy at a used books store.

GeekyQuill said...

The kids and I go to the library every week, but we keep an Amazon wish list and whenever we can, we buy online. Amazon gift cards are our favorite gift to get. Although, there's nothing as wonderful as browsing in the book store...except when you have two hyper seven year olds with you.

ToniMenden42 said...

Well, honestly, I haven't been able to afford to buy a book for a few years now...I mooch off of friends who feel sorry for me.

I can't use the public library anymore, they have a hit out on me for late fines...

SozinTara said...

I find that I am buying more books online than just shopping for them. I go to the library sometimes but not as much as I used to since I just order and wait for it to come.

But if I want a book bad enough, I will buy it from the store, no big deal.

I'm not sure I can get used to Kindle. I don't own one but I hear it is good and very portable- and that it is better than reading off of a PC. I can dig that, the only thing with me is, as a bookaholic, I like to have print books on shelves, I love cracking open a book and turning pages to read words, and sometimes the covers are really neat too.

Lol, I am just silly, pay me no mind :)

Anonymous said...

I bought a book on Monday and 2 cashmere sweaters 5 minutes ago. If the ship's going down, I'm going to be well dressed and well read.

Anonymous said...

i was laid off for 4 months this summer, so my book-buying habits certainly did change. i couldn't have been more grateful to live within walking distance of a library.

i am gainfully employed once again, but find i'm more discerning about which books i buy and which i borrow from the library. i never think of books as a wasteful purchase, but those i'm not quite "sure" about, i'll get from the library first.

MC said...

With the economy in a tailspin and my wife spending 18 weeks unemployed, we've rethought our spending. We used to buy a lot of used books, but now we use the library almost exclusively.

Strangely, a month after we stopped buying used books, our favorite bookstore closed. Coincidence? Probably, considering Borders opened next door to it 3 years ago and was slowly stealing all of their business.

But yeah, library for me.

Kyle Smith said...

I use my local public library far more. The only books I buy anymore are ones in a series that I'm currently reading.

I would buy more, but I read 400-500 page novels in a few days, and it just gets too expensive

Leonard Klaatu said...

I still buy WAY too many books. I've been tempted to subscribe to a summary service for the business books I buy, but so far - I've been unable to bring myself to do it. Sony's ebook reader and the Kindle look interesting, but I've still got a love affair with ink and paper. If anything, I'm buying more books than last year. It's an addiction I've had for years. I should enter rehab.

Erica said...

Like everyone else, my library card is getting a workout (and do you have one of the cool new kid-designed SF library cards?). I buy too, but less so -- for both space and budgetary concerns.

Chris said...

I just got a load of books from B & N today in the mail. I buy books like wild. I don't like the library because I have a sick fetish about owning books and placing them on my bookshelves, like trophies, when I'm done reading them. I'd choose buying books over clothes and probably food if forced to decide.

I LOVE BOOKS!

Orange Slushie said...

i usually buy because i like to support writers and publishers, and also to be able to lend books that i love. but this year i had a baby and the loss of income has bumped books to the 'luxuries' list. i'm using the library again for the first time in years! those Borders coupons have come in handy too. and when family and friends ask me what i want for my birthday...
having said all that, i think i've spent a considerable sum in recent months on picture books. ah, parental sacrifice

Miriam S.Forster said...

No, not really. If buy book-buying habits, you mean, "your pattern of going to the library and checking out 20 books at a time, forgetting to return them and having to pay massive fines".

I'm more careful about the fines these days, but I never have less then 10 books checked out at any one time. I can't afford to buy as many books as I read.

Heck, right now I can't afford to buy gas!

spinregina said...

amazon.ca makes it waaay too easy for me; just click and buy. costco, too, and chapters for glossy expensive books. in a nutshell - way more books. it's lovely.

Anonymous said...

When the Australian dollar went, this last couple of weeks, from being worth over 80c US to tottering around 65c US, that had an impact on my bookbuying habits from Amazon.com. I'm more likely to look at bookdepository.co.uk now - still a big range, they don't charge any postage/shipping and the exchange rate wasn't as badly affected between Oz and UK currencies.

Kindle? Ah well, if there was an ebook reader available in Australia that didn't cost all four limbs of at least two grandparents...oh, and the stock to support it...oh, and the stock of books at prices that are vaguely reasonable....

N W Wemmick said...

I used to work for a book store and that kept me well stocked on my business books but realized that I had only been in the country for 3 months and was growing a new collection quick with not a lot of money for food.

Then I downloaded stanza on my I touch and now I download classics and contemporary lit for free and it is convenient.

I no longer need a 12 step program and can afford to eat now.

Moth said...

I used to buy new all the time, at bookstores. I had a lot more auto-buy authors and I never blinked at buying their hardcovers. I never had a library card.

Now, I get almost everything from my local library and anything I absolutely can't live without I buy used for a cent on amazon.

Amanda said...

I buy all my books from Amazon, but have for a couple of years now. I think books will be my last vice to give up in times of economic budget woes.

Terri said...

I must admit I'm buying fewer books. The library isn't too far and if they have a book I want I get it. Of course the exception is my favorite authors. That list of favorites is now about 8 and growing. I also find that there are any number of books that I need for research. Those I keep close to me all of the time. You never know when you'll need to know how a certain poison will react, or what time of day a transit of the moon might be benificial to a plot. So, I am buying less, but still buying at least ten a month.

A friend recently introduced me to audio books. They give me the opportunity to 'read' while I'm driving or doing housework. I think they will be on my list now as well.

Elizabeth said...

I buy a lot of books for my work (art history); they are extremely expensive and often hard to get. I rarely just pick up a work-related book in a store; for new books I go through Amazon and for foreign/out of print books I do Bookfinder. My expenditure doesn't change but I buy fewer books because the ones I'm getting are more expensive.
For fiction, we continue to seek out used bookstores. I will buy anything for my kids if they promise to read it! For myself, I buy anything that I think I might read. I probably buy two or three new books a month, mostly YA. I try to get them at an independent bookstore but must confess that we do like Borders...

Elizabeth said...

I meant that I buy two or three non-used books. I buy a lot more than that at used bookstores, or on Amazon or e-bay as used books. I probably give 75% of those books away after I read them--donations to the book fair at the kids's school. But in general I like to own the books I read--a bad habit from my childhood.

magstermash said...

I envy you, Mr. I-Have-A-Kindle. Then again, I can see how it's necessary for your occupation.

College students buy tons of books (especially if double-majoring in unrelated fields of study, like me). So, yes, after years of accumulating books and lugging around heavy boxes at the risk of injury, I have recently turned to e-books (more for reading for pleasure than for school though). I carry my laptop with me everywhere so it's convenient.

b luis grey said...

interesting device. i'm still hooked on ipod touch and my coffee thermos.

Michelle said...

I buy the same amount. BUT I am a lot more discerning about what I buy. I use amazon.com to read reviews and find good books through bloggers who post about what they are reading.....Love your blog BTW...

Becky Mushko said...

I'm buying more books, but I often buy second hand. (My county doesn't have a bookstore, but our county library's Friends of the Library have great books sales.) I also buy at author readings (often sponsored by the library) and online.

When I attend writers' conferences, I often buy books by the presenters.

I've cut back on a few things, but not books I really want.

Scott said...

I think I'm buying about the same, maybe slightly less. But now that I'm self-employed, a though flits through my mind each time I buy a book, and sometimes affects my decision: "Can I write it off?"

On the other hand, because I'm a tough boss for myself, I work a lot and am tired by the time I wrap things up, so my reading has dropped off dramatically this year.

gabriel tren said...

I´m reading more books than ever, my free time increase the book hunger, but i stop buying, I´m reading a lot from the excellent public libraries of Barcelona. I´m reading now more teology and religion - and science - looking after some kind of answers. But definitely : I´m reading much more than before in my life.

abc said...

I spend way too much time at the library. Books for me and for the kiddo. But I still love to buy fresh children's books, though I try to stick to paperback. Being frugal for me has less to do with the economy right now and more to do with jaw dropping student loans. Now if only I could give up the lattes.

My folks are crazy about buying new hardcover books, so I borrow a lot from them, as well. Shout out to my mother's book club and all the incredible books they pick (and I later borrow).

Finally, if I have to have it NOW (it is August 2008 and the last installment of the Twilight series has hit shelves) I order from Amazon. Damn you Mrs. Meyer!

Madison said...

I LOVE the used book store, but I'm not buying books like I used to. I've gotten SO picky about what I'll read. When I was little, it was give me a book and I'll read it, but now I'm looking for so much in an author, becuase reading is kinda like homework for me, so I make sure that I'm reading stuff my writing will benefit from. But the main reason I go to the used book store is because that's where all the old Star Trek books are and those are the best!

A Reader from India said...

Since the local British library closed down in the town where I live about a year ago, I had taken to buying more books than usual, on an average of three per week. My bookshelves were getting really crammed with two and three layers of books on each shelf.

Since I moved to Tokyo, I haven't bought many books, just two in the last one month. It is difficult to find a good selection of English books here.

I do read e-books, but I definitely prefer to read a 'real' book over an e-book!

Lady Glamis said...

Just the library, thanks. Unless I can't find it anywhere else. Stupid economy crisis . . . sucking up all my book fund money.

JRLadies said...

I hate to say it, being an author wannabe myself, but I've had to resort to the library. I have been catching up on books I haven't had time to read in the past. I'm not reading the ones I REALLY want to read, because I really do want to buy them (not borrow them). However, I can't go into a bookstore without spending 70-80 dollars, so I've been avoiding them altogether.

jeanoram said...

Nope. My habits are fully ingrained! Despite the economy, our lives haven't really changed that much. We've been under the thumb of inflation for some time in our area and have gotten used to it.

M. Dunham said...

I actually buy more books now than I used to. But I went from a poor college kid to having a job, so my whole reading fiction has skyrocketed, hah!

Deborah K. White said...

I think I've bought more new books this year than I've ever bought before. I mean, like 2 or 3 times as many. Usually, most of my ready is library books or used books, but I think I've bought around 125 new books this year, maybe 40 books used, and checked about 25 books out of the library.

I will admit that I started buying more new books because of the economy scare--I wanted to make sure my favorite authors kept on being published.

Scribble & Notes said...

I use to buy 3-4 books at a time, but now I only get one per read from Barnes and Nobles or Borders. (I like to write notes in them.) I'm also a fan of the public library for researching.

Kindle is the best, but it's mostly Romance and Mystery novels that are available. (Not the kind of books I read.) I'd use Kindle, hands down, if more books were available electronically.

Nancy D'Inzillo said...

I used to get new books much more frequently in my youth when my parents were paying for it; now that I'm responsible for funding my own purchases AND paying for college (now grad school), I'll admit I rarely buy books for myself. I frequent the local library, which has some of the best selections of any library system I've encountered (yay for Multnomah County!). I DO tend to buy people books as presents when I can afford to get them something though. I like to support the publishing industry as much as I can. That said, I have yet to really branch out of the printed book. That will probably change this year. Adaptation is survival.

The Tile Lady said...

Money has been tight for us for several years, and I have come to LOVE Abebooks.com and my local used bookstores for the inexpensive access to the books I want. I rarely go to the big bookstores like Barnes & Noble, and when I want a new book I will either go to a local small bookshop to support them or I will buy on Amazon. I enjoy collecting books by writers I love and on subjects I love, and buy instead of going to the library, but if I can pay half I will because my budget is just too tight to do otherwise.

Kathy said...

I purchased a Sony Reader earlier in the year and enjoy using it, especially when I'm on the go. Every once in a while I treat myself to buying a book. And I do use the library. Nathan,what are your thoughts about ebooks being favored or not as a publishing credit?

Elton A.R. Alwine said...

You know, I've yet to see an e-reader, but there's just something in going to Barnes and Noble and looking for books, and taking one home that still makes me smile.

I don't think my habits have changed as much because the economy as it is a lack in interesting reading. But I'm heading to BN tonight, grabbing a book for my g/f's mom, and a lil something for myself.

Jill of All Trades said...

I am a book whore. I absolutely love to own books. My favorite and most frequent place to buy books is Amazon.com but I LOVE to go into a bookstore. It is a dangerous place for me to go. I can walk out with so many books I can't carry them. On Amazon I tend to limit myself to a couple every few months or so but I can go a buying spree there too. When some women go on shopping sprees fo shoes, clothes, etc., I go on book buying sprees. Would love to own a bookstore, my dream.

denese said...

This is a good question.

The financial markets being what they are, have scared the bejesus out of me, which means that my usual voracious Amazon.com habit has been blunted. More like amputated. I actually send books I would usually buy to my 'wish list'-- which is now ridiculously long.

I have resisted Kindle technology because I love the heft, feel, smell, cover, the everything of books. If it's cheaper and not just more convenient, I might have to look into it.

Wendy said...

My book buying habits have changed slightly this past year. I buy the books I can't live without and only if they are on sale. I am saving for a Kindle with hopes that it might be on sale for the holidays.

I will say this though, my friends and I are now swapping books so we don't have to buy them all, and so we don't have to worry about paying overdue fines at the library ;).

girlorbital said...

I've been known to cut my food budget to read. But I don't have dependants. I can live on toast :) I owe the library too much money for late fines. I'm greedy .. I borrow more than I can fit into my schedule and then I CAN'T.LET.GO. Bad habits die hard.

freddie said...

Yes. I use the public library a lot more!

Same here!

California Girl said...

I am fairly democratic in my book buying: new books @ the local "independent" book store; used books @ the local used book store; library books; borrowed books; BOMC orders (which I've been doing ovr 30 yrs now). As long as I can read...

Surly Jason said...

I'm buying a lot more books ... I use them to help deal with depression.

Crimogenic said...

Times are tough but my book buying habit is the same. I'm willing to spend $10-20 dollars for a book. It's the luxury purchases that I’ve stopped buying.

Briane P said...

I don't buy as many as I used to, because I've got two young boys and don't have the time to read; plus, with books being more expensive, I have to be more choosy about what I opt to buy.

I'm new to the blog, so I don't know if you've covered this yet, but if not: how about telling us how how great (or not?) the Kindle is.

It's All Good said...

Just checkin out your blog, but yeah I def go to the Library more, imagine all those books waiting to be read! and if they suck a few chapters in, than you can easily return them! This might be convinent for me because I'm not a hart\dcore book reader, I'm more of a casual when I have the time reader...

Betsy Ashton said...

I only use the public library for audio books. When I have to drive up state, I prefer listening to a new writer. That generally prompts me to go out and buy his/her books.

I too have met many writers this year. And I have supported them by buying their books new.

I also trade books through www.paperbackswap.com. I needed to reduce the number of books on 76 linear feet of book shelving I have in order to make room for new writers. Now, I only keep first editions and signed editions. Paperback that I know I will NEVER read again hit the swap list.

And as the economy gets weaker, I spend a lot more time buying and reading books.

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