1. Someone_Thinking
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    Someone_Thinking New Member

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    Best Way to get best books?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Someone_Thinking, Sep 18, 2013.

    Hello Everyone!!

    Call me Sae, I'm a new member here, and I'm into fiction writing!!

    I bought few novels few months ago, it turned out one of them is really interesting but the other is not as interesting. Since I bought them from local stores, I wasn't exactly sure if they are REALLY that great, since somehow, all of them have the word "best sellers" on them... of course, this might be that the other story didn't match my taste in reading, but I don't want to throw money away if the story is like that...

    Therefore, can you please give me tips about how to choose a story that matches my own taste to buy (other than the summary of the book since I ALWAYS read the summary)? tell me what do you think is better, the stories you buy online? or from local stores? of course, I know that what's local can ALSO be bought online, but I'm talking about the variety of stories you have seen.

    Thanks in advance,

    Sae
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm a little confused by your question -- if you're talking about books that are traditionally published, which is what you seem to be discussing, all book sellers offer from the same pool of books. Any bookstore can order any title, even if they don't have it on their shelves. I find a lot of books by browsing -- both in a physical store and on sites like amazon. You can, of course, also look at book reviews, which will help some, but they aren't necessarily going to line up with your particular taste.

    If you have a good bookstore in town, try talking to the people who work there. Often people who work in bookstores love to read, and they especially like recommending a book to someone and having that person love it and come back to them for more recommendations.

    It's very hard to tell for certain whether you will like a book before you read it. You can try to guess, based on the summaries, reviews on places like amazon and goodreads, and other reviews you might find online or in newspapers and magazines. The best source is to find someone who has similar taste and can recommend books, but those are hard to find.

    Also, try to find a local bookclub. They might have books that they select for the club that you like, and you can discuss (and try to figure out what, exactly, you'll like), but you might be able to find some people who like books similar to the ones you do .
     
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Goodness, your question is big! :)

    Liz has given very good advice already, but I think there will always be times when a book, no matter how well recommended or pedigreed is just going to fall flat for you, the individual you. I was chain-reading Mieville's entire bibliography like a fiend - and proselytizing them to anyone with working ears - until I came to Iron Council. That book gave me serious indigestion with all the heavy handed political "narrative" (oh, contemptible word), so even a beloved and proven author can have a bad book. I'm a fan of reading (or watching) author interviews online where they are asked to discuss other writers and books other than their own. I come across interesting books that way because the interviewer is usually asking the author being interviewed to discuss his/her opinion on a topic or theme presented in the other writer's book or collection of books.
     
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is absolutely true. Sometimes, I'll see on goodreads that a friend loved a particular book that I despised, and I think, "really?" I read many books that disappoint me or fall short of my expectations. There are plenty that I read and think, "meh," or "I don't see what all the hype was about." But there are few things better than finding that book that you love, that you can't wait to pick up again, and are a bit sad when you finish them, and you can't wait to find another book that you love just as much. I love those books that I tell people, "OMG- you MUST read this book!" But those are a small percentage of the books I read. (I also read a lot of nonfiction that wouldn't really interest a lot of people I know. I just got one about emergent diseases that I'm excited to read, but most of my friends would raise an eyebrow and think "That's what you're reading?"
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Look up the authors who influenced your favorite authors and check out their works. Find someone who has similar literary tastes, and ask them for recommendations. A lot of times, bestsellers aren't that good, so keep in mind that what sells isn't necessarily of good quality. Also keep in mind that figuring out your literary tastes can be a matter of trial and error. So if you're worried about throwing away money on bad books, go to your local library and check out the books there.

    As for local vs. online stores, online retailers are going to have a wider selection of books. But I prefer going to local stores and seeing what they have. I've found that there are some rare gems you only find in used book stores (granted, they tend to be very expensive). From my experience, the people working at these stores are really friendly and love giving recommendations. Plus the prices tend to reasonably cheap (I've seen books as cheap as $0.50). So I would start with a local store and have a look around.
     
  6. edamame
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    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Sae, I think it's hard to only pick up books that you'll completely love, but I'd also suggest getting recommendations for books that are similar to the ones you like. Maybe see what your favorite authors like to read. If you have time, also consider reading some of the first pages of a book while you're in the bookstore. The summary won't tell you much about the style or tone of the author's prose.
     
  7. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    I check out Amazon, the iBook store, and Goodreads all the time. I'll read reviews, check out lists, check out what new books people are looking forward to, recommendations, etc. I've currently got a list of around 200 books that I NEED to read. Needless to say, this poor college student will slowly be plugging along as I constantly add new books to read. I recently picked up Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, and found it to be a bore. The writing was good, but I thought that the storyline was majorly lacking. I forced myself to finish it, and I feel that I'm better for it. It taught me some things that I didn't know about life in the country, life in Britain, and life during a war. So I think that occasionally, reading a book OUTSIDE of your comfort zone is risk worth taking. You may hate it, you may love it, but you'll most likely learn from it. Either on what you like...or what you don't like.

    I also do this horrible thing (don't judge me, monkey!) where I'll go to the used book store and judge books by their cover. I know, I know... I said it. If a book has a shitty looking cover, I'll put it back. If the cover is okay-awesome, I'll check out the back and go from there. I've found some amazing books that way. For instance, this cover of Stardust. I picked it up at the airport in a hurry, simply because of the cover. Which led me to Neil Gaiman, who I adore with all my heart. :love:
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is value in reading through the books you don't like, too. Analyze why the book failed to engage you, even though there were clearly elements that attracted you to it in the first place.

    If you intend to write, it's at least as important to discover what does not work, as to learn what does work.
     
  9. Someone_Thinking
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    Someone_Thinking New Member

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    Thank you very much for your help!
    I shall take these advices in mind when I buy my next novel!! Gotta finish the ones I have currently first!! ^v^;
     
  10. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I buy my books on Amazon. The advantage is that you can read the reviews. Also, I don't bother with self-published ones unless I have a specific recommendation from someone whose taste I trust. And I usually first buy it on Kindle, and only if it's exceptional, I'll buy the hard copy. I already have masses of books, and hate to waste a tree on something that's not worth keeping.
     
  11. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    I had this issue many times. Instead of buying books I would go to my local library and choose a group of books based upon my personal tastes. I would sit and ready the first few chapters and determine from there if any peak my interest or if I am forcing myself to read a book that just trails on. I have purchased books in the past and end up reading them until I got tired of the words I was reading.

    So far I had found an author that I have grown a liking too (Ann Aguire) and I would read her books but others that she has reviewed and recommended. I am currently reading "Shadow Reader" by Sandy Williams and to be honest, it is okay but an intriguing book that I am going to continue reading.

    I have found that Amazon is okay but have purchased books that were up to my expectations. However I cannot argue the prices I have paid.

    I also ask my friends and ask to even borrow books they have read and recommend.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Am I correct in thinking English is not your first language? Just a note on a quirk of the language: advice has no plural. It's not a countable noun, so more advice is still advice. There are other aspects of countable versus non-countable nouns, too (which are not always followed, adding to the confusion). For example, non-countable nouns should be compare with more or less, and countable nouns with more or fewer. And yet, supermarket express lines usually are incorrectly announced with signs of "Ten Items or Less" instead of "Ten Items or Fewer."
     

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