What makes you pick up a book? Out of all the spines lining a shelf, what draws you to one over another?
Tell me you never do this: browsing through towers of books, whether in a bookstore or a library, a cover catches your eye. It's intriguing. Captivating. Maybe even inspirational. You know it houses a rollicking adventure with a kick-butt heroine. You can feel it. Your palms itch. You judge the book by its cover, glance around surreptitiously, then slip it into your stack of planned purchases. You buy it.
Actually, I'm kinda hoping you do buy books that way. Then I'd feel comforted in the knowledge that I keep dang fine company. Because, honestly, judging a book by its cover is one of the main ways I buy books.
Buying Books: People buy books for many reasons. I'm aware of that. But book lovers, people like you and me, who can't get enough of the written word, who breathe deep in the dank mustiness of used book stores, who caress the frayed edges of an old hardcover book, we buy books for different reasons. For sensual reasons. For possessive reasons. For lustful reasons.
I buy books...
1. because of the cover art: you can't judge a book by its cover, but you can sure be enticed by it. This is so unfortunate for authors, because they often have little say over the cover art.
2. because of the title: if the title is a catchy one, I'll pick up the book and read the back. Titles may not convince me to purchase a book, but they help me choose the ones to peruse more closely.
3. because the author is compared to one I already know and love: ever see those nifty little lists librarians put together? If you like XYZ, you'll love 123. I don't always trust these lists, but I definitely give them a glance over.
4. because of a friend's recommendation: For example, D. M. McReynolds just suggested that I pick up Dragon in Chains by Daniel Fox. That book totally went to the top of my radar because of his recommendation, and I'll be hunting it down soon via library or Amazon.
5. because of the buzz: I'm not even really sure why I typed this last one. I suppose it's because I'll occasionally look at a best-seller list or listen in on what's hot or glance at a publicity poster or read a book review. But not all that often, really. To be frank, I'm not that interested in what others have to say about a particular book. And if a book takes the world by storm, I usually don't read it. So, I haven't read The Da Vinci Code or any of the Harry Potter books or The Notebook. (Eeek -- I know, sacrilege!)
How about you? Why do you buy books? And what makes you initially pick up a book? follow through and purchase it?