What makes you buy the books you do?

13 July 2015

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I was going to do Top Ten Tuesday today, but the theme The Broke and The Bookish had chosen just didn’t fit for me, I feature all the new books I’ve got each Sunday, why repeat myself for the sake of a weekly feature? I instead decided to ask a question related the theme.


In case you didn’t know this weeks topic for Top Ten Tuesday is ‘The Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession’ which is basically the same as the New To Me section on my Sunday Summary posts. I have created the post, I’ve written post of it up, but the entire time something felt wrong. Then, as I was walking home from work, a genius idea popped into my head. I thought to myself ‘why not write a related discussion post instead’ and so I did. I am going to pose a question to you all, and I will answer as well. It’s just something that came to mind. I was going to phrase it as what makes you choose a book, but I thought that was too broad, so instead I wanted to know your reasoning behind which books you buy.


Personally, there are various reasons that motivate me to buy a book. I had to to think long and hard to really narrow down my explanations and motivations for it all, but I think I’ve gotten my book buying decisions down to three categories as detailed below.

I want it now


The most important category is that little voice in my head that sees a book, retains the basic facts about it, and screams to me occasionally that I want it. I will see it online or in a store and, even if I know I don’t need a new book adding to my shelf, I will decide to buy it. It defies all logic and reason and is really quite detrimental to my bank balance, but that is just how I roll. This is normally retained for those books that I am ultra excited for. The ones I have contemplated preordering on occasion and then just about resisted buying. This is for that small selection of books that you instantly decide you like the sound of as soon as you discover it’s existence, so thankfully it doesn’t apply to every book I want to read. This is really the selection of books where at least my buying of them is slightly justified, although I know I should really wait for the price to go down on them and try and get a good deal for them.

i have to


Then there are the books I’ve contemplated reading but haven’t picked up. They may be unbought because I haven’t felt that impulsive need to buy or it may be the price put me off initially. These are the books I’ve been waiting for price drops on and have been attempting to be sensible about. I will wait for the price to drop for Kindle copies, or for physical copies and snatch them up as soon as they are low enough. These are the ones I bargain hunt for, and then when I see them at a low price I swoop in for the kill.


This category also includes the books you get as part of a deal or with a discount code. The books which are included in some kind of offer, like buy one get half price or 3 for £10. There is normally one book in there I actually wanted and I see some other one which I vaguely wanted to read, and  since there’s an offer on I’d be a fool not to take advantage. These are the ones where I end up spending more money then intended just to get the offer. Stupid, I know, but that is how my brain works. If there is an offer on I must take advantage of it.



Then there are the impulse buys, you know the impulse buys. The ones that have mysteriously dropped in price, there is no offer on, they are just going cheap. My brain instantly jumps to the conclusion I must buy immediately before the price goes back up.


Any book may be included in this category of purchase. It may be a book I’ve wanted to read for a while. It may be a book I’d disregarded previously as not interesting me enough, but as soon as I am getting it at a cheap price I must own it. There are also the book I’ve never even heard of, but the cheap price has enticed me in to reading the summary and the summary has in some way vaguely interested me, I then have that mentality of ‘well it’s only cheap, if I don’t like it there’s no great loss’.


This is normally how at least 70% of the books on my Kindle have been bought. Amazon has random Kindle book sales, and their daily deals that entice me in. And I am subscribed to a couple of newsletters that tell me about price drops for books so I am continually inundated with cheap deals. Should I stop subscribing to these newsletters? Probably. Will I unsubscribe? Obviously not, don’t be silly. I love cheap deals, I feel this small sense of achievement at getting a book cheap, much like above, it is like I’ve gained something when really I’ve spent money I never intended to, so I’ve lost. I simply don’t care.




There you have it, some of the thoughts that go into my book purchases. It is stupid, illogical, irrational and most probably crazy, but that is who I am. There is no real logic to the books I purchase, I am all about impulse buying. I need to fix it really, whilst I love having too much to read rather than not enough, I recognise this is probably not the most sensible way of going about things. My problem is I am a complete mood reader as well, I think my impulsive book buying bleeds into my impulsive reading habits. I can pick up and put down a number of books until I find that one I fancy reading, and so I need an array of books around me at all times.


Anyway, I apologise if this entire post comes across a bit rambley, but I literally wrote it as soon as I got home from work, when my brain is at it’s most dead. I decided to intersperse writing time with dancing around in my pyjamas time (that is totally an acceptable thing to do at any age) so if you notice a random jump in thoughts that might explain it.


I would love to hear about you book buying choices so place I would love to read your answers in the comments. Maybe I may even learn from someone else’s book buying decisions

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