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Where did you buy your last book?


There's a lot of talk about how the publishing industry has changed over the last few years, and how much it's going to change in the near future.

I sometimes wonder how much of that is hype. After all, we're creatures of habit, and though we do accept change, many folks are slow to accept it.  

I thought it might be interesting to find out. If you can spare a minute, I'd appreciate you answering a couple of questions about the LAST book you bought.

Poll #1637480 THE LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT

The format of the last book I bought was

a hardback
40(27.6%)
a paperback
92(63.4%)
an audio book
0(0.0%)
an eBook
13(9.0%)

It was published by...

a major publishing company.
121(84.0%)
a small/independent publishing company.
18(12.5%)
the author.
3(2.1%)
Something else, which I'll explain in the comments.
2(1.4%)

I bought it from...

a bookstore.
76(52.4%)
a bookclub.
0(0.0%)
the author, at a book signing.
3(2.1%)
the author, at a book fayre or festival.
4(2.8%)
a website.
54(37.2%)
Somewhere else, which I'll explain in the comments.
8(5.5%)

I chose it because...

I liked the author.
72(50.3%)
I liked the blurb/opening page etc.
14(9.8%)
I liked the cover.
1(0.7%)
someone recommended it to me.
27(18.9%)
Something else, which I'll explain in the comments.
29(20.3%)

It was...

for me.
136(95.1%)
a gift.
7(4.9%)
Many thanks for taking part. I'm interested to see if bookstores are becoming as endangered as folks predict.  
  



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Comments

( 101 comments — Leave a comment )
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saetter
Oct. 28th, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
I chose "Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi: 15th Century Swordsmanship of Master Filippo Vadi" because it fit a hole in my research library. :) Bascially, it's a translation of a treatise by an Italian martial arts master. Vadi will appear as a mentor and character in my next project. All fight scenes my hero is involved in will be based on what I learn from this book.
jongibbs
Oct. 28th, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC)
'All fight scenes my hero is involved in will be based on what I learn from this book.'

In that case, I hope it has pictures ;)
(no subject) - saetter - Oct. 28th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tchernabyelo - Oct. 28th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - saetter - Oct. 29th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 28th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - saetter - Oct. 29th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 29th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - out_totheblack - Oct. 28th, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
smeddley
Oct. 28th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
Last book we bought was a hardback sci-fi book for my husband (I'm actually partial to paperbacks, tiny hands). The last book I bought for *me* was a craft book.

I can't make myself buy audiobooks because they are too expensive, so those I just check out from the library.

But but but but but next week is another library book sale, I predict bags and bags of $0.50 paperbacks and $1.00 harbacks will be mine! ...no, I don't have a book aquisition problem, why do you ask? ;)

(Don't you hate it when you see that typo just as you hit the comment button?)

Edited at 2010-10-28 02:03 pm (UTC)
msstacy13
Oct. 28th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
I don't have a book aquisition problem

At fifty cents or a dollar each,
who would?
:)
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 28th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
peadarog
Oct. 28th, 2010 02:44 pm (UTC)
Good choice. It has some great stories...
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 28th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
ailsa_cf
Oct. 28th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC)
Bought 'Soulless' and 'Changeless' by Gail Carriger & 'Hush, Hush' by Becca Fitzpatrick. The first two are books 2 & 3 in a series - I really liked the first book, wanted to find out what happened next. There were on '3 for 2' and Hush Hush was also 3-4-2 and I've heard a lot about it, wanted to read it sometime.

Before that, I bought a book from The Book Depository. I'm trying to wean myself of buying books from Amazon because I don't like how they seem to be getting a monopoly on online sales. BD is nice because it has free postage :-)
jongibbs
Oct. 28th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
Free postage is always good :)
serge_lj
Oct. 28th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC)
I bought Connie Willis's "Miracle and Other Christmas Stories" because, for years, I kept coming across reviews of her traditional Christmas tales for Asimov's. Then I finally read "All Seated on the Ground" and recently decided I'm in the mood for more. Besides, Willis is coming to the next meeting of Albuquerque's SF club.
karen_w_newton
Oct. 28th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)
You will love her! She was just guest of honor at our local convention!
(no subject) - serge_lj - Oct. 28th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 28th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Galatea0
Oct. 28th, 2010 02:21 pm (UTC)
My last book purchase was for my Masters degree, it was an academic publication to do with one of my subjects. Not the most exciting thing in the world. :)
msstacy13
Oct. 28th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
One of your subjects?
You're a Queen?
Or even an Empress?
:)
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 28th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
peadarog
Oct. 28th, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
I bought "The Reapers Are the Angels" by Alden Bell.
jongibbs
Oct. 28th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
Are you enjoying it?
(no subject) - peadarog - Oct. 28th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
msstacy13
Oct. 28th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
Not counting proof and promo copies of my own books...
I recently bought Khrushchev Remembers used on amazon,
and earlier this year, Fur-Face kindle on amazon,
The Firflake new on amazon,
Making Love in Madrid new on amazon...

I haven't been to Friendly Used Books since they moved from Westwood Plaza to Benson,
but that's where I got my copies of
Irwin Shaw's Collected Stories,
Guy deMaupassant's Collected Stories,
The Decameron,
and half-a-dozen Willa Cather books...

The last time I was at a bookstore,
I drove there, so it's been more than six years.
I bought Mary Helen Stefaniak's The Turk and My Mother,
and the Norman Denny translation of Les Miserables.
jongibbs
Oct. 28th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Not counting proof and promo copies of my own books...
Six years without visiting a bookstore? Is that intentional or did you just drift into buying online?
(Deleted comment)
jongibbs
Oct. 28th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
A good book display makes a big difference, I think - at least in terms of attracting initial interest.
(Anonymous)
Oct. 28th, 2010 03:17 pm (UTC)
Last book purchase
The last couple books I purchased (Frankenstein & The Lies of Locke Lamora) were paper back and recommended to me. I bought them from a bookstore. I get a lot of my books from libraries too. I still prefer a book to an audio or an ebook and will buy it if it was seriously recommended to me and I know I'll like it or use it for research. Then again, I'm a librarian and die-hard physical book fan :)
jongibbs
Oct. 28th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Last book purchase
I love physical books, but I enjoy a well-read audio book too :)
jtglover
Oct. 28th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
I bought a title online directly from the publisher. Only very occasionally do I still buy books in the store--usually it's Amazon or direct from publisher (or author, once in a while). That said, I think there's still a big role for brick-and-mortar stores, especially if Borders & B&N both go away, as is not entirely improbable.
jongibbs
Oct. 28th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
It's quite fascinating to think how the internet, and digital technology has provided so many different options for book readers in such a short space of time.
karen_w_newton
Oct. 28th, 2010 04:07 pm (UTC)
What interesting results! It bears out the theory that it isn't ebooks that are killing bookstores, it's the web.

My most recent purchase was a Dorthy L Sayers mystery that I have already read and own in print but have no idea where it is! Once the shelves go to two deep, it's really hard to find stuff. I wanted to re-read it and it was cheap, so there!
jongibbs
Oct. 28th, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
If they don't already do it, I imagine it won't be long before you can download eBooks at a discount, simply by doing it from a particular store.
tchernabyelo
Oct. 28th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
OK, unfortunately th "last book" I bought was a batch of ten books, and it's actually very rare that I buy just one book on its own. So here are the facts about the ten-book batch.

1). I purchased it from Amazon.com because I had a $100 gift certificate for Amazon.

2). The books were as follows:
Spectacular China (second-hand hardback)
Wild China (paperback, I think)
How Your House Works (paperback)
Bridge of Birds, by Barry Hughart (paperback)
Madness of Flowers, by Jay Lake (paperback)
The Stepsister Scheme, by Jim Hines (paperback)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N K Jemisin (paperback)
All The Windwracked Stars, by Elizabeth Bear (paperback)
By The Mountain Bound, by Elizabeth Bear (paperback)
Top Ten: book one, by Alan Moore (paperback, graphic novel)

There's quite a mix of authors and publishers there. I honestly take little note of the publisher of a book, and don't think it has any bearing on whether I would buy it or not. Why did I buy these books?
Spectacular China - for the images and inspiration I hope to get from it. I have "Spectacular America" and "Spectacular Galapagos" and believe this will be in a similar format and of similar interest
Wild China - book of the fantastic TV series. I am interested in wildlife, in photography, and in China, so why would I not want this book?
How Your House Works - we've bought a house. There's stuff that needs doing, or might need doing, and US houses actually work quite differently, in many respects, from UK ones.
Bridge of Birds - it's a near-legendary book that has been recommended by people I trust. And it's Chinese fantasy. Which I write.
Madness of Flowers - I thoroughly enjoyed Trial of Flowers, though I'm less enthusiastic about other stuff I've read by Jay.
Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - I've seen a lot of recommendations for this around the web.
All The Windwracked Stars/By The Mountain Bound - I read the latter as a library book and was very very impressed by the beauty of the writing. I'll almost certainly be getting the third book when it comes out in mmpb format.
Top Ten - I love Alan Moore but never read this when it first came out, and I needed something to round out the order (it would have been Aliette's "Servant of the Underworld" but it wasn't out when I put the order together).

I very rarely buy hardback fiction - looking at my shelves, I have the awesome 6-volume complete Zelazny that was published in stages last year, and I have the final Dunnett "Niccolo" book, Gemini, in hardback (which was a gift), and that's about it. Non-fiction is a different matter, as it doesn't go by the whole "hardback first then paperback" route; I have loads of hardbacks and loads of softbacks and it's simply a matter of interest in the subject and price that influence the decision to buy or not.

I don't own an e-reader yet but it's something I may consider - again it would be primarily for fiction. But I like books, as witness the fact I am sitting in a room with approximately 65 feet of bookshelves, at least 90% of which are indeed weighed down with books (see Monday's post on my lj for part of it).

tchernabyelo
Oct. 28th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, to add - I do still frequent bookstores, but I'm much more likely to buy from used ones (there are very good used bookstores in both Las Cruces and Tucson so we visit those on occasion). For me, books tend not to be impulse buys so while I love browsing in a bookstore, I very rarely actually buy something there, though there are exceptions like a huge book of ancient maps I bumped into in LA once and could not resist - it's the biggest physical book I own, I think, and doesn't fit on any of my shelves, it's about 15" deep and 18" high.
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 28th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
knittingknots
Oct. 28th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
Last book I bought was Lasagna Gardening...a how to.

Amazon gets most of my book business, for both new and used books, although I'm definitely not adverse to impulse book shopping if I run across a bookstore. I've got seven freestanding bookcases overloaded with books and stacks of books everwhere. These are mostly what I consider "reference" - history, technology, how-to, art, cultural studies, language reference, social sciences and related material. I'm sure I could fill two more bookcases if I had a place to put them. Sometimes, I think about how nice it would be if they were all on ereader formats, and how little space they would take.

Maybe one day.
jongibbs
Oct. 28th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
Sometimes, I think about how nice it would be if they were all on ereader formats, and how little space they would take.

I know what you mean, but on the other hand, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun to browse through them all :)

Thanks for sharing :)

PS: Oops ;)

Edited at 2010-10-28 05:44 pm (UTC)
harmonious
Oct. 28th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
The last book I bought was for school; I don't feel that it's representative of how I generally buy books, which is at used book stores or thrift stores, but I answered truthfully anyway. :)
jongibbs
Oct. 28th, 2010 06:08 pm (UTC)
Lol, I figured if I ask about the last book, as opposed to where folks by them in general, I'd get a more accurate picture.

Thanks for taking part :)
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( 101 comments — Leave a comment )

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

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THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


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