A year of Sample Saturdays


I’ve read 105 Kindle samples this year – downloading sample chapters is better than impulse buying books… I think. Of the 105 I’ve read, I’ve said ‘yes’ to 57. Of those that I’ve said yes to, a bunch I’ve now read (or have in the TBR pile), thanks to the library, ARCs and a gift.

However, if I buy the remaining 49 books, it kind of destroys all the gains I’ve made on reducing the TBR stack this year. So, I’ve narrowed it down to 15 that I’m busting to read.

Loner – Teddy Wayne
Commonwealth – Ann Patchett
Paulina & Fran – Rachel Glaser
An Abbreviated Life – Ariel Leve
Martin John – Anankana Schofield
A Year of Marvellous Ways – Sarah Winman
Our Magic Hour – Jennifer Down
The North Water – Ian McGuire
Spill Simmer Falter Wither – Baume
Tender – Belinda McKeon
The Paper House – Anna Spargo-Ryan
The Nest – Cynthia Sweeny
Imagine Me Gone – Adam Haslett
The Unseen World – Liz Moore
LaRose – Louise Erdrich

According to my self-imposed rules, I’d have to read in excess of 75 books from the TBR stack in order to justify buying these books. Luckily there are ways and means…





18 responses

  1. Good choices! I am keen to read Commonwealth too. La Rose is a very good interesting moving well written book and a good friend has just read the Ariel Leve and highly recommends it. Yay for happy reading days!

  2. That’s a lot of money and reading time saved! Commonwealth, Paulina & Fran, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, Tender all made it on to my books of the year lists for 2015 and 2016. Our Magic Hour narrowly missed 2016’s list but only because I thought things were getting out of hand.

  3. I have never been one to download samples, but I think you have really nailed the reason why I should indeed consider the approach. I all too often purchase books that I feel the obligation to read even when I don’t find them to be what I was hoping since the investment has already been made. I can see that trying before buying could lead me to more books that I love, less DNF, and less time wasted.

  4. I vote for Commonwealth and Tender! Loner was just so-so for me. And I’m a big fan of Amazon samples as well. Gives you a decent sense of the tone and writing style, which is so hard to determine from the blurb and kind of makes or breaks books for me.

  5. I love downloading samples, although sometimes it takes longer than a sample to figure out I don’t like a book. It does help rule out books you know you won’t like. Commonwealth is at the top of my TBR list. I liked The Nest but had somewhat mixed feelings.

    • Yes, and sometimes publishers are stingy with samples and they’re stupidly short – if that’s the case I usually bypass the book, figuring I’ve got enough on the wishlist!

  6. When I first got my Kindle, I was very disciplined about reading the sample chapters before I bought anything. Thanks for reminding us all what a useful tool that is! I’m going to second (or fifth, or whatever), Commonwealth, but I also highly recommend The Unseen World (which didn’t get enough attention). I enjoyed The Nest, too. Happy reading in 2017!

    • When I got my Kindle I wasn’t disciplined at all! πŸ˜€ Keeping track of all the samples I’ve read (and rejected) is a good way of reminding myself that taking the time to read the samples saves you from books that don’t appeal (and saves you lots of $$!).

      I got Commonwealth for Christmas and fairly sure that Unseen World will be my first book purchase of 2017.

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