Top ways to make me buy a book

It’s not particularly hard to get me to buy a book. I’ve mentioned some triggers here and here. But publishers, if you’re reading, here are some more

01. Blurbs making favourable comparisons. Most recent example: Carousel Court by Joe McGinniss Jr. is described as a ‘modern Revolutionary Road‘. Well that sounds tops.

02. Testimonials from favourite authors. Case-in-point – I bought Gail Godwin’s Flora because of John Irving’s cover testimonial – “A luminously written, heartbreaking book.” Excellent.

03. Discovering what favourite authors are currently reading (Twitter is great for this). Example – Charlotte Wood mentioned Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. I got it, I read it, I loved it.

04. Stories about groups of friends (the last truly great one I read was Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life).

05. Last time I did one of these lists I included the eighties. This time, it’s the nineties – I grew up in the eighties, but it was the nineties when I had my independence.

06. If a book is controversial, count me in. I read The Heavy by Dara-Lyn Weiss because of this, and likewise bought Joel Dicker’s The Truth about The Harry Quebert Affair (although what was the fuss about there…?).

07. I’m always going to read the Stella Prize shortlist (probably lots of the longlist as well).

08. I really love wonderful covers. Call me shallow, but The Mothers by Brit Bennett called my name all last year.

09. If there’s a movie I want to see but I haven’t read the book, I’ll zoom through the book. Because ‘first book, then movie’ (I most recently did this with The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins).








19 responses

  1. Your list is awesome! I have a lot of the same things on my TTT for tomorrow, and yeah, I am a total shallow-cover-ho. The 90s were tough for me, but I do remember them fondly.
    Sam @ WLABB

    • If all of these great shortlists were spread out over the year I’d probably read them all, but with Stella and Baileys clashing it makes me choosier (or a faster reader!).

  2. Yes to all, although so many people told me not to bother with the book of Girl on the Train that I broke my rule & just watched the film. I didn’t love it enough to regret not reading the book – I’m trying to be more ruthless to get the TBR down (& failing miserably)!

  3. I will definitely fall for a good cover! Stories about friends, and eighties/ nineties time period stuff will usually get me interested too.

  4. how funny to read your first point – if a blurb is along the lines of If you loved X you’ll love this book or make some other connection I probably wouldn’t pick it up. My thinking would be that they are just trying to ride the bandwagon of the first book.

  5. I’m also a fan of favorite authors blurbing a book. But blurbs as a whole are a tricky thing for me. I do look at them, but they can push me the other way. As in if I see a book blurbed as the “next Gone Girl” I flat out will ignore it. Not the poor author’s fault, but I am beyond sick of hearing that. Let it go, publishers!

  6. I’m so with you on #2. There are definitely a few authors who make me buy books I never would just because they have a blurb on it. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. Arthur Phillips, David Mitchell, Jess Walter, Annabel Lyon, the list goes on…

  7. I’ve been reluctant to read anything with Girl in the title lately, it’s just annoying, for lack of a better word. So I suppose I know more what I won’t pick up.

    Also, I’m currently reading Lab Girl, so… :/

  8. Oooh your last one is totally me! I cannot and will not watch the movie if there is a book of it out in the world and I haven’t read it yet. 🙂

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