The other day, while listening to the Book Riot Podcast (one of my favorites!), I was directed to this article, 8 Reasons Why People Buy Books. While I agree with the hosts that the categories aren’t perfect, I still thought it would be fun to see if I could think of a time when I had purchased (or borrowed) books for each of these reasons.
1. Entertain Me Now
I recently e-mailed a friend who I share book tastes with because lately I haven’t really loved anything I have read. She recommended The Nest and while I just started it, I can tell it will be the definition of entertaining.
2. Entertain Me Later
I can’t quite figure out how this is different than an impulse buy but the article seems to put e-book purchases in this category. You know, those books you buy and then totally forget are even there. Thank goodness for the ‘sample’ feature on my Kindle or I would have run out of money long ago.
In scrolling through my Kindle the first one to pop up that I had forgotten getting was Sorcerer to the Crown.
3. Inform Me
Whenever I start a new adventure, I turn to books. The launch of my Rodan + Fields business was no exception. I have found a whole new category of books to provide practical business tips and also pure motivation and inspiration. My favorite so far is Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of your Own Way by Steven Pressfield.
4. Obligation to Read
Text books are in this category and sadly, I don’t need these anymore. I used to love going to the college bookstore and buying all those new books. Dorky, but true!
5. Social Pressure to Read
The writers of the article include titles like 50 Shades of Grey in this category. Books that everyone is talking about. I definitely do read these books when they come out because I love nothing more than talking about books with lots and lots of people. I wish I could think of a recent title that would fall in to this category but I can’t. Where’s the next big thing hiding I wonder?
6. Makes Me Look Smart
I’m not sure I buy books to look smart but I think I do keep reading books that I might otherwise put down. I recently started reading The Little Red Chairs which I had heard amazing things about from lots of people who I respect. Little Red Chairs was actually one of the books that came to me by way of the Parnassus First Editions club that I am loving so I really, really wanted to enjoy this book. Just a few days ago, after reading it slowly bit by bit, I finally decided to stop. I know I ‘should’ love this book but I don’t. Perhaps I kept reading for so long because I felt like if I didn’t, maybe I wasn’t smart enough to read it…
7. Need a Gift
I buy books as gifts all the time. I guess maybe a bit too much. Just today as Katherine and I read titles from my latest picture book haul thanks to the The Curious Reader she said, “What are we getting me teachers this year as teacher gifts? And no books!”. I might have to go for books despite her plea because This is Not a Picture Book is just about the perfect gift for all the teachers in your life.
I would say the majority of my book purchases fall in to this category. Rarely do I think for a long time about whether or not to buy a book and even if I do, that’s what the library is for. Just this morning, I reserved a few titles I had heard about from our library and downloaded a few samples on to my Kindle.
The Outliers was the first to catch my eye today.
I’d love to hear which books fall in to these categories for you!