Reading Habits: Old and Now

What are your reading habits?

Have you noticed if your reading habits have changed?

Are you old school and prefer physical books?

Have you embraced modern times and the novelty of eBooks?

I’ve run into several discussions about reading habits, how people buy books, what attracts an individual to a purchase a book and more. Well, let’s throw all of that together!

What are your reading habits? Have you noticed if your reading habits have changed?

The way I find new books and look at them has totally changed. I have different habits depending on how I’m looking. It used to be, I would just wander around a bookstore or store with books and look at covers to see which one would grab my attention. It could be the image, author or title. Then I would read the blurb. If I’m still undecided, I would read the synopsis that’s inside the book. Still not sure? Well, I’ll read the first few pages or chapters. That’s how I would very happily waste hours of my time. Lugging new books in a huge pile that I would settle down with and read to figure out what I could buy now, maybe buy now or reluctantly leave till later. It wasn’t unusual to find me sitting in a quiet corner with mounds of books arrayed before me.

If I go to a bookstore, I still do that.

If I am shopping online, it’s totally different!

Online Shopping
–Free Book: I will most likely grab it if it seems at all interesting. Sometimes, I just download the book without even reading the description. Terrible, right? =D

–Buying Online:  It’s a tossup which is more important, either the author or cover. If I’m already familiar with the author, it’s easy.

It’s MUCH more tricky with new authors. Then I look at the title, read the blurb and perhaps look at reviews. I admit my favorite one stop place to find new books is on Goodreads and then I’ll look for it online to buy. If Goodreads doesn’t fulfill my Review need, I simply do a search online and see what pops up.

I’ve read that a lot of people consider reviews on Amazon to be very important. Especially authors! This is interesting because I hardly ever read reviews on Amazon. I’m pretty sure the only times I’ve done that is when I could not find reviews anywhere else. My default reaction to reading a review on Amazon is very skeptical. It just goes to show that I don’t follow popular trends. However, it’s always good to know what trends are and decide whether or not to follow.

When I don’t know anything about a book online and I’m still undecided after looking at the above and reading info, the price factors into whether or not I’ll buy it. If it’s cheap and I’m intrigued enough, I’ll grab it. If it’s about average price range, I need to really want it.

utohread_resizeExcerpts are okay in my book. They’re especially useful when the book is published by an Indie author. I’m not a fan of the excerpts that used to be a part of the story and was changed in the process. Then, I feel mislead and misinformed. By the way, I also rage at synopsis that are misleading! That makes me think that whoever worked with the book didn’t know what they were doing. This is true whether I enjoy the book or not.

Online, I would say that you don’t always have a chance to read a sample or excerpt. You have to make a decision based on author, cover, title and synopsis. It’s a different ball game and my habits are different to deal with it. I don’t want to waste my time or money when there are so many books to choose from. I’ll easily put a book on the To Be Determined pile and let it sit there until it becomes a wafting pile of dust mites. =P

Are you old school and prefer physical books? Have you embraced modern times and the novelty of eBooks?

Hands down, I will always love the feel of a book in my hands and reading a hardback or paperback over an eBook. I’m old school! I enjoy the book cover for the image, graphics, title placement, synopsis, author bio and more. There’s nothing like a new book smell and hearing the pages crackle as the spine gives a little.

However, I am totally guilty of purchasing my fair share of ebooks. Depending on the project, I can be on the road a lot. It’s hard to carry around books when I’m not stopping by home between destinations. I think I pack the most for photography sessions. I’m never satisfied with taking less than the work set: laptop, two cameras, and handful of accessories like batteries, external flash, etc. Then you can add clothes and the rest for the trip. Depending on how long it is, I can make due with a backpack & a carry on or I may have to lug out the large suitcase.

Curious enough, I think I read faster with a real book in my hands. Sometimes, it’s easier to get distracted when I’m reading from a laptop or smartphone. Have you ever tried to read from a smartphone while working out at the gym? I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve dropped my phone!

To be sure, I’m sure my habits will continue to change here and there as time goes on but I don’t think I will ever stop loving how a real book feels in my hands, changing the pages as I devour the story, shaking the volume when I hate what’s happening and laughing outrageously when something awesome happens! Ebooks are great because I can take books anywhere as long as I can recharge my electronics but they’re still second place to a new or worn hardback in my hands.

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5 thoughts on “Reading Habits: Old and Now

  1. There is nothing like the dog-eared pages of a well-read paperback. At the same time, there is nothing like being able to go whoo! New book by author I know — download to kindle! I find the e-books very hard to negotiate. There isn’t yet – in my opinion – a good method of finding new books via the Internet.
    Yes, my habits have changed. Once I find a new author in a bookstore, then, yes, I will prob buy the rest via internet. But not before, because, as stated, I cannot find reliable sources on the web.
    My own novels are only available via internet and I despair of anyone finding them. No, this isn’t a plug it is simply – aaargh. Unless an author plasters themselves *everywhere* until someone notices, it is extremely hard to get sales.
    But, for myself? Old habits die hard. I would still rather go into a store. I would still rather have bookshelves then neat downloads. It *bothers* me to have to find stuff on the kindle, much as I enjoy its convenience. I press enough buttons during the day, and one more?

  2. Recently, I buy the majority of my books, both print and digital, online. Not because I prefer it but because the bookstores are … hiccuping. The smaller ones close their doors. The bigger ones don’t have as wide a selection as is available on the web. In general, I prefer real stores and real books, but the reality is pushing in a different direction. Besides, since I discovered GoodReads, all my book-chosing comes through it. The reviews make it pretty clear what I want to read and what I don’t.

  3. I’m a big library-user (makes sense, since I work there) so I don’t do a lot of book-purchasing, e- or otherwise. I do a lot of browsing though, and I need a combination of intriguing cover-art and interesting inner-flap/back-cover copy to get me to pick it up. I’m a fantasy reader and I’m really turned off by a cover blurb that drops too many fantasy gibberish words and names — I need something more basic and solid, something that gets at the underlying story, so I know the whole thing isn’t just a parade of tropes with sixteen pages of glossary.

    Conversely, anything with ‘necromancy’ or ‘necromancer’ in the title or blurb will get me to pick it up immediately. I guess I’m a niche market.

    I buy physical books that I have already read and liked in library-book form, or that are from authors I consider reliable/series I am currently following. It’s nice to have them around for whenever I want to read again, even if I rarely actually do so.

    As for e-books, I’ll download free ones if they meet the library-browsing criteria. I don’t read excerpts or reviews beforehand; I don’t want to be influenced in my own opinion of the work. As for purchased e-books, it depends on the price; I won’t buy any over a few bucks, period. Yeah, I’m cheap. Less pricey books though, I look at the aggregate of the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon to get an idea of what people think of them without reading the reviews themselves.

    I also take advice from some blogs! There are lots of reviewer-blogs these days, and I’ve picked up books specifically because of interesting reviews. Obviously those do influence my opinion of the works but if I wouldn’t have known of the book’s existence otherwise, it seems a fair trade.

  4. I am old school, I prefer hard copy. I buy most of my books through the mail and at the local book sales. Last year I got over 200 books for $60.00 at the two local book sales! I scored a lot of books by my favorite authors as other people switching to E-books were getting rid of their hard copies.

    I started out reading Westerns, Science fiction, and Fantasy. I have added Historical, Romance, Paranormal, and Thrillers. I ask my librarians for suggestions about new authors. I also read the backs of books to see if theysound interesting. I just started reading the “Destroyer Men” Series by Tyler Anderson. It is very good. A World War II battleship gets sucked into an alternate universe where dinosaurs still exist and Humans never evolved. It makes you think. I also have some authors that I buy anything new they write. Emily

  5. Title, cover and synopsis are all important to me, but what trumps all of these is REVIEWS! And what people recommend I read. Sometimes I’ll just buy a book if I’m in a bookshop and like the look of it, or if it’s by an author whose work I know I’ll like, but most of the time I look up Goodreads pages before I buy. Which I guess is kind of sad seeing as how some of my favourite books have horrible ratings on there… lol.

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