Thursday Thought: Why do we BUY BOOKS.

Posted on Jan 9, 2014 in Discussion, Thursday Thought | 23 comments

THURSDAY THOUGHTThis week its all about: Buying Hard Copies.

As book bloggers, we all in some way, have access to review ARCs [advanced readers copies].  While some of us choose to do this less than others, and some way more, My question applies to those who review books in any capacity.  ALSO this applies to those books that we read on our e-readers, and deciding whether to buy physical copies of those!

Why Do You Buy a Finished Copy?

For example, I just finished reading my ARC of The Wife, The Maid, The Mistress.  I absolutely LOVED it [seriously, pre-order this!], and it comes out at the end of the month.  Why would I buy that book?  Why spend my hard earned money on something I already had the privilege of reading?  I have a few reasons!

To support the author.

Of course, I want to support those who write the beautiful books that I enjoy so very much.  ESPECIALLY DEBUT AUTHORS.  If they don’t get sales, they may not be able to write more wonderful books! So if its a debut, I take special notice and consideration!  Aside from debuts though- as Hannah mentioned, I don’t typically re-read, so why own it?  Well…

To spread the love.

I want to be able to hand out my copies [to those I trust with them!] so that I can spread the love of the books that I am so very, very passionate about. 

To Have and To Hold…

It may be odd but I just like OWNING the books that I gave 4.5 or 5 stars to.  Aside from the above reasons, most of these books are beautiful and I love owning beautiful books!

Sidenote: If a book I really liked has a gorgeous cover, that will sway me as well!

All of these reasons contribute when I decide what books to buy.  Of course, I will complete a series in hard copy if that is how I started it, and some books I buy just in hard copy from the get go.  But when it comes to purchasing hard copies of kindle books, I have to have adored it.  Because, at that point, I already supported the author and read a definitive finished copy.  Pride and Prejudice, Nowhere But Home and Me Before You are several ebooks that I then purchased in hard copy.  Why?  FIVE.  STARS.  And of course, all the other reasons listed above 😉

But I want to know.  What is YOUR golden rule?  What makes you go out and purchase a hard copy? Tell me, tell me!THURS THOUGHT:What We Don't Talk About..DNF-ing


  1. Excellent post, Cass!

    As a blogger I know I’ve been lucky to receive both physical and egalleys and that ends up being a lot of what I read though I do still frequent my library and buy a lot of books that I might not have gotten or older titles. I’ve always made it my mission to try to give back in the way that I can because of this. I posted today about what I do with my books (and in the comments I talked about my ARCs) when I’m done with them and I’m always about giving back to other bookish communities like libraries and classrooms. I’m lucky I have such free access to books so it’s important to me to give back.

    Related to giving back, I often think of this a lot. At first when I started getting ARCs Will was like, “OH NICE. Free won’t have to buy any.” and I’m like HA! Impossible firstly because it’s a habit but also if I don’t buy books AUTHORS I LOVE MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO CONTINUE DOING THIS FOR A LIVING. The very thing I blog about will go downhill when publishing has hard times.

    So when I LOVE a book I read as an ARC I either go out and buy it for myself or I often, like you have mentioned, buy it for others. I buy things I loved for my niece and nephews and my sisters and honestly just for other blogging friends. That way, even if I do not purchase it for my own collection, I know I’m giving back.

    It’s been hard being unemployed long term (WAH I MISS BUYING SO MANY BOOKS) because I simply am not able to buy all the books I used to. I just can’t. It’s not feasible. If I wasn’t blogging and getting galleys I’d be using my library 90% of the time to support my reading. It’s been hard to not be able to support all the authors I want to support but I try to do it in other ways — like donating those arcs to librarians who can use them for programs or a teacher’s classroom (all things approved by the pub) or recommending them to other people or pointing them out in the bookstore to strangers. I talk loudly about them and push them to the best of my ability and hope that, even though I currently might not be able to purchase them all, that at least I contributed to some sales? It’s always a good moment for me when I can see that books I just reviewed are being bought through my affiliate links. I can know, despite what people say about if bloggers sell books, that in fact I DID.

    So I think, while it may not be feasible for people to buy ALL the books, that there are so many ways to support including buying the books after reading ARCs for yourself, for friends or to donate to a library or a classroom but also things like recommending them, talking about them, going to author events just for support (I had to do this once and felt so embarrassed not having anything to get signed..I didn’t feel right about bringing only an ARC but attendance helps tours in ways), etc. I think as bloggers there are SO many ways to support authors and even when we don’t have the money we can get creative about it! :)
    Jamie recently posted…The Ebb and Flow Of My BookshelvesMy Profile

    • I love this. I love your donating to the libraries and such I thon that is a wonderful way to give back.

      Also buying books for others is so great and surely is still supporting our favorite authors! But bottom line I just think it’s great that we know we need to support so author can (as we both said) continue writing!

      Of course libraries are super helpful and when you’re not working it’s great that you can still read through the wonders of a library card! Bottom line is we are doing what we can do and spreading the love!!

  2. Ohh cool post!

    I would like to be able to buy finished copies of my favourite ARCs but I can’t. :( I honestly have no room for books anymore. I’ve lived moved 5 times over the last 5 years (new uni room, new apartments, etc.). And I travel back and forth from the US to the UK. I have VERY limited space for books in my apartment, and I usually have to put my stuff in storage every summer.. that’s why when I do buy books, I buy ebooks.

    And I think if I wanted to buy a finished copy of an ARC I loved, I’d only want a physical copy. Buying an ebook when I’ve already read the book feels pointless to me. There’s a good chance I won’t read the book again, and since it’s not a physical book I can’t admire it on a shelf.

    So if I had the opportunity, I would buy hardcovers of books I love.. but I’m just not in a good position to do that, so I don’t. :(
    Ashley recently posted…DNF: Heartbeat by Elizabeth ScottMy Profile

  3. I really like your topic for this Thursday Thought, Cassie! It’s something I think about a lot, particularly since I’m on a stricter budget right now and can’t afford to buy as many books as I used to.

    For me, in the case of ARCs and review copies, I generally buy a finished copy if the book received a rating of 4 or 5 stars from me AND I can see myself re-reading it again or passing it on to my family and friends in the future. If it was likable but didn’t meet the other part of the criteria I mentioned, I really don’t have to own it.

    In the case of books I buy on Kindle, I only buy finished copies for the same reasons. In fact, truth be told, nearly all of my romances are stored on there! I don’t seem to need physical copies of those, even if a lot of them have earned 5 stars with me.
    Alexa S. recently posted…Afterparty – Ann Redisch Stampler (Review)My Profile

  4. This is such a great post (as always!) I’m really new to the e-reading game, and was just wresting with this very question a few months ago. There were a few titles that I wanted to check out, and they were cheaper in e-format, but I was so worried about missing out on something cool that might be present in the physical format (like how sometimes there’s little embellishments on the chapter title pages, that kind of thing). So far, I have yet to actually purchase an e-book! I’ve pretty much stuck to only reading ARCs (and the occasional library book) on my e-reader.

    But when it comes to buying physical books, my rationale is this:
    1. Do I love the author already? i.e. I will buy EVERYTHING with Lauren Oliver’s name on it.
    2. Do I already own part of the series? If so, I’ll keep buying the physical copies so that I have the full series on my shelves.

    Sometimes, I’ll borrow a book from the library just to see if I like it (like Daughter of Smoke & Bone), then buy the physical copy because I know that I just need to own it. Like you, I love to have shelves full of beautiful books that I have read and loved. Although at the moment, I definitely have more UNREAD books on my shelves … and I need to fix this. If I read a book that is on my shelves and I don’t adore it, I’ll often send it to school with my husband so that he can put it in his classroom library, or give it to his school librarian. Then there’s room on our shelves for MORE BOOKS!!! =)
    Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads recently posted…WWW – January 8My Profile

  5. I don’t really buy physical books of books I have in finished ebook format, even if they’re favorites. I would like to, but limited shelf space and moving a lot makes that unrealistic for me. Plus, I revisit my ebooks again and again, so it’s not too bad(though sometimes I would like to have pretty hardcovers on my shelves!). If I see them heavily discounted I might buy them, but that’s only happened once or twice.

    ARCS or egalleys are a different matter. I really only buy finished copies of ARCs if I rated them 5 stars, but those are for sure my FAVORITES and books I will re-read at some point. I’d probably buy physical copies of egalleys I’d rate four stars as well, but I don’t really have the means to do so, and I have a very limited book budget, so I have to make choices. The only exception is for books that are part of a series and if I already own the first few.
    Stormy recently posted…Book Review: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren MorrillMy Profile

  6. I think this question also refers to library books. I borrow most of the books I read from the library. I do read egalleys from Netgalley and Edelweiss, but the vast majority I read are from the library.

    I do buy books (way too much) but often the books I want to buy are the ones I already read. And usually it’s just because I loved the book so much and I NEED TO HAVE MY OWN COPY. Of course I want to support the author, but my reasoning falls way more into the “to have and to hold” category. I also really like buying books I’ve already read because I KNOW I like that book. I hate when I spend my hard-earned money on a book and then end up not liking it.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Friend Me Friday: MonkMy Profile

  7. Love this post! Through book club I’ve gotten a few ARCs too or at least been able to read them and if I love them I still need the physical book.

    I do have a touch of OCD when it comes to book buying. Favorite author/favorite novel: definitely buying the hard cover. So-so interesting book/unsure if I’ll love it, I’ll purchase a Kindle version or paperback. depending whether I love it will I opt for the hardcover or physical copy. But like I said, I play favorites, that’s when I splurge for hardcover :)

  8. Great topic! If I read an ARC or a book from the library that becomes an absolute favorite, I will absolutely buy a copy for my bookshelves. I have even been known to buy a physical copy even though I had purchased the Kindle edition. I don’t know what makes me do that but if I love a book I want to have a physical copy so that I can add it to my already out of control collection.
    Christy recently posted…Book Review | All Our Yesterdays by Cristin TerrillMy Profile

  9. I try to only purchase books in a physical copy if I know I love the author or the series that it is part of. If I’m unsure about reading a book I will get it from the library first and then if I love it I might go out and buy the physical copy. I guess it depends on a lot of things but I try to just stick with that in which I know.
    Alexa recently posted…All You Need is KillMy Profile

  10. I buy finished books all the time. Usually for the reasons given above and in the comments. I’ll buy them in both print and eBook when they come on sale. I like knowing I’ll have access to them whenever I feel the urge to re-read.

  11. I think the biggest reason I buy books is because I’m a nostalgic romantic at heart. I love looking at the books on my shelf, and revisiting their stories as various covers jump out at me; they’re kind of like old friends.

  12. I received an ARC of Jenny Lawson’s LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, and I’m planning on buying a finished copy because I want to support her, plus there’s added content. I must admit that there are other ARCs I’ve read where I want to buy the finished physical copies, but I haven’t yet. >.< I agree it's important to support the authors because it isn't cheap at all to publish a book if you're an indie author. You have to pay for a cover design, a professional editor, and so on.

    I love beautiful books, too! Not to mention being able to spread the love – you've listed so many great reasons. There's also nothing like walking into a bookstore. It's magical! I've also bought physical copies of books I've bought on the Kindle, too, which drives my husband crazy, but I can't help myself, lol. This is an awesome discussion post! I'm glad I caught your link on Twitter. 😀 I'm following your blog now, too. 😀
    Jennifer @ Donnie Darko Girl recently posted…Cover Reveal ~ Orenda by Ruth SilverMy Profile

  13. Love this post!! I get lots of ARCs like most bloggers, or Kindle books, or utilize my library for most of the books I read. But I always buy my favorites no matter how I first read them. I buy them because I want to share them (of course with the people I trust). I buy them to support the author, the publishing house, and all the wonderful ppl behind these amazing books. I buy them to look pretty on my shelves. And I buy them just because I want to. I hope that makes sense. I will also buy the hardcovers in series that I loved and I will always buy all the books in the series, even if I didn’t care for one of the books. I do like my series to match so it drives me crazy when they change the cover for the paperbacks and then keep the new design for the next books. A lot of times I will buy both hardcover and paperback then because I’m neurotic like that. Lol. Anyway, that’s why I buy books. When I have a house someday I want huge built in bookshelves and then I’m going to go on a book buying spree to fill them all up. :)
    Rebecca @ The Library Canary recently posted…Moving In: An Airline NightmareMy Profile

  14. Great discussion, Cass!

    What makes me buy a hard copy? Same as you. I have to really love it, not just like and must be a book a I think I would reread. On the downside, this make me think with bloggers receiving ARC’s for review, that possibly effects future sales. If you read a book didn’t like it/ only enjoyed it, that’s one less sale. Whereas if I don’t get an ARC for review and it’s a book I really want to read, I’ll buy it meaning SALES. Aha! No wonder the number of egalleys are limited…
    Rebecca recently posted…Discussion: Catering For Non-BloggersMy Profile

  15. I am the same with you when it comes to five stars. I may never reread it (I find that I have less and less time for rereading), but I just want to own it because I love it.
    I have only ever received one legit physical ARC, and that’s because in Australia we aren’t so keen on the physical ARCs (at least, I think so). But I agree with you. If I read one and loved it to death, I would want to own it as it was meant to be read. In its final beautiful form.
    I buy books for heaps of other reasons, as well. I love buying books that I have seen around and like the look of – this makes up the majority of the books I buy.
    Other reasons can include buying the next book in a series I like, or buying a book I read from the library and want to own. Or, like you said, even if it just has a supremely gorgeous cover – I can be swayed! Oh! And when they’re uber on sale. I cannot resist a $5 book. Ever.
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…Australian Women Writer Challenge 2014My Profile

  16. Interesting discussion topic! I don’t think I’ve ever bought a physical copy of a book that I originally received as an ARC. But I wish that I could…mostly it’s just because I don’t have a lot of funds to allocate to buying books. So when I do buy books, I always buy ones that I haven’t read yet. But I hope to one day purchase more books that I’ve loved for my personal collection that I first read in ebook format or got from the library.
    Miranda @ Tempest Books recently posted…Reading Before Bed {Discussion}My Profile

  17. I do most of my reading through the library. Before blogging, I’d say probably 98% of my reading was library books. Since becoming a blogger, it’s down to maybe 85%, with 13% being NetGalley ARCs (I’m totally making these numbers up, by the way…), still leaving that 2% as books I buy for myself BEFORE reading them. I only have a couple authors on my auto-buy list. Otherwise, I’ll go out and buy books after I’ve read them, if I know I’ll want to re-read them again and again.
    Charleen recently posted…Review: SecondWorldMy Profile

  18. Hi! I’m so glad you got a lot of traffic on this topic. I buy books to support an author after a read an ARC and sometimes without even reading the advanced copy. Though I haven’t been doing that much lately. (Still going strong!) I always wanted to have a cohesive library in my home full of books I loved from all stages in my life, and I guess my buying of books was more about that until blogging happened and I wanted to buy ALL THE BOOKS. Trying to narrow it down and get back to that focus. Also I would also buy hardcover and paperbacks of books I love. (Especially when the covers are pretty.)

    eBooks are harder. Is the book more affordable? Is it a heavy book? If I happen to buy a book as a Nook one first and fall for it, I will consider buying a true copy for my shelves. You can’t mark down passages as easily in eBooks and that’s kind of why I would want another copy.

    DOES THIS MAKE SENSE? I have a vacation hangover.
    Estelle recently posted…Magan: Cress by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  19. Hi Cass!
    Just wanted to let you know I love your blog and I did a similar post on my blog, Thee Daily Prophet, referencing yours here. I agree with your reasons and I thought I would drop a note of support. Happy Reading!
    Danielle recently posted…Thursday Thoughts ~ Why do we buy books?My Profile

  20. Excellent post topic! I always feel like I’m in a different book-buying category than pretty much everyone else. I’ve been a library-holic my entire life. I use the holds feature all the time, but I also like just spending 30 minutes (or more) every once and a while just browsing through the shelves.

    I’ve never been a (new) book buyer. I do still have a pretty decent book collection, due to my dedication to hunting out awesome used book sales, LOL.

    I’m naturally frugal; it’s just how I was raised. And I want to save money, not to mention rent, student loan repayment, etc. So my book buying practices are still extremely low, compared to most people. I have a book-buying budget, and I always have to think through my book-buying process.

    For instance, I absolutely adore Courtney Milan, and even though my library had an ebook I just read by her – albeit, there was a waiting list, so that was honestly a factor – but I went ahead and bought it. Why? She is one of the very few authors who write historical romance with a wonderfully feminist attitude. She also only self-publishes ebooks anymore. I absolutely want to support her. And then, though they are few and very far between, there are just the books I must have. I would like to see someone just TRY to keep me from buying a brand-spanking new copy of Ignite Me. HAHAHAHA NO.

    As for ARCs, honestly, they don’t really affect my book buying habits – practically nonexistent as they are – much at all. It’s rare that I’ll buy a book unless I already know I loved the book itself or the author. While I understand and love the concept of buying from debut authors, I honestly just don’t have the money – or the space, for that matter – to do that.

    As for ereaders, I really bought my Nook 98% because of egalleys. Though I do love it, I will always prefer physical books. I pretty much only buy ebooks that are only available in digital form. If a book I love but don’t own is super on sale, though – like $1.99 or lower – I will probably buy it. Because having it on ebook is better than nothing, AND that way if I do wind up buying a physical copy, I haven’t wasted a bunch of money by pointlessly buying two copies.

    Basically, I try to find the balance between spending within my means and supporting authors, publishers, book stores, and bookish community as a whole.

    PHEW. This may be the longest comment I’ve ever written, LOL. Anyway, great post!
    Sharon @ The Book Barbies recently posted…Bout of Books 9.0: Wrap-UpMy Profile

  21. Hi Cass *waves*, i’m the best commenter ever because I BRING BACK THE LOVE A MONTH LATER. Seriously… jeez. I suck :) But I love you. Anyways….

    You already know about the crazyness that is my book buying habits! If I love love love the book and had it on Kindle (5 stars, but if it’s part of series I have to as well) then I need to buy a copy and also if I read the arc, I need to buy the copy too. And I just like to look at them. In person :)
    Lauren @ Lose Time Reading recently posted…January Wrap UpMy Profile

  22. I love this post! I don’t buy books for my e-reader, because they are just insanely expensive over here, so the only e-books I read are ARCs. But if I read an ARC that I really like or love, I will always buy it. Like you said, I really want to support the author whose fabulous book I read, but I also just want to have my own copy for my library just BECAUSE. Books that influence me are books that I want to own. Furthermore, I do re-read and while I don’t do it as often as I used to anymore because of my busy blogging schedule, I still want to own those books so I CAN re-read if I want to (I don’t have a kindle so my e-ARCs always disappear after a while). On the other hand, if I didn’t really like or love a book, I will not buy it. I would rather spend my money on books I love and feel passionate about (*cough* If You Find Me *cough*). Of course, I don’t receive physical ARCs (only through other bloggers) so I don’t really know whether or not I would buy a physical copy when I already have a physical ARC. I like to think that I would, because I want to support the author, but I don’t know for sure. If I truly love a book, though, I think I would.
    Judith recently posted…Review: Burn for BurnMy Profile


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