25 August 2013

Book hunting in the e-world

I was shuffling papers on a desk I only store things on since I carry the laptop around and slouch on the sofas these days. I noticed a pile of bookmarks and flyers about books in one of my cubbyholes. They are from a mystery convention I went to years ago, a mystery book store I frequented in the USA when I lived there, and maybe a couple that were direct marketing pieces from Sisters In Crime, a group I belong to, as well.

I realized I don't think I've ever gone to that pile of papers to look for a book title to read. Despite having kept these and toted them between two or three residences, I don't think to go look there. And despite having read the cards and kept them because they seemed interesting to me.

This got me thinking about how finding books has changed. I blogged a year ago about this a little bit too.

Now, I'm involved with Mystery Readers Corner on Facebook. It's a private group and for a good reason - though if you're a mystery reader you can ask to be a part. I was involved with two other groups on Facebook that turned into marketing blitzes by authors who didn't realize a little decorum might be called for. Posting about your book and it alone every day is a turn off. Those of you who follow me know I try to keep it fun, light, hopefully interesting and occasionally I mention my book stuff.

Anyway - on Mystery Readers Corner I hear about books everyday. Often I don't have time to pursue it but when I do and I like the way something sounds I try to put it on my GoodReads list. (Me on GoodReads) This way I maintain a digital list that doesn't accumulate papers in a cubbyhole in my house. By far this is not all the books I'm interested in but it gives me a place to start.

Though many of my GoodReads list are also ones I saw on GoodReads when I was shopping for a specific destination book and now that I'm not going to that city they don't hold as much appeal. They have a page of Around the World in 80 books that has a page listing books by place, for me the challenge is they are not all mysteries and it just depends on my mood. It's a fun list to look at though. They also do a challenge of reading around the world in a year or countries that touch each other etc. I have never taken the challenge but it's fun to see the suggestions. This too is a place I find books.

One of the most helpful things for choosing a book or adding it to my wishlist on these page feeds is when someone describes the tone of a book. I don't always want too much of a plot summary, but I do want to know if they liked it and if it was dark, light, serious, police procedural, historical, cozy etc. These words help me know according to my mood if that is a direction I'm ready to go on my next read. I don't always get to maintain that little tone-tidbit when I put it on GoodReads but I at least know it appealed to me on a specific day.

One thing I've noticed on various list feeds is that I feel like a very slow reader comparatively and a very behind the times reader. I grew up scavenging books not getting them new, so I wasn't one to rush out and buy new until I got an ereader. I'm very rarely on the latest of anyone's series and as there are so many good books in the world I'm often picking up ones from a few years ago that aren't so expensive. So I guess even as an ereader, I'm still scavenging rather than looking at the latest and greatest, but hearing what people like in the latest and greatest gives me something to look forward to, maybe in a couple years.

Are you finding books differently and keeping track of them differently than you used to?


  1. My reading is almost all scavenging, as are a lot of my other sources of entertainment. It is nice that you can get things cheaper if you don't need them the moment they come out.

  2. Yeah, I've never been a moment-they-came-out kind of person. Occasionally I see a movie first run but I consistently come to things a lot later and hopefully cheaper. I am a late adopter of technology for the same reason.