Impulsive Book Buying

Come on, fess up! We all do it! I have rooms of books because of it. Lack of space is why I turned to an e-reader. Why do we do it though? Why do we feel this need to nab that book when we have about forty others we need to read? Okay so we all know it’s more than forty others we need to read, I was trying to make it sound not that bad ๐Ÿ™‚

For me, it can be many things. If I fall in love with the cover, I’ve been known to impulse buy just based on that. If I’m feeling guilty about my choice to impulse buy, sometimes I’ll check out the synopsis but it usually never gets as far as me needing to download the sample. I read samples when I first got into the e-reading world, and I don’t really know why I stopped!

Free and discounted books add to my impulsive book buying habit. Who doesn’t like a good cheap read? Sometimes we get things we wouldn’t otherwise read. I’ve found that some indie authors I’ve read are a million times better than anything I’ve read published by the big publishers.

Community I think adds to my impulse buying too. I’ve met a lot of authors since I got my e-reader. I started promoting them because of it and this whole site idea came from that. Are you more likely to impulse buy if you know the author?

What makes you impulse buy?

Misty graduated from Capital University in 2005 with a degree in English Literature. She is an avid reader and is the owner of The Top Shelf

Facebook Twitter 


Misty graduated from Capital University in 2005 with a degree in English Literature. She is an avid reader and is the owner of The Top Shelf

13 thoughts on “Impulsive Book Buying

  • April 4, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I impulse buy for some of the same reasons listed, and also for some alternate reasons. Sometimes I just crave a trip to the bookstore (virtual or brick and mortar) and once there it is a cheap “retail therapy” (assuming I only buy one book).

    Other times I see a book someone has mentioned and raved about – I just can’t pass it up. Other times I run across a book I’ve had on hold at the library for too long and I just can’t wait any longer. Still even other times, I just find something old or new that I feel like I simply cannot live without.

    I can’t always pinpoint my compulsion – I just cannot always pass up books without buying and I too have piles and piles of DTBs that I haven’t read along with hundreds of ebooks on my Nook that I haven’t read (lots of cheap and free ones there).

    I think in the end books (reading and buying) are an escape for me (honestly – much like a drug or alcohol would be for someone else). They help me escape whatever unsavory issues I have going on in RL – whether its browsing shelves and buying or curling up and reading one, both provide me with that “escape” for a few moments at least!

  • April 4, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Since I started writing and interviewing writers, I’m back to buying books after a decent hiatus. I like to read and support my fellow authors. I used to buy books like crazy too early in our marriage. My office has several boxes of them that I have no shelf space for. I’ve read most of them, though, but can’t seem to part with them ๐Ÿ™‚

    Maybe I’m a book hoarder?

  • April 4, 2011 at 9:31 am

    LOL Mysti, I can’t part with my books either. I thought about going all digital, buying books I had on my e-reader and then selling the paper copies. I can’t bring myself to do it. So I’ve decided that some things I’m still gonna buy in print. Like any series I’ve started in print. Things like that. I got the Mark Twain biography in print. Actually got two copies because Amazon thought it was a bright idea to ship my first one with the hot sauce my mom ordered. Bottle broke and my book got hotsauced!

  • April 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I like to support other authors. Sometimes a cover attracts me or sometimes a title. If I like the book description and the sample, I’ll usually buy, but price factors in as well. As for reviews, I always consider the source. A blog reviewer or other experienced book reviewer will get my attention. Others, no. I’ve seen too many people post really nasty, negative reviews on everything they read.

    • April 4, 2011 at 10:31 pm

      That is so true L.C.!! I’ve found a few people whom I trust their reviews and remarks about a potential book… Misty and Amber. I know when I am looking at a book…..some of those reviews that are posted on the book’s description have to be taken with a grain of salt…..’cause some people honestly don’t rate a book on it’s entirety.

  • April 4, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I love buying books I can relate to and I can hardly pass up books for .99 or $2.99 to try out new authors. I love price drops too. I have bought a few because of all the comments on fb like Unbroken, Water For Elephants and The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes as a rare book buy for me as I hate the high prices. I also love getting the free books from authors to review so I can sample a full book and see if I want to buy more from them and . Surprisingly lot of the Indie Author books have been great reads! I have to admit I have over 300 books on my amazon wish list so I can remember what appealed to me and I usually check the Indie Author’s books first when I decide to buy because the price also pushes me into buying off that list and it also gives my family a list of “gifts” for me. I’ll be honest I rarely bought a DTB as new, went to the used book store and usually checked the “known” authors. Now I’m buying new books and trying out Indie Authors thanks to ebooks, kindle and facebook! I love being able to converse with the authors of the books I’m reading on facebook.

  • April 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I have a lot of non-fiction I’ve acquired from the discount tables at Barnes & Noble. Nobody *needs* a book on siege engines, but how can you say no to a $5 hardback? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • April 4, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I am on buying hiatus, as I NEED to get the piles around here to shrink. But I’ll impulse buy any author I know personally, anything that sounds good, or anything I know I’ve added to my wishlist.

  • April 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I am an absolute sucker when it comes to books! I’m addicted to book-buying (in paperback and e-versions) and I don’t mind saying it.

    I often buy books due to friends’ recommendations. A beautiful cover might lure me. An interesting back-cover blurb or book description on-line. It doesn’t take much. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • April 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    For me I tend to like series and it’s a clever way of getting people to by books. Unlike Movies there is so much scope when a book becomes a series. One wanders what will happen in the next book to the characters they have been reading about. If yu love the characters then chances are that you will buy the rest of the books in in the series. In short a good series is a definit path to a compulsive book buying spree.

  • April 4, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I wonder if I can provide an intriguing perspective on this. As a blind person, book buying in general literally didn’t exist for a long time. Growing up, there were programs that just gave me braille and audiobooks to listen to for free, and even after I was too old to be eligible for some of those, my dad would take me to the library, where I’d check out a few audiobooks, devour them, and bring them back 3 weeks later. So yeah, I read a lot, a whole lot in my younger years, but never bought a thing.

    And then, I discovered Audible. For those who don’t know, is a magical place where you can buy audiobooks at, get this, decent prices. Of course, audiobooks still, for the most part, remain more expensive than their dead tree counterparts, and waaaaaay more expensive than their Ebook counterparts in some cases, so what I consider a decently-priced audio book may still appear expensive to some of you… Until you saw the sales. Even a place like Audible will seemingly randomly throw a sale where about 250 books are $5.00 or less, and those are the greatest times to be an Audible member. In the most recent of those sales, I came away with about 19 audio books, and 31 in the sale before that one.

    And yet, I’ve only actually been an Audible member for a few years now, so in that sense, impulse book buying is fairly new to me. Oh yeah I do it, even when there’s not a sale. It’s influenced by a lot of things. Things like Audible’s twitter posts, which have links to the books they’re featuring. I’ll occasionally click on one of them, read the publisher’s summary, and check out the reviews as well. If I find enough good ones, or as long as I don’t find too many bad ones that all say the book is problematic for the same reason, and as long as the story looks interesting, I’ll probably snag it. I’ve resisted a few times, though Misty may not realize that given all the books I don’t resist purchasing, but that’s usually only because the book is too expensive.

    Another thing to note when you’re dealing with audiobooks like me is the narrator. There are some absolutely incredible specimines out there whose narration is so spot on and so perfect, they actually improve the books they’re reading. People winning awards for audiobook narration is no joke, and the awards are well-deserved in the cases I’ve encountered. So sometimes, if I’m looking at a book and notice that it’s narrated by somebody I recognize, it becomes an instant buy for me.

    And yes, as mentioned in the original post, the author of a book is a huge factor too. For instance, right now, at this moment, I’m on a Brandon Sanderson kick, and I have a compulsion to go forth and purchase the entire Wheel of Time series just so I can HAVE the rest of his work. Yeah, I know Robert Jordan wrote the first 12, or 11 and a half, or whatever, but Sanderson wrote 13 and is writing 14, and I want to read more Sanderson! That’s literally how it is. If an author impresses me in some way, I’m apt to search out everything they’ve done. I’m still slowly absorbing Stephen King’s entire backlog, and that’s no joke. Yall should see my audible library.

    Anyway, I think I’ve gone on long enough, and I hope I’ve provided some insight. Thanks goes out to Misty for posting this thought-provoking entry, and to all those who suffered through my ramblings. Now then, what was I doing? Ah yes… buying books!

  • April 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Usually that book by that author I like that I never saw before. Or the cover! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • April 4, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Misty, that’s an awesome question! I should really just be satisfied with the books that I have purchased…..Lord knows I have so many on my TBR list. I know for me, I impulse buy or go ‘freebie shopping’ because it’s the one thing that I can do for me and I don’t feel guilty that I bought a few books here and there. Right now, as it stands…..if I skip buying a few Caribou coffees every week…..that’s enough to let me splurge a little bit without remorse! LOL!! I know I also impulse buy because of all of the recommendations from fellow Nooksters. I get to browsing about someone’s book they are reading…..and if it looks good, I buy it (if the price is low or free) otherwise I put it on my TBR list/wish list. I have a thing for a series too….gotta have them all! Also, I have a few authors that I enjoy reading their works, so that’s a deciding factor too.

    I have really been getting into the whole library functionality of my device over the past several months, so that has cut down quite a bit on my spending. But I’m gonna tell you now…..I cannot resist a freebie! =)

Comments are closed.