If you've been following my blog for the past few days, you know by now that I'm participating in the 15 Days Book Blogging Challenge hosted at Good Books and Good Wine. My introductory post for the challenge is here, and I've been looking forward to today's topic: Describe how you shop for books.
It used to be a combination of "hey, here's a new book by (insert author's name)!" and "this looks interesting, I think I'll give it a try", leading to massive book buying. Once or twice it was even "I love the cover to this one - hey, the subject matter/story seems up my alley too". Sometimes that works, sometimes it backfires massively. Last time it worked was with Jo Graham's Hand of Isis.
Of late though, it's been pared down a lot (unless I'm at specific used book-stores where I run an exchange credit consistently). Now, except for Mercedes Lackey - and that's down to the Valdemar books, and Elizabeth Moon's Paladin's Legacy series, I'm not buying too much any more. There are times though, when enough people will recommend a book to me and I'll give it a try.
At the used book-store though, all bets are off. I start in the history section looking for anything interesting (and preferably recent) on ancient and medieval history, and then go to the fiction, science fiction and fantasy sections with a mental list of specific authors to check for.
Either way, I'm finding that I don't really try a lot of new authors any more, and there are times I feel guilty about that. I especially don't tend to try new authors with e-books unless I can get a free sample. The last one of those that I loved, was the books by Michael R. Hicks, which I've reviewed a couple of times here. I've just been burned once too often with a book that it turns out that I really don't like, and I can't give it away or do anything for any return with an e-book, unlike a paper book that I can take to the used bookstore or give away to someone else.