Bank Holiday Musings

I did something this week that I haven’t done in years – I bought five books.  And paid FULL PRICE for each and every one of them. 

What, you didn’t think it was the bought five books bit, did you?

No, seriously, what with the internet retailers – both ebook and hardcopy retailers – and large chain stores offering x% off, 3 for 2s, BOGOFs*, and every other discount combination under the sun, actually paying the Recommended Retail Price for a book is not something I do very often.

But I did.  Not just once, but for a decent number of books on two separate occasions.  And I wasn’t entirely sure why I did, which in turn is why you now get an entire blog post on this.

Part of it was most definitely the instant gratification element: I’m in the store, I see the book, and I WANT. IT. NOW.  But that actually wasn’t the case for some of the books that I ended up getting.  Yes, sure, I wanted them, and would probably have ended up getting them sooner or later, but I would have been quite happy waiting for the books to be delivered by post.  Or in one of the instances, walked ten minutes down the road for a 3 for 2 deal.

And after thinking about this for longer, I think it’s possibly my way of saying thank you to the bookstore for stocking the books, for promoting them, and for maybe, just maybe, getting casual browsers hooked on the series.  Because, sort of selfishly, because the more people buy books, the more books authors get to write, and the more books I get to read. 

Maybe it’s sort of stupid – does a single full-price purchase make any difference?  Probably not, in the grand scheme of things.  And it’s uncomfortably close for me to the argument that I, as a reader, have any obligations to help authors earn their living / make the bestseller list / etc etc that pops up every now and again.  I have obligations, sure, but none related to the author side of the business – and I dislike being made to feel that way by exhortations to buy on release date, to buy from certain stores, to do this, to do that.  On a related note, Seanan McGuire has a brilliant post on dos and don’ts for her new release that sort of makes me a bigger fangirl of hers than I already am.

But I digress.  Back to why I paid full-price for my books.  It’s not as though Waterstones is going to wither and die away if I purchased the books from their online store as opposed to the physical one – but I loved the fact my local store had a display set up to promote YA fantasy and had the latest releases out on the shelves.  And actually, taking into account Borders pretty much collapsed over the Christmas period last year, maybe I shouldn’t be taking Waterstones for granted. 

So, buying full-priced books a thank you to my local store then?  And indirect encouragement to please continue stocking and promoting these books?

I think so.  Will it make any difference in the long run?  Possibly not, as it’s not something I plan on doing consciously or regularly from now onwards.  But yeah, I think that’s why I did what I did this week.

How often do you buy full-priced books?  Always?  Never?  And if you do, why?

 

*Buy One, Get One Free… certainly makes more sense with books than, say, vegetables – just do the 50% off, okay?

 

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PS: And the books?

Suzanne Collins’ “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay” (YA fantasy): After holding out for months, I decided it was now or never if I didn’t want to be totally spoiled, and finally read the copy of “The Hunger Games” on my bookshelf.  And obviously had to get the next two.

Two anthologies edited by Trisha Telep: “Kiss Me Deadly” (YA urban fantasy), which I mentioned here, and “The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2” (genre self-explanatory) because that had a Karen Chance short story (autobuy!) and an Ava Gray one.  I’ve Ms Gray’s “Skin Game” in my TBR pile and have been meaning to get around to it for ages as I’ve only heard good things.

Cassandra Clare’s “Clockwork Angel” (YA fantasy): I liked her Mortal Instruments trilogy (the ending not so much) and the cover on this is beautiful.

 

Pretty evident which sections I’ve been spending time, huh?

Around the Web

Links I’ve loved recently:

Ilona Andrews did an “off the top of her head” take on YA pretty boy vampires.  You know what?  If she actually wrote it, I would so buy.  Loved.  And by the way, the excerpt from “Bayou Moon” is also up.

41FMltFukDL._SL160_ Angie’s review of “Jane” by April Lindner makes me all sorts of excited about the book.  I loved the cover from the first moment I set my eyes on it, and the fact that it sounds as though the story inside lives up to the promise of the cover makes me very happy.

And finally, the half-price or better ebook sale at WH Smiths?  Let’s just say I’ve had to practise a fair bit of restraint.

Not At All Obsessed

Continuing with the “I must mention LMB in every single post” theme I seem to be going for recently, here is the link to Lois McMaster Bujold’s first Miles book “The Warrior’s Apprentice” in the Baen Free Library.  I’ve added the link to my post below, but thought it deserved a shout out of its own!

Slightly worried that it wouldn’t be as good as I remembered, I dusted off my copy of “Young Miles” (the omnibus version with TWA and its sequel) on my keeper shelf last night, winced my way through the first few pages (oh Miles!), and promptly sunk into Ms Bujold’s world.  Yep, definitely a keeper.

 

PS The other obsession I currently have, by the way, is the new Kindle 3.  I am very very close to hitting the pre-order button.

Books for August

Taking a break from the agonising about whether to buy the eARC for Lois McMaster Bujold’s new book or not, here are the books on my To Buy list for this month:

 

51D8GyqI7FL._SL160_ Tamora Pierce’s “Melting Stones” (YA fantasy): Now this was first released quite a while back in audio form, IIRC – however, I’ve never quite managed an audiobook before, and have waited for the paperback release.  The story’s set in her Circle universe, which partly explains my patience – I would probably have caved and bought the hardcover, had this been a Tortall book.  But I like the Circle books well enough, and have already ordered my copy of “Melting Stones”.

Four years have passed since Evvy left the streets of Chammur to begin her training as a stone mage. At fourteen, she’s unhappy to be on a new journey with her mentor, prickly green mage Rosethorn, who has been called to the Battle Islands to determine why the plants and animals there are dying. Evvy’s job is to listen and learn, but she can’t keep quiet and do nothing. With the help of Luvo, the living stone heart of a mountain, Evvy uncovers an important clue. Now, with the island on the brink of disaster, it’s up to Evvy to avert the destruction that looms ahead.

While we’re on the subject of Tamora Pierce, I was thrilled to read about her upcoming collection of short stories, “Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales”, out next February.  It collects previously-published short stories – I suspect I’ve already read a few, but it would be fantastic to have all of them in a single volume.

Out now (excerpt)

 

fair_game Josh Lanyon’s “Fair Game” (m/m romantic suspense): Josh Lanyon is pretty much an auto-buy author for me, after his very excellent Adrien English series.

A crippling knee injury forced Elliot Mills to trade in his FBI badge for dusty chalkboards and bored college students. Now a history professor at Puget Sound university, the former agent has put his old life behind him—but it seems his old life isn’t finished with him.

A young man has gone missing from campus—and as a favor to a family friend, Elliot agrees to do a little sniffing around. His investigations bring him face-to-face with his former lover, Tucker Lance, the special agent handling the case.

Things ended badly with Tucker, and neither man is ready to back down on the fight that drove them apart. But they have to figure out a way to move beyond their past and work together as more men go missing and Elliot becomes the target in a killer’s obsessive game…

As an added bonus, “Fair Game” is released by Carina Press, the new(-ish) Harlequin e-imprint – I have been curious about them, and therefore this is an excellent opportunity to try out their books as well.  I have to say I am incredibly impressed with the covers on their site – I have not seen a bad one yet.  Could do with longer excerpts though.

Out now (excerpt)

 

51U-XU2WbiL._SL160_“Kiss Me Deadly”, edited by Trisha Telep (YA fantasy): This anthology looks to be made out of win – contributors include some of my favourite authors (yes, I mean Diana Peterfreund and Sarah Rees Brennan), and I’ve been meaning to read some of the other authors forever. 

If you can possibly thirst for more mysterious metaphysical accounts of love, Trisha Telep has organized some of the greatest and most thrilling tales of paranormal paramours since The Eternal Kiss.  She presents the acclaimed literary talent of thirteen unique authors, creating a collection of stories that will undoubtedly capture the imagination of every soul who dares to read them. Werewolves, ghosts, zombies, vampires, and fallen angels drive the plot of these riveting romances.

Out now

 

512A7hoGL._SL160_

Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Shades of Milk and Honey”  (fantasy): This popped up on my radar a couple of weeks ago, and after having read her short story “First Flight” on tor.com, I’ve pretty much made up my mind to get this.

Shades of Milk and Honey is an intimate portrait of Jane Ellsworth, a woman ahead of her time in a version of Regency England where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality. But despite the prevalence of magic in everyday life, other aspects of Dorchester’s society are not that different: Jane and her sister Melody’s lives still revolve around vying for the attentions of eligible men.

Jane resists this fate, and rightly so: while her skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face, and therefore wins the lion’s share of the attention. At the ripe old age of twenty-eight, Jane has resigned herself to being invisible forever. But when her family’s honor is threatened, she finds that she must push her skills to the limit in order to set things right–and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.

Out now (excerpt)

 

And my maybes for August?  Linda Howard’s “Veil of Night” (romantic suspense) – her books have been more miss than hit for me lately (and on a side note, I can’t believe she still does not have a website).  I may also get “Death’s Excellent Vacation”, another of the UF anthologies edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni LP Kelner, at some point – or wait for the paperback. 

Dilemma

Baen has just released the e-ARC* for Lois McMaster Bujold’s November release “Cryoburn”.  Do I or don’t I?

You have no idea how much I want this book.  But I am wondering if I should wait for the final version.  I have no idea how unfinished this ARC is and I would hate to have the new Miles book that I have been waiting on forever be full of glitches and typos. 

Arrrghhh.

 

*Baen releases electronic ARCs for sale ($15) three months or so before the actual release.  The final version is priced at around $6 (ebook version).  Rather cool as die-hard fanatics can get their fix early and I believe authors get royalties on the e-arcs as well.