Discussion: Buying Decisions

February 22, 2017     erinthebooknut     Discussion, Feature, Uncategorized

How do you decide what to buy?

The answer to this question is different for everyone. Do you base it just on reviews? On social media chatter and word of mouth? On description? On whether you’ve already read an arc? There’s tons of ways to do it. But me? Ive got a process.


This year I have limited myself to no more than 2 preorders a month (EXCEPT in May because I’m ordering 3 series enders). These preorders are always going to be fantasy, my favorite genre, and/or an auto-buy author. They’re books for which I have already seen solid goodreads ratings and often books I don’t already have ARCS for.

Preorders are usually my highest anticipated books of the year. Sometimes they’re debuts I HAVE TO HAVE or, more often, from well established favorites or continuations of series.

For preorders I usually used Amazon because of prices, the preorder guarantee, and Prime Shipping.

Bargain Buying:

For bargain buying I USUALLY use our local used bookstore, or the ones back home where I’m from. I tend to have anywhere from $20-100 of credit there from trade ins so my books are often free (sorta).

I also bargain buy online. Platforms of choice: Amazon Marketplace, Book Outlet, Better World Books (though for the latter it has been a long time). With Book Outlet I usually wait for a sale or buy one or two books I need to complete collections at a time because of shipping.

Lately I’ve been trying to avoid over-buying buy cutting out a lot of bargain buying unless it’s something I really want. This has helped reduce overflow on my shelves.

Retail Buying:

Paying retail price is rare for me. I almost always buy bargain or with coupons. One of the few exceptions are B&N’s and BAM’s Special Editions of books, often pre signed. Even then, I’m members of both clubs so I get at LEAST 10%-20% off, if not more.

Buying Criteria:

Because I live in an apartment with little space and very full shelves I have enacted buying criteria for anything I buy in 2017 and on. These are the questions I ask myself:

  • Will I read this book within 6 months?
  • Will I ACTUALLY read it or am I just saying that?
  • Do I know the author/have I liked their work before? If not, do they have a good rep and are well received?
  • If it is a series, do I already own/have read others in this series?
  • What is the current rating on Goodreads?
  • Do people I trust recommend it?
  • Which publisher is it from?
  • Do I have an ARC already? If yes, would I rather have FC and give up the ARC?
  • ARE THEY CHANGING THE COVER? (Seriously, this is important because I let a match set).
  • Is it from an author I collect?
  • Where would it be shelved? Is there room on that shelf?
  • Can I get it cheaper elsewhere?
  • What does my bank account look like?

If over have of these questions are answered satisfactorily then I allow myself to buy it.

So, that’s my process. How do you decide what to buy? Share in the comments, I’m curious to know how others do it.

From my shelf to yours,



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