Top Ten Tuesday: reasons to pick up a book

Text only: top ten TUESDAY

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. This week we’re looking at what makes us pick up a book.

This week’s theme is very, very similar to one I tackled a couple of years ago, where I looked at what tropes or ingredients got us excited to read a book. But there’s a fine line between being excited at the idea of a book and actually going ahead and acquiring a copy. So what pushes me over the edge?

Love at first sight

Yes, yes I do judge a book by its cover. All the time, shamelessly. I can be weakened by dreamy art or just a really good font, well used. That said, this will only get me to literally physically pick up a book – not buy it. For that, it also needs…

An elevator pitch that makes me forget my fears of heights

Don’t be a Hollywood trailer and tell me too much, but do give me an intriguing blurb that hints at my favourite ingredients and/or throws in an unexpected mash-up (this week’s favourites: cyborg Skeksis and operatic pirates). Then…

Set it in space

I love a good fantasy, but if you really want to get me going? Add BUT IN SPACE to your pitch and watch me throw money. I am defenceless in the face of a good space opera pitch. Current mood: trying not to buy Elizabeth Bear’s Ancestral Night – you guessed it, a space opera – starring a salvage crew and space pirates. O HAI YOU SUMMONED ME.

Setting aside the contents, sometimes it’s all about the timing…

An existential fear of having nothing to read

I cannot be without a book. The Kindle has made this so much easier – I always have a small library in my pocket – but do not ask me to travel even half an hour on a bus without a book handy. I may not read it, but I’ll be a happier, calmer person for knowing I could. Emergency book buying is the only appropriate response.

A momentary loss of self-control

Yes, I’m talking about NetGalley and Edelweiss. Honestly, the only way to stay safe is to stay away. It’s infinitely harder to resist a good blurb when all you have to do is hit the REQUEST button…

Make me an offer I can’t refuse

I’m not a fan of Amazon, but I have owned a Kindle for too many years to be able to feel able to leave them easily. Amazon can absolutely sucker me into buying a book I’ve had my eye on with a well-timed promotion.

But I’ve saved the most effective for last:

The vanishingly small possibility of my book buddies being wrong

A positive review from Quartzen, Sarah at The Illustrated Page, Nikki The Bibliophibian, Tammy of Books, Bones, Buffy or Lisa at Dear Geek Place will put a book firmly on my radar. We don’t all agree on every book (who does?), but if they all love it, I want it.

I think we all know I’ve made this sound far harder than it really is though. A quick glance through recent Redux posts shows that waving the right book in front of me at the right time is usually all it takes 🙂

What persuades you to buy a book?