Thursday, September 20, 2007

Book Quiz

Update: I've added a POLL to the right! Ooo, fun. And I opened the comments to "Anonymous," just to experiment.

If you feel like answering any of these questions, I'd love to see your answers.

* Do you pay any attention to best seller lists?

* When you're in a bookstore trying to decide whether to buy a book, do you read the "blurbs" on the covers? Do they ever influence your buying decision?

* When you're deciding on that book, do you read any of the book while you're standing there in the store? The first page? A few pages in the middle? Bits here and there? No part of it?

* When you take the book home, do you ever read the ending first?

* Do you have a book review section in your local paper? Do you ever buy or not buy books based on reviews?

* Do you like smooth or crunchy peanut butter?

33 comments:

GhostFolk.com said...

Ok.

BSlists: No. Not fiction anyway.

Blurbs: yes, yes.

I ALWAYS read the first sentence and the last. If they aren't cool, I don't but the book.

No, on reading the ending first, although it wouldn't bother me to. Generally when I take a book home, I don't read it at all.

[ I am almost never happy with bookstore buys. I fall prey to spot-buy marketing, I suppose. I buy almost all of my books on-line based on someone telling me to or known authors. ]

GhostFolk.com said...

Oops. Missed one.

Reviews: Nancy, I don't read my local paper. I read papers on-line generally.

I occasionally buy the Sunday NYTimes. I find that print reviews are a place to start and then I go on-line and read reader reviews Etc. For fiction, I think newspaper and other print reviewers are unreliable at best.

Kelly McCullough said...

Bestsellers-Nope.

Blurbs-Yes, very occasionally.

Read bits-Absolutely. First page, occasionally more from there. If it's F&SF I will also often skim the last couple of pages to find out if it ends there, ends well, ends as I would have predicted from reading the description and the first two pages.

Read the end first at home. Rarely first, but if I'm not pretty excited twenty pages in, I'll often flip to the back to see if it's as predictable and annoying as I think it's going to be. 9 out of 10 times that I do that, the book gets put down in the used bookstore pile.

No review section in the paper, but I read them online occasionally, and I often buy non-fiction based on reviews.

Smooth.

As a writer, every time I read my answers to things like this, I'm vaguely horrified.

Gotta go get ready to teach. I know I'll have fun because most of these folks are serious about writing, but I'm glad I only do this every couple of years. Staying home and building stories is much easier.

Ta-(waves).

katiebird said...

A Quiz!

Best Seller lists -- only to see if someone I like has something out that I hadn't already heard of. And since I see the On Order lists for the library, that doesn't happen too often. Still, I look.

Authors I like, I just buy their books -- usually online, but sometimes as an emergency from the near by Borders (If I'm lucky, I can find it at the HyVee for a discount).

Unknowns or Unsures, I read blurbs & front page & Amazon Reviews and sometimes the first & last pages.

Or sometimes I don't. But I've bought a lot of unreadable books. So I'm trying to remember to at least do SOME research.

Also, I like to read about the author. If they say their favorite authors are any or all of PG Wodehouse, Georgette Heyer or Douglas Adams, it's pretty likely I'll like SOMETHING about their novel.

I don't have any opinion about peanut butter. I've had it maybe 3 times in 30 years. And it's always in the house. I don't hate it. I just don't ever think about it.

With suspense novels, I often read the last chapter -- just to break the suspense. If characters I love are dead, I stop reading. I love a mystery, but HATE suspense. Or I should say, I HATE suspenseful suspense.

Jen said...

* I don't notice best seller lists unless one of my friends might be on one.

* I categorically ignore blurbs.

* Re: standing in the store reading: if it's an author I've read and liked before, I usually just buy the book, but if it's a new author to me, then yes, I read the first page/few and that makes the determination whether I buy the book.

* I have never once read an ending first.

* I don't read my local paper, but I don't make book choices based on published reviews -- if a friend who knows what I like recommends something, though, I'll order it sight unseen.

* Smooth!

Nancy P said...

* I think I only notice best seller lists if I happen to see the NYT Sunday edition, and then I mostly boggle at how long some books have been on it. Did you hear they're breaking their paperback list into two? One list for mass market, the other for trade paperback.

Of course, If I were *on* the bs list, I'd stare at it endlessly. :)

* I skim blurbs, but I'm wary of them, having written a number, myself, where I was despesperately trying to find something to say that was honest, but nicer than, "Makes good doorstop." Now and then they do influence my decision, I'll confess. But that can work in either direction.

* I always read the first paragraph. If it draws me in, I'll read down to the end of the first page.

* I NEVER read the ending first. It horrifies me that so many people do, :) because I work so hard to make endings surprising and/or satisfying. But I used to read endings, not first, but early on--mainly to do as katiebird does, and end the suspense early.

* I asked about book review sections, because they're going the way of cassette tapes. We have a modest one once a week. I skim it, rarely read any actual reviews. I don't trust reviewers not to give away the surprises.

katiebird said...

(tapping foot) Nancy -- The Peanut Butter. What about the Peanut Butter?

Nancy P said...

Snort! Which is painful, with CRUNCHY peanut butter in your nose.

Rick Bylina said...

1. BS Lists? Never heard of them.

2. Blurbs. Read them, but influence is low.

3. If I'm picking it up cold, I'll read a few pages. If it is a recommnedation or an author I like, I just get it.

4. Read ending first? One in a 100, but never a mystery. What's the point in that?

5. Yes we have a review section; It rarely influences me on the positive side, but it will make me shy of a book with a bad review.

6. Neither. Mr. Peanut scared me in my youth by cracking up in front of me. "The horror; the horror."

Nancy P said...

Rick, lol. Mr. Peanut really is a kind of creepy guy. Shoes with no pants?

Nancy P said...

Hmm. I just went and looked up pictures of Mr. Peanut. Those could be tights. No less scary, though.

Kimberly Frost said...

I don't buy books just because they're on the bestseller lists, but I do think they get so much more exposure in bookstores when they are that I keep seeing them and sometimes eventually buy what I might not normally. That's how I ended up buying the The DaVinci Code. It would just not go away and I finally just broke down and bought a deeply discounted copy. Oh, the power of marketing. Also there are some authors that I would never have known about or noticed except that they were on a bestseller list. Like a book called The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl, which I really enjoyed. I doubt I would've found him if he hadn't been on a table.

I absolutely read the blurb and often the first couple of paragraphs.

I don't read from the middle or end of the book.

I have bought books based on magazine or newspaper coverage.

Crunchy.

Man Eegee said...

*BS Lists - nope

*Blurbs - I'll read them but hardly make a buying decision as a result

*Definitely a first page reader.

*Read ending first - never! although it took a lot of willpower not to check the final page of Deathly Hallows to see who was still alive.

*Review section - the local weekly indy magazine has a good section that I peruse irregularly

*Crunchy for sandwiches, smooth for tortillas. Yes, I buy both types :)

Conda said...

My local paper doesn't have book reviews, unless it's an "entertainment review" of a book by O.J., for example. I do read the reviews on amazon, the blurbs in the bookstores, and often the first page.

But I think that what influences me most is word-of-mouth. My friends and family are avid readers. And if a friend suggests a book I'll take a serious look and often buy.

I love peanut butter and take it anyway I can get it.

Nancy P said...

Sometimes I resist a book just because everybody's reading it. Kind of stupid, really. And if I ever make the best seller lists, I won't want anybody to do that to me, of course.

katiebird said...

Your local librarian just cast the first vote in the poll!

Nancy P said...

That's funny, kb!

Maria Lima said...

Poll!!

Okay - so on to the questions:

* Do you pay any attention to best seller lists?
-- Only if I or one of my friends is on one. Other than that, not really. I *do* pay attention to the Mysterious Galaxy best seller list (which I actually *have* been on) - b/c I find that what sells at MG is often my cup of tea.

* When you're in a bookstore trying to decide whether to buy a book, do you read the "blurbs" on the covers? Do they ever influence your buying decision?
-- Yes. I always read blurbs, but mostly to see if I recognize the names. I'll read anything you blurb, Nancy. Same goes for Charlaine and others. If blurbed by famous author that I don't know, I don't give it as much weight, because I don't know their taste.

* When you're deciding on that book, do you read any of the book while you're standing there in the store? The first page? A few pages in the middle? Bits here and there? No part of it?

-- First and a few pages in, I don't often skip into the meat of the book.

* When you take the book home, do you ever read the ending first?
-- Never.

* Do you have a book review section in your local paper? Do you ever buy or not buy books based on reviews?
-- I don't get the paper, nor do I read the reviews, unless someone points one out to me. I tend to find books via blog reviews and/or personal recommendations.

* Do you like smooth or crunchy peanut butter? Yes.

(I'm working at home this afternoon, post a miserable dental visit.)

katiebird said...

Hi Maria,

I'm sorry you had a bad experience. Did he give you Novocaine?

katiebird said...

Nancy,

Giggling.

Nancy P said...

Maria,that's scary about going by blurbs by me. I'm REALLY glad you said that, because it confirms what I've been thinking, which is that I shouldn't blurb books I don't really love. I loved yours when I blurbed it, truly loved it and thought it was wonderfully original and fun, but I don't always feel that way about books I blurb. So why do I, you may ask? Sometimes circumstances make it REALLY delicate. I'll blurb and be damned, before I'll hurt the feelings of a friend, but that doesn't do the potential readers any good, does it? Gnashing of teeth. Speaking of which--yours--ouch!

olivia said...

Nancy, you forgot the sniff test ... :)

olivia said...

* lists?
-- Never

* "blurbs"
-- No
* influence your buying?
-- No, that's what the sniff test is for ... ;-)

* read bits
-- Yep, as soon as I can start it the better

* read the ending first?
-- Never! In fact, if I do find a book that I really connect w/, then I often won't finish it, so that it never really ends ...

* book review section
-- not sure b/c don't read the paper

* smooth or crunchy
-- crunchy

Nancy P said...

Olivia, I DID forget the sniff test, lol! The heck with that other stuff.

FARfetched said...

Yay, a quiz!

Do you pay any attention to best seller lists?

No.

When you're in a bookstore trying to decide whether to buy a book, do you read the "blurbs" on the covers? Do they ever influence your buying decision?

I read the blurbs, mainly to see if the story interests me. But I look at them assuming they're positive (or they wouldn't be on the cover). I've put a couple of books back on the shelf based on the blurb, and bought a couple because it did sound interesting. Note that what interests me on Saturday may not be so interesting on Tuesday.

When you're deciding on that book, do you read any of the book while you're standing there in the store?

Very very rarely. I'm probably straying into religious territory here, but I think for mysteries one should ignore the blurb and read the first couple of pages. That should be enough to give you a good idea of whether it's going to keep your attention. Yea? Nay?

When you take the book home, do you ever read the ending first?

When I was younger, I would read the last sentence. Nowadays, no.

Do you have a book review section in your local paper? Do you ever buy or not buy books based on reviews?

Local paper? No. I think the city papers have them, but I never pay attention. I read the reviews in Asimov's, and I might have bought a book based on that… but I don't think I did.

Do you like smooth or crunchy peanut butter?

Crunchy, but smooth is fine too. Either one is great with some homemade blackberry jelly.

Nancy P said...

I'm probably straying into religious territory here

lol!! Watch it, buster. Our high priests are tough guys.

but I think for mysteries one should ignore the blurb and read the first couple of pages. That should be enough to give you a good idea of whether it's going to keep your attention. Yea? Nay?

Yes,imo.

Beth said...

I'm back! I missed everyone! Just in time to join the poll - yay - I love polls...

1. Nope. What's popular doesn't always interest me.

2. I always read the blurb of a book that looks interesting, or if I've heard good things about it from friends. The only time I buy a book w/o reading the blurb is if specific friends have enthusiastically recommended it. I don't know if a blurb influences my decision to buy a book as much as...

3. I read the first line (a la Don Maass). If it hooks me, I buy it. If the first line is bad, the book doesn't go home with me, except under VERY unique circumstances.

4. Read the ending first?? (Horrified face) NEVER! I don't want to spoil it. Sometimes I'll read a few pages ahead to see if things are progressing as I want them to, then I slap my own hand and stop doing that.

5. Haven't seen the local paper yet. Reviews can induce me to look at a book...read the blurb...the first line...etc.

6. Crunchy!! Hate peanuts, love crunchy peanut butter. Go figure.

Now I have to eat some peanut butter...

Thanks, Nancy! And belated Hippo Birdie - I missed sending you BD wishes on your day!!

Nancy P said...

Thanks, Beth, and welcome home!
It was a very Hippo Birdie for me.

I hope you have peanut butter in the house? ;)

Man Eegee--way up there yonder? LOL at your temptation to find out who lived and who died in Deathly Hallows. I know!

Nancy P said...

Beth,did you and your friend have a nice time?

Beth said...

Yes, we did, Nancy, thanks for asking. It was wonderful - really hard to leave this morning. I'll blog about it tomorrow, and attach pictures.

I loved Pensacola - might have to spend my winters there instead of down here. But I think we decided I'm the evil one, not her...

I do have PB, but resisted - kb will be proud of me!

More tomorrow - night -

katiebird said...

Hi Beth!

I can't wait to hear all about it in the morning.

Is peanut butter a temptation for you? If so, then I AM proud of you!

Beth said...

Oh kb, ALL food is a temptation for me!! :-)

Maria Lima said...

Katiebird, alas, no Novocaine, but a very vigorous cleaning (a powerful sortie in the battle against gum disease...which evidently, I'm not winning, despite my pretty decent maintenance). Le sigh.

Nancy - re: blurbs - yah, I know what you mean. I hear that from fellow authors on the politics. I've not yet been asked for one and don't know what I'd do if I truly disliked the work, but felt obligated. :(