The Feb. 26th issue of Publisher’s Weekly listed the results of a survey on the book buying habits of Americans. Readers could choose more than one answer, and these are the top eight answers:

Why do you buy a book?

1. A friend’s recommendation 49 percent
2. Familiarity with the author 45 percent
3. Description on jacket 32 percent
4. Reviews 22 percent
5. Advertisement 21 percent
6. Place on bestsellers list 17 percent
7. Reading group pick 16 percent
8. Cover design 12 percent

So . . . why do you buy a book? I buy tons of books, and my deciding factors are usually a friend’s recommendation, reviews, and advertisements. (I read reviews in the NYT book review, TIME, NEWSWEEK, PEOPLE, and PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY. A stellar review in any of those will spur my urge to buy. Ditto for a provacative ad.)

So–what are your reasons for buying a book?



  1. Dana

    If a friend recommends a book, I’ll go right out and buy it. Once I like an author I buy every book they write.

    If I’m online I’ll look at the reviews of REAL READERS like on Amazon BUT the problem is you get some who love it and some who hate it so sometimes I leave more confused than ever.

    If I’m in a bookstore (my favorite way to browse and buy books) the first thing that catches me is the title, then the cover – if those ‘lose’ I’ll put it back – if I like the cover especially I’ll read the back and if it gets me I’m hooked.

    I don’t care about bestseller lists or anything like that. Can’t be trusted like my close friends can. 🙂

  2. Ane Mulligan

    I fall in line with the survey for 1, 2 & 3, but then in 4th place I say cover design. That’s what makes me pick up a book, then I read the back description. If it interests me, I’ll buy it.

  3. Catherine

    Sometimes it is a friends recommendation, but more often than not, it is something I want to read about or I might start out reading something from the library and I like it so much that I must own my own copy.
    Our beautiful redheaded daughter started out on Angie Hunt books because her dad bought her a copy of Canopy and the Red girl has been hooked ever since. From the woman who buys more books than I have time to read.

  4. Catherine

    It is still March 9th for 33 more minutes. Angie are you wishing the days away?

  5. Accidental Poet

    – Friends recommendation, but I have to trust that the friend knows what I look for in a book

    – familiarity with the author

    – review by someone I trust (it was a wee quote from Beth Moore on the front of “Awakening” that got me started on your books 🙂 )

    – quality of the writing, which I judge, admittedly unfairly, by opening the book in the middle and reading a few paragraphs

  6. Kay

    I buy authors I like. I also buy on whim. I pick up a book and if I feel all tingly, I’ll buy it. LOL Not quite, but it’s usually based on title and cover – not very scientific.

  7. Grace Joan

    Almost anything will provoke a buy from me (that is, if I have the money…sadly I am at a time in my life where money is “hard come, easy go”). If the cover of the book tells me that I will enjoy reading it (or at least seeing it next to my bed) I just might buy it.
    I know I should break this habit, but for now I do my best to bring someone with me into a book store :-).

  8. Laura

    I would buy all the books I could if I had the money…sadly I don’t. 🙂
    If I’m in a bookstore I’ll quite often buy a book whose author I’m familiar with. I will also buy books that I’ve never heard of before (and the authors) but I usually stand and skim parts of it first to make sure I’ll like it. And I very often buy books I’ve already read, if they’re my favorites.

  9. C.J. Darlington

    Biggest thing for me is the back cover summary. That’s what’s going to make or break a book. If I don’t like the summary …

  10. Kristine dB

    I will first go for authors I like. Then often the cover will make me pick a book up, but the cover copy has to follow through on the appealing cover, or I’ll put it down. I’ll often also skim a few paragraphs to see what the writing quality is like.
    In my job I hear about so many books that they all begin to merge. They have to really stick out at me right off the bat for me to remember about them and go out and find it when it finally releases a couple months later.


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