Because I am currently drowning under a massive TBR pile (and seriously considering imposing a book buying ban on myself), I’ve been thinking about why I’ve bought all of these books. A few of them are sequels, books by my favorite authors, etc. Most of them are suggestions from fellow bloggers (whether on an actual blog, YouTube, or Goodreads). A decent number are the “classics everyone must read before they die,” i.e. War and Peace, Moby Dick. And quite a few of them are pretty cover impulse buys. But some of them I bought for pretty bizarre reasons. So today, I thought I’d give you all a glimpse into my strange mind, and share why I buy the books I buy.
The inspiration for this post was Rosamund Hodge’s debut novel, Cruel Beauty. It’s fairly popular in the bookish community. I have definitely seen it around a few times. But I actually bought it last year, before becoming active in the book blogging community (I still haven’t read it, but that’s besides the point). Why? Because it has something in common with one of my favorite books, Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Hodge and Brown share not a publisher, not an editor, but an agent. Yes, that’s right, I bought a book solely because it is represented by the literary agent who also represents one of my favorite authors. Pretty sure I maxed-out my book stalking abilities here.
A little over a year ago, I attended one of those “conversation with an author” events for David Mitchell. He was promoting and signing his book, The Bone Clocks (which I only bought because of the event and still haven’t read). At one point, he mentioned that the most beautiful passage he’d ever read was a bit about dust in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. So guess who went out and bought, and then never read, To the Lighthouse? That would be me. I should also mention that, when I bought the book, I had never read anything by Virginia Woolf. But more importantly, I’d never read anything by David Mitchell, and therefore didn’t know if I even liked his work/style and could subsequently trust his recommendations. Luckily, I’ve since read a few of his books and enjoyed them, but the point is, I basically bought To the Lighthouse because a famous author I knew very little about said it was amazing.
One of my most prized possessions is a 1966 leather-bound collector’s edition of The Lord of the Rings trilogy complete with fold-out maps and language translations (and matching The Hobbit) that I found in a pile of Star Wars memorabilia in my dad’s office when I was twelve (it belonged to his boss, who told me I could keep it). So why did I buy the new leatherette pocket edition box set (other than that they’re pretty)? Because, while trying to read the giant collector’s edition in bed, I dropped all twelve hundred plus pages on my face. And yes, it hurt. A lot. It’s also the same reason I own individual copies of all of Jane Austen’s novels, despite also owning not one but two different copies of her completed works. And why I usually buy Shakespeare’s plays individually if I need to read them for class, even though I also own two copies of his completed works (although one is two-hundred years old, so I don’t like to mess with it too much anyway).
What’s the strangest reason you’ve ever bought (or read) a book?