Giveaway winners and thoughts on book acquisition

The results are in, and I have the giveaway winners to announce:

  • Congrats to Annie for winning a copy of Sarah Bakewell’s How to Live: A Life of Montaigne,
  • and congrats to Stefanie for winning Parrot and Olivier in America!

If you two would send me your addresses (to ofbooksandbikes at yahoo dot com), I’ll have the books sent to you soon. Thanks to everyone for participating; I wish I could send you all a book!

I’ve been thinking lately about all the ways there are these days to get books, and I was surprised at how long my list was. No wonder my TBR piles are growing.

  • Bookstores, including new and used. I have two used bookstores within a half mile of my house, and dozens more if I’m willing to drive a bit. There are new bookstores within, say a 20-minute drive, and tons more if I’m willing to drive further. If I drive an hour, I can get to New Haven, which has great stores, and if I drive 1.5-2 hours, I can get to Manhattan, with all the books I could want.
  • Libraries, including my public library which is less than a mile from my house, and my school library. Hobgoblin’s school library too, for that matter. Oh, and from just about any library through inter-library loan.
  • Library book sales. There are tons of these around here. In fact, there was one going on last weekend, but we wisely stayed away. I suppose you can get books at garage sales/tag sales too, although I never go to those these days.
  • Online book stores. There’s Amazon, of course, but I try to buy from smaller sites like Powell’s or The Book Depository. There’s Better World Books, and tons of others. There’s eBay, too, right?
  • E-books, from online sellers, from sites like Project Gutenberg that offer free classics, or free from the library (for me, both the public library and my school library).
  • Audio books, again, from bookstores, for free online, or from the library (on CD or downloaded).
  • Book-swapping sites like Book Mooch or Paperback Swap. I’ve gotten 136 books from Book Mooch, and I’ve given away 92. I’d say I came out ahead there!
  • ARCs from publishers. Not everyone gets these, of course, but I think, generally, if you blog about books regularly for a while, publishers will start to contact you, even if your blog is small, like mine. It’s now possible to get ARCs digitally through NetGalleys.
  • Free books from sites like Goodreads and LibraryThing. I just won Carlos Fuentes’s new novel from Goodreads, and I know quite a few people who have gotten books from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer’s program. I’m just starting to try to my luck with them.
  • Gifts. It’s a tradition around here, and probably for lots of you too, to give books on major holidays.
  • Borrowing. I only borrow from others occasionally because I have so many of my own books to read, but I’m always happy to borrow something good from a friend, and I love it when friends borrow my books. I just lent a friend from work my copy of Infinite Jest, and I can’t wait to hear what she thinks of it.
  • Blog giveaways. I’ve won quite a lot of books from my fabulous blogger friends. Thank you!

Am I missing anything?


Filed under Books

15 responses to “Giveaway winners and thoughts on book acquisition

  1. You’re so fortunate to be surrounded by bookstores. And from how you describe them, they’re a vibrant business in your area. In my city, indie bookstores are few and far apart. That’s why other than the library, I’ve been buying online. Recently I’ve discovered The Book Depository, and am amazed at how low their prices can be, and still ship anywhere in the world free. So over Christmas, I’ve got myself some gifts by buying half a dozen books online through them. I know, my TBR piles are becoming more and more impossible to conquer.


  2. Is it wrong that I suddenly feel like book shopping? ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Thank you so much. I can’t tell you how inordinately pleased I am. Sarah Bakewell ‘s book is the subject of a series of programmes on the radio called The Essay at the moment and on Sunday we are to have a play based on Montaigne, so I am surrounded by him at the moment and there are definitely worse places to be!
    On the question of where we get our books, thanks again for tipping me off about NetGalley. My first two proofs arrived today and one in particular is going to make it hard for me to get out to my students this afternoon. It’s also interesting what you say about The Book Depository. I have no quibble with them and indeed use them quite a lot, but they are not such good value if you live in the UK. While it may appear as if they are sending post free in fact they add a charge to the price they offer. That charge is the same wherever in the world you are so it works out very much better if you are abroad. It is often easier to find something cheaper here.


  4. Lately I get most of my books via the library or else from a friend who’s a copy editor at a weekly magazine and often gets review copies to take home. My other main source of books is miscellaneous piles of free books – which is probably more of a city thing and maybe particularly pronounced in my life given my neighborhood (lots of publishing folks/people who work in bookish pursuits) and my job (in publishing). Sometimes in my neighborhood the free books are leftover unsold books from stoop sales, but I’d say just as often they’re just boxes of books that people put out on the sidewalk for free. My current apartment building has a table in the lobby where people put free books and other stuff they no longer want; my last apartment building did the same thing but without the table so it was just a little pile in the hall. At work, we have a “library” that employees put together of books to borrow, but people also have a habit of putting free books on one particular table in the kitchen for anyone who wants them to just take.


  5. Sidewalks. In my neighbourhood, people cleaning out their bookshelves leave boxes of books for the taking on the sidewalk in front of their houses.


  6. Hooray! Thanks! I’ll email you my address later today. And I never realized there were so many ways to get books. No wonder I have so many!


  7. I think I’ve acquired books in all the ways you’ve listed! So many ways to feed the addiction. I also just signed up for Netgalley today, though I will have to read on my computer unless I succumb to an ereader someday. This week I just discovered two Borders gift cards that had slid down behind a drawer that I received a year ago for my birthday! How on earth could I have missed those? And now I am happily trying to decide how to spend them…


  8. You mentioned one of my all time favorite things on the planet – the library book sale! I’ve gotten so many books this way, some that were on the shelves and some that were donated – all for $1 for hardback. I bought a pristine copy of The Way To Cook by Julia Child with a sticker price of $50 for only $1. How great is that?


  9. Arti — you’re right that I’m lucky to have lots of stores near me. I do drive a ways to get to many of them, but still. Many of them are threatened, I’m sure, and quite a few of them are chain stores, but still, I have lots of choices, and I’m grateful for that. I’ve bought from The Book Depository too, and I like them.

    Litlove — it’s never wrong to feel that way! No matter what one’s husband says ๐Ÿ™‚

    Annie — Congratulations! And how wonderful to have a radio program on The Essay! That sounds wonderful. There’s all sorts of interest in the genre these days, it seems. It’s perfect timing for you to have won the Montaigne book. Interesting to get another perspective on The Book Depository. I wouldn’t have guessed they would be a better value over here than over there. I’d love to know what you requested from Net Galleys!

    Heather — you’re reminding me that we used to have a table at work for free books for students. But then that part of the building got remodeled, and I’m not sure if we have such a table any more. I like the idea of getting books for free from tables and boxes on sidewalks. I can see that people who work in published would have more books than they know what to do with.

    Lilian — that’s a great way to get books. I like that!

    Stefanie — I know — it’s a wonder we don’t have more than we do! Congrats on winning the book!

    Danielle — what a wonderful surprise! I would love to discover two gift cards that I’d forgotten about ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m curious to see if you try reading on a computer or get an e-reader or what happens. Isn’t Net Galleys fun? I have to be careful not to request too many books.

    Grad — I love library sales! You do get such fantastic bargains, and we have sales with very good books around here. They are way too tempting, and I always come home with a big bag full!


  10. Dorothy, I’ve started very low key, just to get used to the NetGalley system. I’ve received the new novels by two of my favourite crime writers, Martin Edwards and Jacqueline Winspear and a book by Elizabeth Laird, a brilliant children’s writer who sets her work in seventeenth/eighteenth century Scotland. I’ve also asked for the latest book by the author who wrote ‘Shadow of the Wind’ (which I loved) and ‘The Angel’s Game’ (which I didn’t) to see which one was the aberration.


  11. You did miss one…you could write one (or more!). I’ve been in a few writing groups throughout the years, and you can acquire books piecemeal by being a reader in a critique group, or, of course, writing them yourself.
    My main source these days is–cleaning out my kids’ stacks of Scholastic books has enabled me to triple by TBR shelf.


  12. Dorothy–I had heard of Netgalley but didn’t like the idea of reading on my computer, but when you mentioned it here I thought I’d have another look. I discovered that one of their publishers is Harpercollins who publishes Jacqueline Winspear. I had a contact at HC but he must have left so I tried to email them through their generic email address and politely ask for a ARE of the new Maisie Dobbs novel but they never replied. Netgalley has the new Maisie novel, which I now have downloaded on my computer! It’s a little weird reading it this way, but I don’t want to wait until March to read it, so I will sit in my cold computer room and try and get through it this way. This has prompted me to rethink the whole eReader thing actually. I do like the Adobe software to read the book but I think I would be happier if I could take the book/ebook with me to another room where it is more comfortable to read. Not a perfect solution, but for impatient people like me who don’t want to wait… ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the heads up!


  13. I think I’ll echo Litlove’s comment! haha… All of a sudden I want to go get some books!
    Unfortunately I don’t have great access to library sales anymore. Or at least not that I’ve heard. I need to investigate a bit more.


  14. Annie — interesting! I’m thinking of requesting the Maisie Dobbs, but the publisher has sent me copies in the past (without my even asking!), so I may wait on that. In addition to the Oates book, I requested a collection of essays by Edward Hoagland and the book After Word, essays where authors imagine conversations with their favorite authors.

    JaneGS — you’re right! I don’t write books myself, but I have friends who do, so I generally get a book or two a year that way. Good point!

    Danielle — as I said to Annie, I’m hoping to get a copy of the Maisie Dobbs book from the publisher, but I may be out of luck — in which case, yay for Netgalleys! I agree with you that while the Adobe program is pretty nice (not quite as much glare as reading online), it’s definitely better to be able to take the book anywhere to read.

    Iliana — library sales are great, but dangerous! I come home with so many books, it’s ridiculous. You may be better off without them ๐Ÿ™‚


  15. Kellie

    It’s great that there are so many different ways to obtain books! With so much new technology today, people sometimes forget how nice it is just to read a good book! ๐Ÿ™‚


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