Weekend Assignment #252: Book connections

This week, Karen has appointed another “guest professor,” Laura of YBTN, to give the Weekend Assignment. Both the main question and the extra credit are hers, as we return to a favorite subject for some of us: books!

Weekend Assignment #252: Where do you get books from?

Extra Credit: What was the last book you read, and why?

I almost feel like I should abstain from this week’s topic, since I talk about books so much of the time here. Then again, that may be exactly why I should participate – books are one of this blog’s reasons for being, after all!

In Karen’s own response, she wondered if everyone’s answer to this question would be Amazon.com. I don’t do all that much book shopping for myself on Amazon, to be honest. I go there for gifts for other people, and when there’s a specific book I’m looking for – something for a book club reading, perhaps, or a special topic (I ordered several books about wedding planning and blending families from them two years ago), or the occasional new-in-paperback title I’ve been waiting for and just can’t find locally. Oh, and I did pre-order the last three Harry Potter books from them, too.

My favorite place to acquire books – and I’m a book buyer more than a borrower – is my local Borders. It’s on the small side as those stores go, but it’s nicely laid out for browsing. The “literature” section is a bit of a catch-all, as was recently discussed on someone else’s blog (I’d link if I could remember where it happened – sorry!) – memoirs and essays are often shelved there, mixed in among classic and contemporary non-genre fiction. I especially enjoy checking out the tables of new releases and sale books, as well as the special-collection shelves. In my experience, as the big chains go, Borders tends to be more consistent than Barnes and Noble, but I’m not that picky – if B&N is the only game in town, I’m not likely to pass them up. (In fact, I bought four books there just this weekend.) I am not fortunate enough to have a good, general-interest independent bookstore nearby, but if I did I wouldn’t neglect them either.

As I mentioned, I rarely borrow books – when I do, it’s informally, usually from a family member or friend. Sometimes I get books as gifts, but most people who know me prefer to give me bookstore gift cards and let me pick them out myself.

During the last year, I have found – or been found by – a new source for books: authors and publicists. One of the perks of blogging book reviews is being offered free books to read and feature in reviews. I’m selective about the offers I accept, but they’ve helped widen my reading horizons and trim my book budget! (Oh, I still buy books, but knowing that I have a stack of “review books” waiting does slow down my rate of acquisition just a bit.)

I post reviews of just about every book I read. The last book I finished and posted about was Buffalo Gal, a memoir by Laura Pedersen, which is one that was offered to me for review. Currently, I’m immersed in Jodi Picoult‘s last novel, Change of Heart. The last two books I’ve read and reviewed were both nonfiction, as are most of the books in the “review” stack right now, and I wanted some fiction as a change of pace. Picoult’s novels have been reliably absorbing and fast reads for me, and this one hasn’t been an exception, so far. Also, since it’s not a “review” book (although I will review it – yes, it does get confusing sometimes!), I’ll count it for the “Read Your Own Books” Challenge – my goal is to read 20 of those this year, and this will be #2.

If you have a book blog, you’ve probably answered some variation on one or both of these questions several times – would you consider doing it one more time, to participate in this Weekend Assignment? And if you don’t normally blog about books, but you do like to read, why don’t you join in too? All you need to do is answer the question(s) in a post on your own blog, and leave a link to it in the comments on the Assignment post at Outpost Mâvarin! (Tell Karen I sent you!)

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  1. My answer will probably be similar to yours; except for the review books. I'mmore of a fan of Borders, but B&N has more of the books that I like. It is very frustrating.

  2. Mike – The review books are just a perk of blogging book reviews :-). But I know what you mean. Something about the way B&N stores are organized or something…especially if they're fairly mainstream, books can just be easier to find there.

    Harriet – Can I call you Harriet the Spy :-)? Glad you came by – I’m enjoying your blog a lot!

  3. I'd forgotten about the breadth of Borders' literature section – I haven't really browsed that in years. Between Borders and B&N, I prefer B&N because of the chairs and the way things are organized and the 10 percent off with my card; but lately they don't seem to have most of the books I want in stock. And that, aside from Christmas and birthday gifts, is when Amazon gets my business.

    Thanks for participating – I largely had you in mind in choosing the question!

  4. KFB – I do agree with you about B&N's organization, and they usually do have more places to sit and read, come to think of it. And I've had a Members card there for years – that extra 10% off is very nice. But I get coupons e-mailed from Borders every week, and $5 in "Borders Bucks" whenever I spend $50 in one month…which reminds me, I have some that will expire on Saturday, so guess what I'm doing this weekend :-)!

    And really, there's no way I wouldn’t have done this Assignment – thanks for thinking of me!

  5. I like B&N prices better (because of my discount card), but I'm more likely to find what I want at Borders. Not to mention Borders closer.

    I think you covered all the places I get my books too. And from friends like you. 🙂

    Off topic, I just finished reading a book where the song performed at a memorial service was The Rose. I hadn't thought of that song in a while. It took me back to the lyrics BTT question. I love that song. I'm not sure why I'm telling you that now, but it just popped into my head and I thought I'd share.

  6. Wendy (Literary Feline) – Borders is closer to me too, but I just like the store better. And I can’t get out of ANY bookstore without spending too much anyway. Sigh… :-).

    “The Rose” is a great song – I hadn’t thought of it in a while either, so thanks for reminding me! It also has a pretty narrow range, so it’s not hard to sing :-).