Getting lost in a good book

Things I am supposed to do today:

• Finish outlining my WIP
• Blog
• Take care of the dog
• Go to a fancy Valentine’s dinner with Andy

Things I have actually done so far today:

• Read Suzanne Collins’ AMAZING book The Hunger Games

For 5.5 hours, her book, her world, her characters are all that were on my mind. I raced through the pages, and even now that I’m “done,” I know I need more. I will probably beg Andy to go to Barnes & Noble tonight after dinner so I can buy and devour Book 2, Catching Fire. And then I will pathetically count down the days until Book 3, Mockingjay, comes out.

And that sense of urgency? Of addiction? Maybe that’s another answer to the question I asked in my previous post. Why write? To drive readers mad. To make them crazy with emotion, excitement, and anticipation. To satisfy them, even while making them long for more.

Because if anyone ever feels about my books the way that I feel right now about Suzanne Collins’, then you know what? I done good.

Now the great thing about books is that there’s something out there for every kind of reader. Maybe you have no interest in teenagers fighting to the death on reality television in a dystopian future (seriously? no interest? none at all? but it’s so good! okay fine, I’ll stop) but maybe you devour memoirs like Eat, Pray, Love. Or great literary fiction. Or Civil War novels. Or romantic Amish paranormal thrillers! I dunno, but whatever it is, it’s out there, and its writers desperately want you to read it.

With that in mind, I’m going to start buying at least 1 new (not used) book a month. Either for myself or as a gift for a friend. So for about $15 a month, I can support writers, support the publishing industry, and most importantly, support reading. Maybe it’s cheesy of me, but I do believe this world would be a happier (& smarter) place if everyone got lost in a great book more often.

By the end of tonight I will have purchased 2, which I guess makes up for missing January. First up, of course, is Catching Fire. Second is the fabulous Kiersten White’s debut book Paranormalcy, which I pre-ordered on Amazon. (Actual release date is Sept 21.)

Of course I’d love for all of you to join me in my little book-loving campaign, but even if you don’t, I want to know: What would you buy if you were going to? What books have you been dying to read? Or what have you read in the past that got you all revved up like this? Let me know in the comments!

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28 Comments

  1. I linked to you on my blog…I hope you don’t mind!

  2. OMG if I *only* bought one book a month, my bank account would sigh in relief, not to mention my non-existent shelf space. Since December, I have read (and paid for) the Twilight Saga (4), the Percy Jackson Series (5), the Fablehaven series (4), A Wrinkle in Time (1), Howl’s Moving Castle (1), I bought but chose not to finish The Dark Lord of Derkholm and bought but did not attempt (see previous) its sequel (and I’m kicking myself for being presumptuous about buying into a series I didn’t know that I would like) (2), The Mousehunter (also chose not to finish) (1), Guardians of Being (1), and I’m sure there are others. (Damn Kindle makes it too easy to buy and forget things). I’m not even going to try to figure out how many books I’ve bought for my children during that time. So that’s 19 books I mentioned by name above. Some were hard copies and some were ebooks. Oh, and I also bought the Harry Potter paperback boxset. As you can see, I certainly don’t need to set myself any book-buying goals!

    And I just got the Kindle version of Hunger Games based on your recommendation. The description doesn’t make it seem like something I’d like, but I thought the same thing about Twilight! You didn’t lead me astray there. Well, a little, in the pride department. ;)
    .-= • Recent post by Sonja: This post brought to you courtesy of Philadelphia’s multiple, record-setting snow storms =-.

  3. Rachele-
    Aw, thank you! I definitely don’t mind. It’s an honor!

    Sonja-
    WOW. That is a lot of books. As an aspiring writer & book lover, I THANK YOU, hahaha!

    I read a lot, but usually they are used or borrowed books. Which doesn’t help writers/the industry very much. But I’ve been thinking about getting a Kindle, because I think it would (as you say) lead me to buy a lot more, maybe even “too much.”

    Oh, I hope you enjoy the Hunger Games!! Please let me know. (Unless you hate them… Then let me down gently, lol.) I cannot WAIT to read Book 2.

  4. Are there amish paranormal romances out there? Because that sounds AWESOME! :)
    .-= • Recent post by Lindsey: What character did you fall in love with? =-.

  5. I love my Kindle, but if I didn’t have one, I’d probably buy an iPad (the Apple Tablet) instead. It will have its own ebookstore and you can also use the Kindle app with it so you could get every book available for Kindle that way. For me, my Kindle reading enjoyment is much higher since I got the DX because it gives me the same sense of “page” that a real book does, and the Kindle DX and cheapest iPad are basically the same price. Something to consider.
    .-= • Recent post by Sonja: This post brought to you courtesy of Philadelphia’s multiple, record-setting snow storms =-.

  6. I buy more books than I have time to read, so I give a lot of them away. I want to read The Hunger Games, even though I don’t normally read YA lit. I want to read The Book Thief, too. I want to read Zeitoun because I love Dave Eggers’ books, and I want to read The Piano Teacher. I just bought What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Murakami’s memoir, and An Education, and I can’t wait to read both. I didn’t like Eat, Pray, Love that much, but I do buy at least one book a month – some from Amazon, some from B&N, and some from local independent bookstores. I hope everyone who reads your blog does, too!

  7. You’ve put the final nail in my must-read-hunger-games coffin. I just have to go out and get it! Maybe tomorrow?

    I love your new philosophy for book buying. I really should do the same. It’s the right thing to do for all the wonderful writers who have taken me to other worlds.

    Great post, Kristan!

    – Liz
    .-= • Recent post by Liz Czukas: What Music Can Teach Us About Revising =-.

  8. Lindsey-
    There could be… if we wrote them!

    Sonja-
    Hmm, good to know. Andy and I were just discussing Kindle v. iPad at dinner. (We don’t have either but both think we should maybe get one someday…)

    Meghan-
    Yeah, I want to start giving more books away too. Because they’re not necessarily doing me much good sitting on my shelves (unless they are ones I will reread) and maybe I will spark people to read more if I match them up with the right books?! #optimist

    Gah, your reading queue sounds awesome!!

    Liz-
    DO IT. I’m buying Catching Fire tomorrow, and I went ahead and pre-ordered Mockingjay too. (The pre-order price is fantastic right now.)

  9. awww that is cheesy in a good kind of way!
    .-= • Recent post by floreta: Gateway to my Travels =-.

  10. Hahaha, thanks, I’m glad you think so! And welcome back! Can’t wait to read about India. :)

  11. I love your book buying/reading/giving campaign! Being an avid reader and writer but on a limited budget (i.e. broke) I struggle with buying books. I want to buy them all but can’t. So with the few I can buy, I really struggle. Support the debut author? Help careen well-know author, who really deserves it, onto the bestseller list? Get another book written by [insert famous author name here] who doesn’t need the support but I adore and really want to have on my bookshelf?
    .-= • Recent post by Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist: Bad Writing Habits =-.

  12. Yeah, I face the same 2 problems: money, and choosing. The money I’ve just decided to suck up and live with. As for choosing, I think I’m going to try to spread the love around, you know? A blockbuster I might really want, but a few debut authors too, and of course buying for friends will automatically get me to look at some places I might not look for myself. So… hopefully that will be good enough. At the very least, it’s better than nothing. :)

  13. Two books I’ve started reading and want to get a copy of and finish are “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “Queen Bees and Wannabes.” Have you ever heard of the first one? Apparently it’s been on the Bestseller list for a while. I heard of it from a co-worker/The Economist, I might ask her if I can borrow if it’s not in Spanish (I don’t like reading books translated into Spanish.) The second one is a non-fiction research book about cliques filled with anecdotes; Tina Fey based her movie “Mean Girls” on it.

    In the past I mostly purchased used books or borrowed from libraries (on the rare occasion that I read a book…) because of the environmental impacts of buying new. But books are sometimes made from recycled paper, and trees are a renewable resource, so I guess it’s not all bad.

  14. RE: the title of this post, I hope that “Lost in a Good Book” by Jasper Fforde is still on your list of books to read. :)

  15. Aisha-
    I’ve heard AMAZING things about the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series — that’s definitely on my read-soon list. Funny enough, you can get the 3rd book in Europe right now, but not in America. (I mean, yes, we could order from Europe, but you know what I mean.)

    Haven’t heard of the other one — I’m not as big into non-fic… — but yeah, good point about environmental impact… That’s definitely one reason I like e-books, and will probably get an e-reader someday.

    Sonja-
    Haha, Fforde’s definitely on the list.

  16. i think i might start doing this too :) i’ve been wanting to start doing the occasional book review on my site for awhile, might as well start!

    have you read anything by augusten burroughs? i’m sure you have by now, but he is my all time favorite author/writer. i just finished every book he’s come out with, and i can’t wait for him to come out with more.
    .-= • Recent post by GingerMandy: I have no idea what any of this is about. =-.

  17. Yeah Kindle for PC is free, I’m considering downloading it and purchasing a book or 2. Then again, I think reading off of paper is easier on your eyes and you can always give a book away or resell it when you’re done with it, so I still prefer books to e-books.

    (hee I just checked and the 2nd book in the series, “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” is available as a downloadable audiobook on the Houston Public Library website. Ok maybe downloading it for free doesn’t help the industry but the author recently died so it’s not like we can help him out :P )

  18. Mandy-
    Er, well… I’ve only read half of Running With Scissors, and I had to stop. He’s a good writer, but I’m not interested in the things he was writing about in that book. I’ve heard Dry might be more to my liking, though.

    Aisha-
    Oh right, Kindle for PC! Yeah, I have it for my iTouch. I agree that reading real books is much easier on the eyes — have a computer-reading eye-ache right now, in fact — so until technology/prices improve, I’ll probably always read hard copies too.

    Lol that’s true. Although there is his estate… Half-kidding. I want to support authors, but I get that there’s balance. We can’t support every single one out there.

  19. If I lived in the US I’d join your book-buying campaign … but over here in Oz new books cost double, it’s really a lot of money unless you’re sure you’re going to like it! I haunt my library (which gets new books about as quick as a bookshop anyway) and am ashamed to say I’ve only bought one new book in the past 3 or 4 months, from one of my favourite authors. Although I do usually buy books to give as gifts to people and figure that’s my way of helping out the local industry! Of course when I’m a rich, best-selling writer (LOL, esp the rich part) I’ll abandon the library and just buy every book I want :-)
    .-= • Recent post by Amanda Kendle: Books on the beach, what a great combination =-.

  20. Ouch, that’s pricey! But yeah, giving books as gifts is a great way to support the industry AND give something thoughtful to a friend. I have a feeling a lot of the books I buy will be gifts.

  21. Hunger Games is so amazing! And you will tear through Catching Fire too!

  22. PS: I pre-ordered Paranormalcy too!
    .-= • Recent post by Daisy Whitney: Young adult authors who rock online video =-.

  23. The Hunger Games was on my list to read…I think I’ll bump it up a few places now! Paranormalcy, too.
    I like your idea of buying new, but must admit that I use Amazon a lot to buy used books. I like that someone has read the book before me (I’m weird like that.) Then, I don’t feel bad about creasing the spine and scribbling all over the pages! I do give a lot of books away and think it is important to support the story/writer as much as the publishing industry. I know buying new supports them, but I’m an idealist and I think loving a story and preaching about it, is enough support from me. for now. :)
    .-= • Recent post by Sarah: Snowed-In =-.

  24. LOL sounds like most of my days where I swear I’ll be productive, YAY! LIKE TODAY!

    Hrmm, maybe I’ll check your book out. I love when I mean to do other things but can only focus on when I can keep reading a book!
    .-= • Recent post by Brittney: Valentines Day Part Three: Down the Aisle. =-.

  25. Daisy-
    You’re a prophet. I’m done with Chasing Fire and desperately wishing it was August and I had my copy of Mockingjay already!!

    Sarah-
    Nah, I think there’s something fun about used books too. I agree loving a story is support method #1. Who knows who else you might encourage to buy the book, right?

    Brittney-
    Isn’t that just the best feeling?!

  26. These are great recommendations and I’m going to get the Hunger Games as a result. Also I really like your buy one new book a month idea.

  27. Jon

    I am also a fan of the “Buy One Book a Month” campaign. Some authors that get me excited: Faulkner, Morrison, Oates…I have Double Indemnity by James Cain which I can’t wait to get into.
    .-= • Recent post by Jon: The Short Film: What Works? =-.

  28. weeeeird, a friend just sent me an e-mail recommending the hunger games! i’m waiting for a credit on paperbackswap.com. LOL can’t wait to read it now!

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