What makes me one-click a book?

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 15.55.22A few days ago, someone asked me what makes me decide if I’ll one-click a book. I say one-click since I buy a lot of books online, but this could just as easily be spontaneously buying a book at a bricks-and-mortar bookstore. I probably spend way too much money on books. I won’t even say how much my monthly book budget is because, as a rule, I generally go over the budgeted amount. Whether it’s an ebook or a trade paperback, it’s always pretty much the same things that convince me this is a must-have book.

the cover

What do all of the above books have in common? Great covers. Yes, I am one of those people who judge books by their covers. If the cover looks tacky or amateurish, then I will move on. A beautifully designed cover is the fastest way to grab my attention. If it stops me from moving on to another title, then I’ll turn to a random page and see if the first paragraph I read speaks to me.

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 16.49.38a good book description

Something snappy, something sexy, something romantic–all that matters is that it’s compelling. If the blurb sounds too passive or too preposterous or too vague, then I won’t one-click. I recently saw a new release that had a great cover but a god-awful description. I couldn’t figure out what the story was even about. It was really one of those “huh?!?” moments. I read the description three times and still couldn’t make understand what was the deal with the story.

advance reviews

Now, I don’t always rely on these, but I do tend to check if others have read and reviewed an ARC of a novel I think I’m interested in. I usually find a few on Goodreads or Riffle. If I like what I see, then my finger hits one-click in an instant. Mind you, I don’t always trust advance reviews–too many that gush over a novel might give me pause (unless I already know the writer’s work and know the gushing is warranted). If the reviews are vague, then I may wait a while until  a few more reviews pop up.

So any of those three things could make me one-click…and I do love filling up my Kindle or my tote bag with new books.

…and an off-topic shout out

Splendor ToteSpeaking of tote bags, I need to give a shout out to Obvious State. Just before I headed to the US, I ordered their “Splendor” tote, which features a gorgeous quote from John Keats. I had it shipped to my mother’s address in Philadelphia and was so happy to find it there waiting for me.

OMG. I.LOVE.THIS.BAG.

It’s gorgeous and it’s the perfect size for my MacBook Air, my Kindle, my wallet and my phone. There’s even enough room for a few more goodies. It has replaced my NaNoWriMo tote bag as my go-to bag. This tote bag with its lush print of flowers and sublime John Keats snippet–“LONE SPLENDOR HUNG ALOFT THE NIGHT”–has won my heart. I may have to order another one. 🙂

More Gifts for Book Lovers — Part Two

It’s two weeks until Christmas–have you figured out what you want to give the book lovers on your list? Last week I suggested a few titles that might tickle their fancy. Maybe one of them jumped out and grabbed you? If not, then why not think about non-book gift ideas that book lovers might enjoy… 🙂

Bags

I love handbags and tote bags. I think most book lovers appreciate a bag with plenty of space for a trade paperback, a notebook and some pens. (And your loyalty card for your favorite café). I especially appreciate bags that have enough space for my Macbook Air. I found a few that I have fallen in love with and I think your female book lover friends will too.

Melville House Books’ “I Would Prefer Not To…” tote bag not only looks fantastic but it also pays homage to a fantastic story, “Bartleby the Scrivener” by the illustrious Mr. Melville, of course. According to Melville House, you could fit a French bull dog in the bag…so it should surely be sturdy enough for a lightweight MacBook Air… 🙂 You can never go wrong with a black bag, and a black bag inspired by a literary classic…well, that just can’t possibly be wrong, can it? 🙂

Another bag I love is the Pride and Prejudice tote bag from Out of Print Clothing. It’s adorable! Out of Print Clothing also has tote bags featuring other classics such as Moby Dick, the Great Gatsby, Animal Farm and a Clockwork Orange. I am already eyeing the Pride and Prejudice and Clockwork Orange tote bags. I really shouldn’t buy two more…but I love switching around bags and variety is the spice of life.

And when you purchase a tote bag from Out of Print Clothing, they’ll send a book to a community in need. So why not  buy more than one?

Out of Print Clothing also has coasters, t-shirts and other fun accessories for book lovers. Let’s face it: just because we love reading doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate cool things. So head over there now and behold this mecca of coolness.

Now this next bag is not very practical but it’s stylish and it’s inspired by a literary classic so I couldn’t resist posting it. I am a big fan of Kate Spade bags and her series of clutches inspired by the classics is adorable. The only cons? Well, the size is an issue and the price–$325. But if you want a statement bag for an evening out and you’re reading a book on your Smart phone or your  iPhone (yes, there are people who do this…I am not one of them) then maybe the Romeo & Juliet clutch is for you (or your favorite book lover). Not a Shakespeare fan? Have no fear: there are also clutches paying homage to Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde.

 

A Book Light

MiniFlex LED eReader Book Light

Ultra Thin LED Book Light

I love reading. I read everywhere: in bed, on planes, on buses, in the bathtub, when standing in line, you name it. And sometimes there just isn’t enough light. So maybe your book loving friend or relative would appreciate a nice book light they could clip on to their favorite book or e-book reader. Mighty Bright Light has a great selection and nearly all of them are under $20–not bad when you consider the economic crisis we’re in. I’ve posted pictures of two of my faces, the MiniFlex LED eReader Light and the Ultra Thin LED Book Light.

There’s also an ebook reader cover with light available at Mighty Bright Light for only $29.99–not a bad price. The cover is made of genuine leather with a suede interior.

However, it’s sized for the 6″ 2nd generation Kindle so I don’t know if it will fit other ebook readers. If you’re interested in it, then you should definitely contact customer service at Mighty Bright Light and I am sure they’ll be able to help you out.

 

A Great Program for Novelwriting

Screenshot from Scrivener

Many moons ago, I wrote everything on my PC and complained bitterly about MS Word and how much I hated it. Then one day I heard about Scrivener and since then I haven’t turned back to Word for anything fiction-related. Scrivener is a word processing software that helps you outline, write and compile your masterpiece. I wrote this year’s Nanowrimo Novel with Scrivener. I love how I can use the cork board view to rearrange chapters and scenes. I also love the character and setting template sheets that I can use to help me visualize my main characters and where the story takes place. Other features that are really helpful are the Project Targets chart and the text editing functions that make revising so much easier. Scrivener is available for Mac, there’s also a Windows version for PC. The price? Hold your hats–only $45 to download the Mac version and $40 for the Windows version.

That’s it for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with a few more gift ideas…