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Questionable Reasons to Buy Books

A guest post by Nurfatehah Shamsul

I like to think that I’m a fickle reader and an even more fickle buyer, but I know that’s a lie. I say to myself (and to others) that I won’t pick up a book and purchase it just because everyone and their grandmother has read it. But in reality, I read Fifty Shades of Grey because it bothered me that I wasn’t in the loop. I have even paid for books before I read the synopses because I liked a character’s name. Here is a list of other questionable justifications for book purchases I have made so far:

1. It has a good title: The temptation to own a beautifully-named book is strong and fuels the curiosity for you to know more of what lays inside. Books I had bought purely for the name include The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards, Song Yet Sung by James McBride, and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why. Thankfully, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and Thirteen Reasons Why turned out to be really good books. I have yet to read Song Yet Sung. I’ll get there. One day…

2. A blogger I follow said it was the best book they have ever read: When I was in Form 5, I saw my homeroom teacher wrote ‘easily influenced’ in my student file by “accident”. She smiled knowingly when I protested and insisted that wasn’t the case. After three years, I now concede defeat. Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn: The Final Empire was bought because a post on my Tumblr dashboard sang praises to the series. I don’t remember who the blogger was, nor did I read the book’s synopsis, but a click on the ‘Purchase’ button meant that it was coming to my door steps soon. Another book was Please Take Care of Mother by Shin Kyung Suk. The latter made me cringe because of the awkward translation and the approach the writer had taken at trying too hard to make the audience cry. Luckily, the Mistborn series ended up as one my favourite books and has become my quality benchmark against other books of the high fantasy genre. Just goes to show: you can’t trust everyone on the internet, but others have pretty good judgements too.

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