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Shelf life of books

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Old 07-08-2008, 05:24 PM   #1
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Default Shelf life of books

I was looking through the July Whatcha Readin' thread, and it looks like what everyone is reading is the current best-sellers. Whenever I post, it always seems to be a book that's quite a few years old, 15, 20, 30. For example, right now I'm reading The Dreyfus Affair (Peter Lefcourt), which was published in 1992; and earlier I've posted that I was reading Capital Crimes (Lawrence Saunders; published in the mid 1980's) and Ballerina (Edward Stewart; late 1970s). Thus my question: Apart from obvious classics like Jane Austen, do you ever look beyond the current best-seller list for something to read? Do you ever find something that's been out of print for a while, i.e., browse library sales or garage sales and find something to read there?

Another way of phrasing this might be: Was there a book you kind of wanted to read when it first came out but you never got around to doing so (that was the case for me with Dreyfus Affair), or you read it once and put it on the backburner of your mind (Capital Crimes, Ballerina), and if you found it again would you renew the acquaintance or take a pass?

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Old 07-08-2008, 05:35 PM   #2
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I read whatever happens to come my way.

So, if I read a glowing review of a book I may be interested in, I might go out and get it. (It took me about a year to finally break down and read "The Da Vinci Code.")

Or, I may see the movie version of a book, and want to get that (I bought "In Cold Blood" recently because I was intrigued enough to get it from watching "Capote." I've also read "Memoirs of a Geisha" and other books because I liked the movie versions)

A lot of times I read books that friends recommend to me. Usually these are older books.

Sometimes I just pick something up in the store that looks interesting and will buy it.

So, I would say I rarely stick to getting stuff on current best seller lists.
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Old 07-08-2008, 05:39 PM   #3
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I have a ton of books like that. Some days I feel like I am so far behind in what I want to read its discouraging... MOST days I just keep plugging away at the "I wanna read list". And resist the temptation to graze thro the closest Chapters. I will probably die with a list as tall as me as well as a pile of equal height that were purchased and collecting dust until I get to them if I get to them!
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:43 PM   #4
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2 reasons I'd go back and read an old book -

- it was a favorite of mine (I don't mind rereading books if it's been years since I read it last)

- I read a book by an author I've never read before and I enjoyed it so much that I'll go read other works by them

And then sometimes I was in the middle of reading and got distracted, put the book down and forgot to pick it up again. If it held my interest the first time around, I'd pick it up again. If it wasn't that interesting, I'd put it on the give away pile and go get another.
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:11 PM   #5
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I'm a huge fan of the library - I read both old and new books with equal enthusiasm. I love recommendations, if I get a recommendation for a great book and I haven't read it, I'll gladly get it out of the library!

I also love to reread old books
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:13 PM   #6
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I read the Chronicals of Narnia every other year I love Tom Sawyer, Murder She Wrote, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, and some other good oldies

My daughter is into Nancy Drew (the older versions), Hardy Boys, Sherlock holmes (children's editions) and Encyclopedia Brown She's a real mystery lover!



There is one book that I'm trying to find. We read it in grade 8 - can't remember the name of the book or author for the life of me. It's about a girl who lives on a planet with her grandfather. She has either blue or green skin (as protective from the sun)- and some kind of beast as a pet. The girl and her father originally came from earth (can't remember why they relocated).

The story tells about a man that visits the planet and meets the family. Can't remember the plot but I remember how much I LOVED the book. Sound familiar at all to anyone??
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:20 PM   #7
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I'm a frequent library patron.

I put books on hold for lots of reasons, but some of the reasons I read books that aren't current

I find a new author, especially one with an ongoing character, and want to read the series in order from the beginning.

I see a movie based on a book and want to read a book.

I get way behind on book reviews that I get. By the time I know I want to read the book, it could be a couple years old.

Friends pass on books that don't seem to be good matches. By the time I get to them, they've aged. Sometimes they're still not a good match.

Someone raves about one of their favorite books ever, and it's not current.

I'm desperate and actually browsing the physical shelves in the library (vs. putting something on hold).

I go back and re-read favorite authors, occasionally finding books I missed the first time around.
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:18 AM   #8
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I never look at the best sellers list, so if I happen to read something that's on it, its usually just coincidence, or Janet Evanovich. I tend to read her Stephanie Plum books shortly after their released, though I haven't gotten hold of the newest one yet.

I'm a true book addict and I pick up things that interest me from used and new bookstores that may sit on my shelves for years before I read them. I also frequent the library for all manner of books. The only time the age of a book bothered me was when I read the Borne Identity because it was a spy novel that talked about the fancy spy gadgets, such as CB radios and bank transfers done by telephone. The book was written in the 70s(?) and was very dated, which distracted from the story a little bit.
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamaralynn View Post
There is one book that I'm trying to find. We read it in grade 8 - can't remember the name of the book or author for the life of me. It's about a girl who lives on a planet with her grandfather. She has either blue or green skin (as protective from the sun)- and some kind of beast as a pet. The girl and her father originally came from earth (can't remember why they relocated).

The story tells about a man that visits the planet and meets the family. Can't remember the plot but I remember how much I LOVED the book. Sound familiar at all to anyone??
I kind of remember reading a similar story in an anthology (not the exact plot but a story about earthlings moving to another planet and kind of adapting/morphing into the local lifeform), I think it was one of Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles? Does that sound familiar? I never was a sci-fi buff (at least the robots-rocketships-and-little-green-men sort of sci-fi) so I can't say why this story sticks in my mind

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Old 07-09-2008, 12:28 PM   #10
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I read whatever. I have stacks of old stephen kings I picked up at garage sales. I finally bought Narnia... can you believe I have never read that? That is my next book to read. Costco sells new best seller paperbacks cheap, so sometimes I pick them up or get them from my mom.
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamaralynn View Post
I read the Chronicals of Narnia every other year I love Tom Sawyer, Murder She Wrote, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, and some other good oldies
Phantom of the Opera is great, isn't it? I read it for the first time when I was maybe 12 (in translation) and then after I saw the performance in a theatre, I was obsessed, years ago, with the desire to read it again. I happened to find it online somewhere, all the chapters, and unable to control myself, I read it at work!
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:25 PM   #12
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I almost never read anything that I feel I'm told to read - you know an Oprah book or a best seller. I went this year to our library book sale and got about 30 books! A lot of them are pretty old, and ack- some of them are Oprah books from a few years ago. They should last me through the summer.
The only time I really will buy a new book is if I'm waiting for the next in a series or I've been anticipating something new for a particular author.
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Old 07-09-2008, 02:41 PM   #13
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I rarely read anything when its new, except of course for the HP books which are now over(sigh) but i read what catches my interest weather its just out or 100 yrs old!
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Old 07-09-2008, 02:54 PM   #14
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I'm a regular reader and a compulsive buyer of books. I don't feel comfortable unless I have a stack ready to read. I don't much anymore read best sellers. My choices are more author driven. If there is a new book out I really want to read I wait until it comes out in paperback. There is a good bookstore near where i work. When my "to read" pile gets low I go there and find a lot of good books in their remainders. Needless to say, my small apt. is overrun with books and I have to sort them and give them away. Books are my biggest extravagance. When I retire, I will stop buying them and rely on the library.
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:23 PM   #15
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I read whatever sounds good to me and I browse the used book stores frequently. Seems though lately that I am reading what's new. But I have older books waiting to be read and I will get to them one day.
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