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Topic: I Rarely Read New Releases

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Subject: I Rarely Read New Releases
Date Posted: 12/12/2008 5:01 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
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I have often wondered if I'm the only voracious reader I know who doesn't read current releases or best sellers as a rule. It's not that I'm not interested in what's new, but there is so much good literature to be read that has already been published that I scarcely pay attention to what's coming out. Typically, a book has been out at least a year before I get to it.

What about you?

Date Posted: 12/12/2008 8:44 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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Sometimes, if they looks really interesting.  But usually not until at least a year after they've been released.  This year I finally read The Kite Runner, and loved it.  Last year I loved the Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and The Terror by Dan Simmons.  And I have a couple others on my TBR pile (A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Hot Flat & Crowded etc) but again, it could be months before I get to them.  I can't make myself pick up a bestseller if its not something I'm interested in, which is why I haven't read most of the popular memoirs, I'm not into memoirs.

ETA: One that I'm reading now (Caligula for President) is a new release that I found by accident while shopping for my favorite humor writer, P.G. Wodehouse, whose books were new releases back in the 1930s.

Last Edited on: 12/12/08 8:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/12/2008 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
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I try to pick up current releases of non fiction books I am interested in, particularly if the book is about a current issue.

Date Posted: 12/12/2008 9:09 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
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I read alot of non-fiction, so yes, I buy many books almost as soon as they are released. If I were to wait a year or two the information could be outdated.

Date Posted: 12/12/2008 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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The only new releases I generally read are YA. It's important for me to be informed on what's current in the YA genre. I don't only read new releases though.

As far as mainstream fiction or other genres go, I read very little new releases or bestsellers.  I'd be hard pressed to name 10 books that were released this year.

Date Posted: 12/12/2008 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
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Oh yes, L.B., I'm woefully behind the times, especially with fiction (as I don't really read a ton of it).  I read the 10 year-old Poisonwood Bible just recently, for example.  At the rate I'm going I'll read Water for Elephants in about five years!

I tend to read NF a bit faster, especially if it's about politics or something more timely.

Date Posted: 12/12/2008 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2008
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I'm the same way! I have so much to read already that I don't pay any attention to what is coming out now. The only times i know that something neew is coming out is if Barnes and Noble or Amazon sends me an email letting me know, which I normally just ignore anyway. I have a couple books on my WL that come out next year that I put there in hopes of actually getting the books before 2010.

Date Posted: 12/12/2008 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2008
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the only new release books i notice are ones by my already favorite authors...especially the next up in a series i am reading.  other than that, i only notice them if people on here are talking about them!

Date Posted: 12/12/2008 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
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I relize that I am a bit of a snob. If I don't discover an author before they hit the best sellers list, I will typically not read them unless I am given a copy, they are recomended, or I get stuck somewhere for something to read and that's what there is. I have discovered some really good authors by accident that way, relizing that i would otherwise not have discovered them, just because i am such a snob!
Date Posted: 12/12/2008 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,535
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I'm way behind on new releases/best sellers.  Alot of times the best sellers don't interest me.  But, I don't have the money to buy new so I usually don't run out and grab anything.  The Guernsey Literary Society was the first "new" book I'd gotten right away in a long time--and that' because it came up on my WL really fast.

I get most of my book recommendations here.  So, I'm usually reading stuff that's old, old, old :)

Date Posted: 12/12/2008 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2008
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I'm always reading incredibly old stuff. I do enjoy reading the NYT's favorites of '08 along with the Amazon list. I add the ones that catch my interest to my TBR pile and usually don't get around to them until at least a few years.

Date Posted: 12/13/2008 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2008
Posts: 115
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When I was younger, I thought that the NYT bestseller list must be THE list of important books.  Now of course, I realize that bestsellers are rarely literary and often are based mainly on the hype of the author or whatever current fad is on top.  Besides just browsing, I like to read over award (Pulitzer, Booker, National Book etc) lists of past years and yes, the NYT list of best books of each year.  It is certainly cheaper if you don't have to have the book the minute it comes out, although, it is fun to talk about it if it is all the buzz.  

While NFbooks become outdated more quickly, it's interesting to observe similar changes in fiction works.  It still seems funny to me when I pick up a book from the 80's and find it is kind of a "period piece".  When I want truly escapist reading, I turn to teh 40's and 50's where the girtls are pretty and "spunky", the guys handsome and polite, and the endings unfailingly happy.

Date Posted: 12/13/2008 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2008
Posts: 115
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whoa...I need to proofread better...sorry about all the fumbly fingered typos in that last post!

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 12/13/2008 4:03 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I don't think I have ever read a new release except for Haven Kimmel's work.  I read nonfiction - mainly memoirs, first-person accounts, bios and historics.  I find most fiction poorly written and contrived.


Last Edited on: 12/13/08 4:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/13/2008 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2008
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As I am big into Mysteries etc...I decided to go back in time and read Eric Ambler's works.  He was the first of the genre that spawned Le Carre etal.  Just finished Coffin for Demetrious (written in 1939), wonderfully crafted and an unusual premise.

Date Posted: 12/13/2008 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,570
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The only new release I have read in at least five years is The Hour I first Beleved because I was able to pre order a large print copy at a bargain price.  It really really really has to be an author I LOVE to read a new release and then at least half the time I wish I had waited for the public and folks like us here at PBS to report on it.

Date Posted: 12/13/2008 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 9/28/2005
Posts: 226
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I also usually wait until the book that interests me becomes available here or at a used book sale.  I have plenty to keep me busy in my TBR pile while I'm waiting!

Date Posted: 12/14/2008 2:27 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
Posts: 573
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For someone who prefers memoirs and biographies, I could suggest quite a few pieces of historical fiction and multicultural fiction that is well written. Nothing contrived about it. And fiction allows a writer to present history in an intimate, indelible way that you cannot always create with non-fiction.  For example the rash of child abductions in Atlanta during the 80s. Toni Cade Bambara's Those Bones Are Not My Child, is a riveting, fictional account of one mother's ordeal trying to find her missing child. The book is chock full of the facts of the cases and references quite a bit of recent American History. This hefty text is the kind of read that stays with you. Bambara is an accomplished writer.

Another example is two reads on the subject of female genital multilation. Years ago I read Do They Hear You When You Cry? by Fauziya Kassindja. It is one woman's account of fleeing her country and seeking asylum here to avoid the brutual cultural practice. The writer needed a co-writer and not being a writer, the read while compelling, was nothing special stylistically.  On the other hand and not quite on the same level, I read No Laughter Here by Rita Williams Garcia. The story is about an eleven-year-old who is taken to her parents' native African country to undergo a rite of passage. The girl, Victoria, had no idea what was going to be done to her. This fictional account was written better and was as compelling as the non-fiction.

What fiction have you read that turned you so off to fiction? I like non-fiction and I will say a lot of memoirs and biographies are hardly the stuff of fine writing but the lives and experiences of the subjects are worth the read.

I think we like what we like but to think that literature and fiction offer no jewels is something I can't imagine.


Last Edited on: 12/14/08 6:28 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 12/14/2008 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
Posts: 4,972
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 I find most fiction poorly written and contrived.


I am very picky about my fiction too but you are missing out if you don't go that extra mile to find the books that ARE well written. Have you considered reading classic ficiton? Some of my all time favourite books are classics.

Date Posted: 12/14/2008 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
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I very seldom read brand new books--they're too epensive to buy in hard cover, and it takes forever to get hold of them either here at PBS or at the library. So I am usually a year or two behind, but I'm okay with that. I have plenty of stuff to be read!

Date Posted: 12/14/2008 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2008
Posts: 87
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I was about to answer that no, I don't read much that's new, but then I realized that I not unfrequently read book reviews, and I often go right from the review to searching my library's catalog and placing a hold.  Overall, however, I wouldn't consider myself to be very well-read when it comes to new books.

Date Posted: 12/14/2008 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2005
Posts: 571
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if for some reason or another, something newly released strikes my fancy, i'll pick it up. i don't seek out new releases because they're new releases, but i don't turn my back on them for that reason either.

Date Posted: 12/15/2008 2:11 AM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2008
Posts: 3,574
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Okay, you people are not funny, and, L.B., you, in particular, are just evil. I just added a dozen books to my WL from this thread - and L.B. mentioned 3 books in her post, which resulted in my WLing a half dozen. (what comes up along with what you are looking for always fascinates me. Sometimes I can see NO connection. Doesn't mean I don't end up WL some of the books, however...)
Ivy M. (Luvbug) - ,
Date Posted: 12/15/2008 8:29 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2005
Posts: 502
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I don't go out and buy new releases mostly because I can't afford the hardback book price.  If I do find one from a favorite author or a series I am following, I just put it on my wishlist and wait for it to come to me...I have a big enough TBR pile to last me until the new release comes to me so there is no lack of books to read.  I will also read a new release if it is given to me by a friend but I don't go out of my way to buy a new release.  I had a friend give me five boxes of books this summer so I have plenty to read...most of these are older book that have no ISBN numbers but I like reading older books as well as newer ones as long as it is a genre that I like to read.

Date Posted: 12/15/2008 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
Posts: 573
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L.B., you, in particular, are just evil. I just added a dozen books to my WL from this thread - and L.B. mentioned 3 books in her post, which resulted in my WLing a half dozen.


Sorry, Latricia