Book discoveries of the serendipitous kind

Book discoveries of the serendipitous kind

Finding your next book to read isn’t a walk in the park…except when it literally is! 😉

I’ve written quite a bit about book “discovery”. We have so many options as a result of e-publishing having decentralized distribution. The hard part is choosing which book goes on your TBR (To Be Read) list.

There are many ways people find e-books, from blogs to Twitter to browsing Amazon to more.

This weekend, I had one of those basically random moments.

We were walking in the dog park, which we do a lot. I got into a conversation with somebody…that happens a lot, too. Reading came up (again, not uncommon), and it turned out that my conversation partner was an author!

I violated an unspoken bit of etiquette: I asked the human’s name. 🙂

Asking humans’ names at the dog park is sort of like being in jail and asking somebody, “What are you in for?” You can ask what the dog’s name is, and people can volunteer their names, but asking just isn’t done.

However, I was concerned there might be more than one book in the Kindle store titled

Driftwood (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

There was, but this was the one by Dutton (I said, “Like the publisher?”).

That enabled me to find it…while we were still there, I added it to a Wish List. Why didn’t I just buy it? I use Smile.Amazon to benefit non-profits, and I wanted to order it that way…so I did that when we got home.

I think that’s one of the best ways to find a book…to actually run into the author at random! I’m not very far into it yet, but I’m enjoying it so far.

That chance meeting over a book has changed because of e-books…people can’t see the cover of the book you are reading. That can be a good thing, of course, but I remember discussions early on with the Kindle that some people would like it if the cover of the book they were currently reading optionally showed up on the back of the Kindle (or the case).

I had a great example of the impact it can have when someone can see what you are reading. It was many years ago, and I was reading a specialty-interest magazine in a local park (not a dog park, that time). A stranger came up, a tad trepidatiously, and started talking to me about that topic. Well, one thing led to another, and I ended up as the Education Director of a 501(c)3 organization.

One option nowadays is to have a case or skin that reveals a general area of interest…not the same as a specific book, though, and I read a pretty eclectic set of books…so I’d have a tough time selecting some kind of communicative cover.

I’m curious: have you ever run into an author at a non-book related event and then bought the book? I’d be interested in hearing about it, and I’m sure my readers would be as well. Feel free to let me and readers know what you think by commenting on this post.


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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog

3 Responses to “Book discoveries of the serendipitous kind”

  1. EJC Says:

    Oh, definitely. Not counting times with family and friends because that is waaaay to common …

    I am a medical researcher and the university where I work has lecture series in every field. As a scientist, I cannot help but seek out more information.

    I have been at research seminars where a book was mentioned tangentially and looked up the book. Two that I can think of off the top of my head are “Calling the Shots” and “On Immunity” (Bliss). The books are on vaccine hesitancy but the lectures were laboratory results.

    One that had me looking up lots of books was a retrospective on Maurice Hillerman. He is considered the father of modern vaccines. After the lecture I not only looked up his books but also some of the competitors as well.

    Lots of science reporters have written both non-fiction and fiction. Laurie Garrett, Maryn McKenna, and of course Richard Preston come to mind. Some lecturers will say “real life is nothing/exactly like so and so wrote in their book xxx.” That will have me looking up the title real quick.

    I have read/listened to many incredibly long and sometimes boring books because of little comments that a news reporter says because I need to know more. (If you haven’t read it, check out the Panic Virus. It isn’t a medical book. It is about the press.) I read the Spirit Level about income inequality because of a two minute NPR story more than 10 years ago. I am still telling people they should read it.Keeping up with the information from that group of authors is how I could answer my Dad when he asked what the median income in the US is. (Economics is not my thing, but numbers stick with me.)

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, EJC!

      Those are great stories! I’m an eclectic reader, but I do love non-fiction.

      Thanks to you, I added Panic Virus to a wish list of mine! My family often gets me e-books from there, so maybe I’ll read it at some point. 🙂

  2. #WDYTWed: What do you think about Prime Day 2019? | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] is the second one, and since I recently wrote about book discovery, so I thought I’d base today’s poll on […]

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