I am a book addict. I read a frightening amount of books, at a fast clip. I have been known to begin a book in the afternoon, and with the exception of dinner and a few other things, read through until three in the morning. While I read a variety of genres, most of my fiction reading is current fiction and police procedurals. I also watch a fair amount of television series and movies, usually trying to grab them soon after they become available.
For years, I managed to get those books and films almost as soon as they came out-because I ordered them online through Amazon. Rather than being a spendthrift, it was a requirement. For seven years I lived in a non-English speaking country-with a minute English speaking library and am equally tiny bookstore. While there were in fact English speaking theaters, English books were a different story-and for four of those seven years, we had no English television (then we had British Satellite). Amazon became part of our budget, with a large box arriving at least twice a month. Some of those books we kept, some we sold back to Amazon, and some we donated to said library-so that others would not suffer so much. Our Amazon budget was a need in the truest sense in that time and place.
Of course, once I returned to the States, and the land of libraries and bookstores (both big box and used) it became another story. Once I had access to really good libraries, I just could not justify my Amazon fix any more, much as I would have liked to. I had a good library system, where they got all the new books and movies. There was only one thing-when I went to reserve a movie or book, there would often be a couple or a few hundred reserves already. Patience when it comes to purchasing books is not my strong suit, and on occasion I would walk by a bookstore, and my plans to wait went by the wayside. I would get frustrated, shop anyway, and finish the darned book three days later!
One day I was on Amazon for another reason (these days you can get anything in the world on Amazon and often at a lower price) when I had what my mother would have called "a moment". Every time I went onto Amazon, they wanted to give me recommendations based on previous purchases. Then, I really hit the nail on the head when I realized that they have a section called "popular pre-orders" organized by book type. With a few clicks, I could see which mysteries were going to be released in November, and reserve them in July. I could also look far ahead and see when the next Game of Thrones season would be available. Almost every library system allows one to reserve a book as soon as it has been ordered. Once I started this system I was generally in the top twenty when it came to reserving. The end result is that I have gotten most books and current shows within a month or so of their release date and often sooner.
This has of course made me much happier (and much less spendier). I still occasionally actually pay for books on my kindle, and I occasionally buy books related to spirituality, current events , business, food and my hobbies. Usually but not always they are checked out of the library first, and they are often purchased through used sources-I've been known to adjust a pattern or recipe and note that in the book itself, so I appreciate that others may have done the same.
Fortunately, along with my waiting list, I've found a couple new authors. Since I am starting at the beginning of this series the books are all available-for now. In addition to those books, I'm waiting patiently for Bad Monkey, Stranded, Night Moves and a few others. I'm also waiting for the book Southern Living: Little Jars, Big Flavors (which I'll probably buy afterwards), and a new drawing book.
By the way, has anyone else noticed that there seem to be three or four times a year when most new fiction is released? It seems that ninety percent of the "new" mysteries will appear in the month of September alone. Or is it just me?