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... to think we should shun the 3 for 2 offers...

(85 Posts)
woollyideas Sun 21-Aug-11 12:18:51

I've read a few threads on MN where people are expressing their disappointment in books they've read and I can't help noticing that many of the novels are the very ones which are shoved under our noses at every turn - the ones on the three-for-two table in major bookshops, the ones on the supermarket shelves etc.

Recently I've been trying to read 'off-piste', looking at things from small publishing houses, or by authors who aren't household names. The three best books I've read this year are all by authors who you may never had heard of.

Out of the many titles they bring out each year publishers will only promote a small percentage and I'm beginning to think they're mostly shite not necessarily the most worthy, but are promoted because they're deemed to be 'marketable' (eg. household name authors, books written by wives of famous people, etc.) AIBU in thinking that just because a book is prominently displayed and widely reviewed it is not necessarily worthy of our attention? In fact, could I go so far as to suggest a boycott of the 3 for 2s?

Would anyone like to join me in recommending their favourite books of the year - something that wouldn't be on the 3 for 2 tables, or sold in Tesco?

Mine are:
Ingenious Pain by Andrew Miller
Glasshopper by Isabel Ashdown
I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

Corvax Sun 21-Aug-11 12:22:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChippyMinton Sun 21-Aug-11 12:25:53

Use the library instead? It's easy to find new stuff, and no cost involved.

Isn't Mark Lawrence Riven's husband? I had't realised it was published.

<heads to amazon>

FlamingoBingo Sun 21-Aug-11 12:27:46

And then the poor authors get no money, ChippyMinton.

3 for 2 offers are paid for by the publishing houses. Often there are gems in there, but I agree that the fact they're on 3 for 2 doesn't necessarily mean they come recommended.

Corvax Sun 21-Aug-11 12:29:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bear with me on this first title.

Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry by Leanne Shapton.

It's set in the style of an auction catalogue, so the story of their relationship is told entirely in pictures and brief descriptions of the lots being auctioned. It might sound a bit odd but it is really good and surprisingly unputdownable.

AntiChrista by Amelie Nothomb.

Story of a young girl who is overshadowed by her friend. It sounds a bit teenagerish but it is still very good.

The Book of Wishes and Complaints by Zina Rohan

Set in Czechoslovakia, it tells the story of Hana, who struggles to make a life for herself and her son and eventually flees to England to find his father. Her new book, called The Small Book, is also very good.

ChippyMinton Sun 21-Aug-11 12:35:44

Authors do get paid, through the Public Lending Right.

fivegomadindorset Sun 21-Aug-11 12:36:32

Sorry with Chippy on this one, use your library.

ChippyMinton Sun 21-Aug-11 12:36:46

Although I do agree that everyone should have access to a lending library sad

FlamingoBingo Sun 21-Aug-11 12:53:42

How does that work, Chippy?

nenevomito Sun 21-Aug-11 12:57:53

All libraries operate a LMS that records the borrowing of each book and authors receive payment based on borrowing.

ChippyMinton Sun 21-Aug-11 13:01:47

The government provides a pot of cash which is divied up and passed on to authors based on the annual number of loans of their books (although I think there is a cap on the amount an author can receive).

When the government tried to abolish it a year or so ago, the average payment was 6p per loan.

More info here

SmethwickBelle Sun 21-Aug-11 13:05:09

Yes authors get paid for library book lending, it is one of their safe sources of income (and no doubt a contributing reason why many authors join the campaign for libraries to stay open).

I have started using the library more for myself, rather than the kids, it frees you up to experiment when you know you're not paying for it! I agree those 3 for 2 books are often pretty insubstantial.

DilysPrice Sun 21-Aug-11 13:07:37

I hate 3 for 2 - if I want a book I want to buy that book, and not feel that I'm being a mug for paying full price rather than paying 2/3 price for 3 books, one of which I want, one of which I sort of want, and one of which I'm prepared to put up with. And when I look for books for the DC the third book I'd like to get is never included in the 3 for 2.

And this is why I buy most of my books on Amazon (or get them from the library or charity shop).

Corvax Sun 21-Aug-11 13:08:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChippyMinton Sun 21-Aug-11 13:10:28

I took my 3 DC to WHSmiths the other day to get a book each, hoping to use a 3 for 2, but the offers were so confusing, we ordered online instead.

FlamingoBingo Sun 21-Aug-11 13:18:00

Ooh, that's interesting about the libraries -thanks for explaining that.

Best way to buy books is independent bookshops. If you've got one near you, then do use it.

TinyPawz Sun 21-Aug-11 13:31:53

Take I bought that Lenore book when it first came out. HATED every single second. It was promptly resold on amazon. It has to be the worst book I have ever read.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Sun 21-Aug-11 13:36:27

I mostly buy ebooks now. Or from charity shops. I rarely venture into waterstone's, but if I do I buy what I want. If an offer coincides with my list of stuff to read, I'll use it. Sometimes it works out well, other times not. I've found a few gems on the offers, and when I was a student the three for two enabled me to complete my Pratchett collection cheaply (pre-Amazon).

gapants Sun 21-Aug-11 13:37:40

Injustice- why social inequality persists- By Danny Dorling
The Road- By Rose Treman
The bastard of Istanbul---cant remember who by!

woollyideas Sun 21-Aug-11 14:25:16

Gapants - the Bastard of Istanbul was by Elif Safak. I read it with high hopes because I love reading about Turkey, but only found it okayish. If you like Rose Tremain, try 'Sacred Country', which is one of her earliest books and an all time favourite of mine.

I like the sound of the Danny Dorling...

Valetude Sun 21-Aug-11 14:39:17

I read Ingenious Pain when it came out - as part of a 3 for 2 grin (Sorry)
(I thought it was ok.)

gapants Sun 21-Aug-11 14:59:42

I will woolyideas thank you. I have recently bought a notebook to jot down books I want to read and music I want to download as and when I hear it. My short term memory is shot.

Danny Dorling is a sociologist from Yorkshire (I think) and the book is really really interesting, it will make you want to have a good go at someone, it really made me mad!

MorallyBankrupt Sun 21-Aug-11 16:05:23

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

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