If I think back to my early childhood, my book pickings were based on whatever I found in the school or local library. Once I started working my first part-time job, I began to buy books. But I am a child of the 80s, so in my teens, the internet was still developing and my purchases of books were limited to brick and mortar stores. At that time, I think I mostly read books that I found in second-hand stores. Prior to Kindle, there was no way I could afford as many books as I read if I bought them brand new. At least at that time.
In the towns I lived in, there were plenty of second-hand stores to pick from, so I often spent a lot of time browsing the shelves in there. After that, while working as a barista, my coworkers were big readers and I often talked about books with them. One of them was into YA and the other was big into fantasy. So I either borrowed from them or bought on their recommendations.
I got my Kindle when I moved to Korea. I didn’t take any books with me and after two years here I went back home and donated all my old books back to charity shops. Perhaps this was a silly move, since some lucky sod might well have got their hands on first edition Harry Potter books...
For a while, I mostly downloaded whatever I found interesting on Amazon. Until one day I discovered the foreign sections in Korean bookstores and started to pick up the occasional paperback. Those stores also have a second-hand section, so I browsed those and picked up a pile of books to take home. It soon became evident that my hands and eyes favoured paperbacks, and my poor Kindle started gathering dust on the shelf.
It’s only recently that I really got into Goodreads and Bookstagram. Sure, I’ve had accounts for years, but I really didn’t want to spend too much of my time using social networking sites. I work nine-hour days teaching and try to use free time to work on writing. However, I realised how important those sites are. Not only for finding out what readers are into these days, but also to find books that I want to read. Since joining I have been more focused on reading recently published books or books that I see over and over again on my feeds. Recommendations or reviews have become more important to me then they used to be, which I am not sure is a good or bad thing because they create expectations or lack thereof, and I definitely think that reviews influence my opinions.
Now, I mostly order books via Book Depository because it is the cheapest way to get paperbacks. I've just ordered a Kindle Paperwhite (mine is like 8 years old or something) and I will play with that soon :D
How about you guys?
Where do you buy your books?
Do you read reviews, buy on recommendations or on your own desire?
Paper or ebook?
Feel free to pop answers in the comments section!!