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The Big Kids’ Table: So Obsessed With Adult Books

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Hi friends! How are you doing on this lovely August Friday? Truth be told, I’ve been struggling with how to make Big Kids’ Table exciting and refreshing for you. I have been really conquering the adult reads this year (much like I wanted to last year) and I’m still not sure what makes you tick, what will make you take a break from a young adult and explore the library for something new. So for the rest of the year, Big Kids’ Table is going to continue to experiment with content. As always, I would love your feedback and your thoughts. Feel free to email me too! I’d love to chat. Anytime, anywhere.

Now to the good stuff. I was really inspired by a random tweet from Hannah at So Obsessed With a few weeks ago when she said she went into a bookstore and bought two adult books on a whim so I sent her an email and I’m like: how do you decide what adult books to buy? So in response the awesome Hannah wrote this:

Before blogging, I almost exclusively read adult fiction and non-fiction. I had no idea that adult books were more expensive until I started blogging. Suddenly, I was picking up YA books right and left… and marveling at the lower price tag. Despite the price, I still can’t stop buying adult books. Here’s how I decide what books to buy and how I discovered a few of my recent purchases:

1. Find What I Want.

Most of the blogs I read primarily review YA books, but I’ve discovered a number of bloggers who highlight awesome adult books that often get added to my TBR. I also keep an eye out for features like this one to help me find adult books that bloggers I already trust recommend!

To find new releases, I stalk Literary Inklings’ Notable New Releases posts every Tuesday. I also make sure to check out the “Movers & Shakers” list on Goodreads each month to see if anything catches my eye.

Finally, I keep an eye out for book recommendations in magazines (like Entertainment Weekly), on the Goodreads Recommendations tab, at the book section in Target and by getting sucked into the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” black hole on Amazon.

And, you know, there’s always old-fashioned bookstore browsing!

2. Read A Sample.

Because adult books are more expensive, I’m less likely to just buy one on impulse. I usually try to read a sample – whether on my e-reader, at the bookstore or by trying to get it from the library.

I almost always check the Goodreads rating, too. If a book has a rating lower than 3.5, I typically try to get it from the library. The only exception is if it’s an author I’ve previously read and loved. I don’t always agree with the Goodreads masses, but I do find that it gives me a pretty good indication of whether or not I ought to buy the book. I’ll also check to see if any of my friends or fellow bloggers have already read and reviewed it! 

3. Take The Plunge!

From there, it’s time to take those books to the counter and checkout! The main reason I don’t have a hard time paying for an adult book is that they typically take me longer to read. I can read most YA books in a day, including longer ones if I have the whole afternoon free. Since adult books often have more pages and a smaller font, it’s not hard for me to justify paying more for it. I’ll likely spend more time in its pages, so I’m prepared to spend a little more money on it.

Here are three adult books I bought recently – how I discovered them and why I wanted to bring them home:

The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig: I haven’t read anything by Willig before, but this cover caught my eye on Amazon one day. I put it on my wishlist so I wouldn’t forget it, and I’ve been keeping an eye out for it in stores ever since. From a pretty cover to being my favorite genre, this one definitely seemed like a “me” book. I finally found it, sat down to read a few pages and didn’t want to stop!

The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway: I was approved to read this one on NetGalley, but I wasn’t able to get to it in time. A blogger I trust gave it a high rating and hearty recommendation, so I checked it out from the library last month and read 50 pages before returning it so I could buy a copy instead. Yes, sometimes I’ll buy a book I could read for free.

 One Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams: I spotted this book for the first time in Estelle’s Big Kids’ Table post for June. Once it was on my watch list, I couldn’t stop spotting it everywhere! On display at the bookstore, highlighted as a great summer read in a few magazines… I felt like it was everywhere I looked! So, I finally caved and purchased this while on vacation.

Big hugs to Hannah for taking the time to pen this awesome post! I’m so excited about her suggestions. Be sure to check out her blog + her amazing new Consider the Classics feature! So now you tell me, how do you decide to buy adult books and what have you been reading from the “big kid” realm lately? We are all anxious for your suggestions!

Thanks again for stopping in!

September 22, 2013 - 1:23 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - Hey hey! Do I win the award for worst guest blogger because I just realized I NEVER commented?! Gosh, major fail on my part, E. But thanks so much for having me! I love talking about adult reads – and I’m so glad you love them, too! This is definitely one of my most looked forward to features each month 🙂 I always enjoy seeing what people recommend or what you’ve found at the bookstore!

September 5, 2013 - 8:35 am

Adult Fiction Books | Books With Cass - […] Big Kid’s Table over at Rather Be Reading! I LOVEEE that feature so much! [& myself and Hannah have been featured!] I look forward to it each […]

August 28, 2013 - 11:58 am

Alexa Y. - It’s been quite a while since I’ve cracked open an adult book! But seriously, it was awesome of Hannah to share how she chooses the adult book she buys and to share her three latest suggestions. I’m definitely going to try and follow her tips to see what I can find the next time I’m in a bookstore and ready to buy adult books!

August 27, 2013 - 8:48 am

Jamie - Every since I saw the tweet for this post I’ve been excited to take a look over it when I decided to open that overflowing thing called Feedly! Prior to blogging I ALSO only read adult fic and classics and now I’m sitting here like trying to think about HOW I found out about books back then. I think mostly goodreads and just perusing the store/library. I feel so “in the loop” with YA but so out of the loop when it comes to Adult books unless I’m reading Big Kids Table or I see another YA blogger reading an adult book.

Love this post, Hannah!

August 26, 2013 - 11:46 am

Rachelia (Bookish Comforts) - I love this post! Before I started blogging I used to read a lot more adult book than YA. But mostly the way I decided was just random browsing or buying interesting looking ones at my library’s booksale. Hannah’s method is very useful! I’ve also found myself more interested in adult books since I’ve been browsing on Edelweiss!

August 25, 2013 - 1:46 pm

Sara (of The Page Sage) - I’ve been delving into Adult books more and more lately, so I really love your Big Kids’ Table feature. Because of the price tag, I usually get adult books from my library. I’m a volunteer there, so sometimes I’ll stumble upon something interesting. Other times, I find adult books that are written by YA authors I love, or I see online recs.

August 24, 2013 - 8:46 am

VeganYANerds - I definitely agree with reading a sample due to the price of adult fic compared to YA, and finding a reviewer who you trust to like similar books to you. Good advice, Hannah!

August 23, 2013 - 4:22 pm

Jess, Books and Sensibility - I’ve started to get more and more into Adult fiction. I’m hoping to find more adult fiction blogs.

August 23, 2013 - 4:10 pm

Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit - My adult book recs are almost always from my husband and his family, who read constantly. I’ve found a few authors that I love, like Alice Munro, Audrey Niffenegger, and Nicole Krauss, and I’ll definitely give their new releases a look. Other than that, unless it’s been recommended a thousand times and shoved into my hands by my husband’s family (Haruki Murikami), it’s pretty hard for me to get out of the YA section. It’s just so much more fun there!

August 23, 2013 - 1:31 am

Bookworm1858 - Hope you love A Hundred Summers-I thought it was very enjoyable. Did not like The Ashford Affair as much as Willig’s Pink Carnation series. This post is reminding me that though I always think I read mostly YA, I still sneak in some adult books since I’ve read 2 of the 3 you mention and have at least heard of the third.

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