The other day my daughter and I decided to stop at a neighborhood garage sale. These events seem to be a staple every Thursday and Friday from May through September (Ok, I live in the northern part of the U.S.).
As usual there was a table with an assortment of paperbacks with a few hardcover books. There were the normal authors: King, Grisham, Steele, Roberts, and a few other national authors that everybody seems to buy regardless if the book is any good.
The rest of the books were the ones that caught my eye. I cruised back and forth looking at titles and book covers hoping to find a gem or two that I could take home for $0.50 each. Maybe even haggle for 3 books for $1.00. However I had one big problem. None of the books were of interest to me.
It has been 18 months since I last bought a “physical book”. You know the kind that you physically have to grab a page and flip it over. I still would enjoy reading a paperback if I found one that interested me.
Why couldn’t I find even one book to catch my eye so I could take it home? My hand would reach out to pick up a book, but it would quickly put the book back on the table. Finally the answer dawned on me. The answer to the root of my problem in selecting a book was simple.
My eyes and mind kept looking for the number of reviews. Where was the Amazon star rating? Without these two statistical tools to aid me in finding a book, I was unable to select a book to read.
Rest in peace garage and yard sale books. I am a sellout. A convert. A believer. I read digital books on a Kindle.
P.S. My daughter was able to stretch her quarter by buying the largest stuffed animal.
Anthony Wessel is founder of Digital Book Today, The Top Best Free Kindle Books, and book reviewer for the Kindle Book Review.