Friday, April 15, 2011

The Tax Man Cometh

Today’s the day we fear all year long. April 15th. Otherwise known as The Day You Wonder Where Your Money Went. Strangely enough, this year’s process of gathering up baskets of receipts and scraps of paper forced me to evaluate how I spend money on one of my favorite items: Books.

Apparently I spend quite a bit on books—$780.97 to be exact.

What was really interesting to me, however, was how and where I spent the money.

Here’s my breakdown:

Amazon: $272.
Borders: $205.
Barnes & Noble: $162.
E-books: $62.
Independent bookstores: $58.
Used bookstores: $18.

You can see I don’t care for e-books all that much. They’re nice in principal. I love the immediacy—I can buy what I want and start reading right away. The problem is, I almost never finishing reading an e-book. For awhile I even lost interest in reading altogether because I was buying all my books in digital formats. Then I stopped and went back to paper books. They just happen to be my preference.

However, there was one really cool thing that I discovered as I rooted through my receipts. I found the actual slips of paper that listed the books I purchased. And with each title, I went on a mini journey, remembering my impressions of each book. Honestly, I didn’t finish very many of them. If a book doesn’t hold my interest, I usually stop reading and give it away to someone who might enjoy it more than I did.

But there were four books that stood out from all the others. They almost glowed. I ran my fingers over those slips of paper like I was holding treasure. These were moments when I’d discovered new best friends. Three were books by authors I’d never read before, one was a sequel to a book I’d read during the previous year.

What were the books that stood out amidst of my towering TBR stacks?

1. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

2. Mr. Shivers by Robert Jackson Bennett

3. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

4. Origin: A Novel by Diana Abu-Jaber

For me, these were all five-star books. Heck, I’d give them all ten stars, I enjoyed them that much. Sometimes I’ll go back and reread sections, just to get caught up in the characters and the worlds all over again.

So, what I’d like to know on this Dreaded Day of Taxation is this:

What book did you read last year that you would give ten stars to and why?

And just a quick note, I’m giving away a tote-bag from the Romantic Times Convention over at my blog. All the rules are over there. The bag has been signed by Kimberly Derting, Kami Garcia, Melissa Marr, Rachel Vincent, Margaret Stohl, Carrie Ryan, Sophie Jordan, Tera Lynn Childs, Pamela Palmer, Kerrlyn Sparks, Virna DePaul, and me, Merrie Destefano.

I'm looking forward to reading your answers!

And, just to whet your appetite. Below is the trailer for my next novel, FEAST. Release date is June 28. SQUEEEE! I'm getting so excited!!! If you'd like to read the first chapter and some deleted scenes, then please sign up for my newsletter on the right side of my blog.


SandyG265 said...

I'm always behind on my reading but the book that I read last year which stood out the most was Feed by Mira Grant. And I spend way to much on books too. Both ebooks and prin books. This year I'm using my county library system more.

Katie Dalton said...

I work for a tax office, should be working right now actually but I needed to post this comment. lol

I can't pick. I liked too many. Yours included. I think other then you one that stood out for me was Shadowfever by Monning.

Larissa Ione was a good read too.


Merrie Destefano said...

Thanks for your book recommendations, Sandy and Katie! I always love checking out new books.

Katie, Yikes! You work in a tax office. *shivers* I hope you have a great day. And that you can go home on time. -)

van_pham said...

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews, greaaaat series!!

Merrie! You were at RT?! I was there for saturday for the book fair but didn't know you were attending!! :( boooo! could of gotten by book signed!

Merrie Destefano said...

Van, Oh, no!! I'm so sorry we missed each other! Wasn't that book fair crazy big?? And thanks for the tip on Magic Bleeds. =)

van_pham said...

Yes it was EXTREMELY big! I was a little overwhelm with so many authors and attendees in one room. I brought some books from home, got those signed and i was only there for less than 40 minutes haha.

Yes, you should read the Kate Daniel series by Ilona Andrews, you won't regret it! :)

JenM said...

Another vote for Magic Bleeds here. It's probably the best book I read last year. Another series that I loved was Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey. Both of these authors really excel at world building.

unseelieme said...

Just $700?? I spend that on books in 2 months between my Urban Fantasy addition & my son's manga. lol
(I think last year I spent over $4000 on books!)

My most recent favorite reads were Devon Monk's latest Magic on the Hunt, Rob Thurman's Blackout, Melissa Marr's Darkest Mercy. My favorite book so far this year is Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride.

Helen Lowe said...

Death and taxes, eh ...Great to see your new book cover up. :)

mcullars said...

Two books stick out in my mind. Christine Feehans new series Sisters of the Heart:Waterbound. I loved this book. It was very emotional. The way she handled Autism ( which is a subject I know next to nothing about) was admirable and eye opening to the difficulties of loving someone with autism. The other book was Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole. Child abuse in any form hurts my heart. This book brought tears to my eyes. I just wanted to wrap Malkom up in my arms and kiss his forehead and tell him everything will be okay. There are several more books I could mention but these two really touched my heart.

Mardel said...

There are two books that stand out for me for the 2010 year...One is Suzanne McLeod's The Cold Kiss of Death (coming out in the U.S. April 26th) and Ilona Andrews' Magic Bleeds. Both books had me thinking back on them long after I finished reading.

You HAVE spent a lot of money on books - wow. I estimated that I spend about...40 t0 50 per month on books, but that's only for 10 months of the year (school year employee) - so maybe I average...oops! $500??? Is that right??? Wow.

Merrie Destefano said...

Wow. I am loving all your comments.

JenM, that makes 2 votes for Magic Bleeds. I'm going to have to check that out!

Unseelieme, Yikes! You so win in the book buying category! But yay, you must love books and that's a VERY good thing!

Helen, Hi! I know. Taxes. Bleh. And thanks for the cover love. =)

Mcullars, Oh, my goodness, I have to check out both of those books. I love books that deal with deeper themes and both of the ones you listed are close to my heart, as well.

Mardell, Hey, that makes 3 votes for Magic Bleeds. Okay, it's going on my TBR pile. Isn't it weird to discover how much you spend on a particular item?

Sharon S. said...

Here are some I gave 5 stars too:

The Hunger Games (whole series)
Cassandra Palmer series (Karen Chance)
Fever series
Heir of Night (Helen Lowe)
Grave Witch (Price)
Dulcie O'Neal series (HP Mallory)
Guild Hunter series
Death's Sweet Embrace (I read the ARC last year)

Merrie Destefano said...

Thanks SO much for reminding me about The Hunger Games. I LOVED the first novel in that series! =)