Buying a trade paperback novel is the equivalent in New Zealand of buying half a dozen flat-whites. But one day, inspired by a blog post I'd read which said you really should support bookstores and buy actual print books, I decided to stop off at one and not to leave that store until I had treated myself to a print fiction book from a new author. Plus I’d given up buying coffee, so, justified.
It’s interesting to analyse why I chose that book when I’d never read anything of hers before, hadn’t read a review, in fact, hadn’t even heard of the book. I guess the cover grabbed me. Homely looking, with its shades of blue. I read the back cover, it appealed, I read the first page. I thought, yep, it looked pretty good. I put it down and spent another five or ten minutes browsing (I found a cook book based on the food in the Enid Blyton stories, and I am so getting that one day) and then I went back to The Carer and decided, blow it. Don't dither, Jo. Buy the thing.
Did I like it? Yes. Very much. It was wonderfully written, and was a really good story. Had an element of intrigue, and the plot was about caring for an elderly parent, and the lives of the adult children of that parent, and most people my age have an elderly parent.
The only issue I had with the story was near the end when "something" happened that did put a damper on it, but I really liked the book and was glad I’d bought it, and no doubt will buy the next novel Deborah Moggach writes, and go back and read some of her earlier books. Actually, there was so much in the book that was good, it was a 10/10 in spite of the "bit" I didn’t like, which if you’ve read it, had to do with the letter near the end. I thought it spoiled it.
This past week there was a booksellers' conference, and I followed some of the comments on Twitter. Fiction sales are flat in NZ. Non-fiction sells more. I posit fiction is flat because it costs a fortune to buy a book you might only read once. You can’t justify it on a tight budget but that’s what birthday and Christmas presents are for, right? I love my e-books from my fellow indie romance authors because they’re cheap to buy and there are so many good stories, and I quite like reading books on my phone now, especially on the commute to and from work (when I'm not catching Pokemon.) Spending one cup of coffee on a book you don’t like isn’t the end of the world. Six cups of coffee is a bit of a disaster.
Anyhoo, that's a recommendation from me. And another trip to the store due real soon.~ Joanne