In this months reader mailbag we asked where people get their new books or how they get notified of new books. Here’s the answers:

1938iowa: I pre-order my favorite writers so I won’t miss a book.
Also still want mine in a REAL book.

Alison: I get a hold of new books by following my favorite authors on social media. They usually lead me to their friends’ books and the circle expands. I also follow the free or cheap (Bookbub) sites, then I can try before I really lay out some hard earned cash. I preorder only from trusted and true authors, since I read a book every few days this keeps the budget in check. Finally, I do a lot of ARC reading which is really fun.

AJ: I order most on my Nook, but rarely pre-order. I love waking up Tues morning and pulling up the new releases section on nook and clicking away. When I pre-order, I lose the thrill of “finding” them on a Tues morning. I also still enjoying browsing in my book store – sometimes a picture on the cover of a book will grab me – but then I generally will download the first, if it is a series, rather than just buying the one that caught my eye.

Catherine: I can so recommend the author Gerald Seymour starting with his massive best seller “Harry’s Game”.I am gradually working my way through all of his thrillers and have not been disappointed by any of them !

Kenicia: I get my new books at the library. I work there!

Jan: I’m looking at this subject title and thinking,”What possibilities!” And how extensive can it be? Not just Kindle, bookstore, etc. but the actual idea for the book! But, that’s another topic for another day.
So, yes…birds of a feather…I pre order. I usually keep a list of what I have ordered but there are times I forget to jot a new one down. Then….surprise! I would say 90% of my books are electronic but every now and again I wander upstairs to my “library” and choose an “old friend” to get reacquainted with, usually over a cup of tea or a nice glass of wine. There’s something about turning those old, worn pages again.
Till next time!

Joe: I just retired from my local library, so I use it all the time. Right now I do all my reading in hardcover. For most new books I pre-order through their app. Since they are part of a large consortium, even if the library did not buy the book for their collection, they will borrow it from another library. If they have not purchased a book-in-series and the previous books are in their collection, I bring it to the attention of the director to purchase.

There are a handful of authors I purchase: Haruki Murakami, Walter Mosley, Alice Hoffman. Others I purchase if the reviews are good, e.g. Neil Gaiman. (Norse Mythology was so-so.)

Cheryle: In response to your question of how I get new books in a series, I put them on hold at the library. The Billings Public Library is terrific at getting new books in many formats, thus I am able to read them fairly soon after release. Also if I read a new author I check your website for all of the series and will start reading at the beginning.
Keep up the good work keeping us readers informed of the order of books.

Rebecca: When a new book comes out from one of my favorite authors I always preorder it on Amazon. Otherwise I always get my books at a booksale or a local bookstore.

Claudia: Enjoying your email as usual. Just ordered a Wild Hog Peeramid Reading Pillow. Tell Connie “thanks.”

Craig: I am now almost 100% Kindle (something I never thought would happen because I love walking into a “real” bookstore. There are a number of authors that I click on pre-order as soon as their new book is announced and available for pre-order. Then, 4 or 5 months later, before the new book has come out, I have to check my pre-orders to make sure I don’t order the book again. For authors I am not familiar with, I go to sites like this one. There’s almost nothing better than discovering a new author (or at least new to me).

Delores: I bought myself the best book printed. I am having trouble with my sight so I got a large print KJV Bible. Best story and authors ever.

Dennis: I usually don’t pre-order books, but when they are released, I order them. I had kindle and hated it. And I get quite irritated that it’s getting more difficult to find books in print. But I like the feel and smell of real books.

Derek: The reason I haven’t gone Kindle is simply because I cannot then gift my books to charity.

I have two sources of books and always prefer paperbacks even if that means delays in getting a new story in a series.

I love walking round Waterstones (no independent book shop close to where I live) and their three for two and half price offers are good.

I also buy online through Amazon and so often find that Amazon themselves, even with Prime, can be more expensive than some of the online suppliers that link into Amazon.

During the year my books go into a cardboard box and then at the beginning of December I take the box to a local charity shop that specialises in books so they can sell them during the busy Christmas period.

Enjoy the flight & the book.

Diana: I used to buy from Borders (I worked there and got a discount). Then Barnes and Noble, with a membership to get free shipping. Sometimes I would pre-order books in series I read, especially to get signed books.

Then I started reading the “In Death ” series. I knew there were a lot of books in the series, so I joined my local library and placed the books I wanted on hold, then picked them up when I got the chance. Saved a lot of money.

I still buy books by my favorite authors because I hold on to them.

You should try getting audio books for your father from the library! My library has a nice selection. You can also get a free trial of Audible from Amazon. After the trial it’s $15 per month. (No, I don’t work for them!)

There may also be free audio books, like the free ebooks from Just Kindle Books and others. (Sign up for one and the others will email you.)

I imagine there’s an app that will read an ebook, but I can’t recall seeing it.

I love to read, and I hope my suggestions can help your dad.

Elizabeth: Hi,
I get most of the books I read from the local public library. I receive a few as gifts, I get a few on the kindle, some from Usually we don’t have a long wait to get the books from our library. I try to reserve them before they come out.

G & LJ: I always preorder my favorite authors for kindle. I am like you it is always a pleasant surprise when the pop up comes to say it is here!

George: Unlike your dad I have not lost my sight but I like the audio books I listen while I do my handwork. I am seventy nine years old and the audios let me do two things at once and at my age that is not always easy.

Steve G: Slightly over a month ago I went on Amazon and ordered 39 paperbacks. I’m hooked on W. J. Johnston’s books. I have a number of series written by him, and now I believe his nephew who has done an outstanding job following his uncle writing style. I used to go to a local used book store but she suddenly closed shop a few years ago. It’s been some work getting complete book lists to see what books I might be missing so I know what I need to complete a number of his series, but I’m gaining ground. I need to get a chance to go back to amazon to do another search there for the few that I am still missing but didn’t see on the last visit. I’m also considering going directly to the various vendors who completed my orders to see if the missing ones are available there at a reasonable price.

Jackie: I am thrilled that you might start a new Audio Book list. I am legally blind and I use Audio books exclusively.

I use your list all of the time to determine the next book in the series for many authors and I use your “if you like” referrals to new authors.

Jane: I go to Mainely Murders Bookstore in Kennebunk. ME to find my books. As the name suggests, it is a bookstore devoted to mysteries, and if they don’t have what you are looking for, they will find it. Two very knowledgeable ladies own the store and can recommend a book you will enjoy. It is incredible to walk into the bookshop and find nothing but mysteries–it is like walking into a candy shop!!

If you are ever in that area, I recommend you stop, meet Paula and Ann, and browse the books
PS Plan on staying a while!!!

Joe: Hi Graeme,

I usually get my new books by waiting until they’re not. New.

Once the shine is off, I’ll often order hardcovers from Amazon Used, or

I often prefer Kindle – for fiction only – but I don’t like the high prices. And I buy vs borrowing at the library because I tend to build a little bookshelf, both electronic and used hardcover, of enough material – in series order – to see me through at least 6 months. I tend to read fiction for 2-3 hours a day, just before bed.

Joy: I get new books by going to the story and perusing their blurbs and cover. Sometimes I read reviews on an author’s site.

Judith: Charles Todd are also the authors of the wonderful Bess Crawford series – mystery suspense with Bess, an upper class British nurse in WW I France.

I love this series which includes a prequel novella set in British India under the Raj.

June: I read at least 3 books per week. I would need to earn a significantly larger amount of money each pay in order to feed my habit through book stores!

Instead, I support the local library and get E-books downloaded via Amazon for free. I can pre-order E-books and be put on a waiting list. I have never had to wait more than a few weeks after release. I love having access to free books so I don’t mind waiting.

By the way – you can add audio to borrowed Kindle books or you can borrow the audio versions of the books. All free!

(Sometimes I have to actually go to the library to check out a paper version of a book if it is not available as an E-book. Either way, I get the book for 3 weeks – for free! I can even renew to keep it another 3 weeks if I choose. But nothing lasts more than a week or two as unread, so I rarely have to renew my loans/borrows.

Frequently, the library and/or Amazon have great free E-books. I have a huge collection of classics stored on my Kindle. My library also sells used books they no longer want in the collection. Most are a dollar or under. So I do own a good selection of real books.)

WV: Never thought I would ever say this but in the last 4 years everybook I have bought has been through Amazon Kindle or Google books. I read them on my smart phone.

Vicki: I am so very glad to find your website, I have used Order of Books many many times, and find it invaluable. I am a 65 year
old looking forward to retirement is few months, so glad to find a source such as yours to help guide me though my retirement
plan. All my life I have looked forward to the time I can read to my heart’s content without that many constraints. I am constantly on the
look out for new reads and so excited about the months ahead and new vistas of explorations.

Dr. T: I get most of my books from our great local library. Buy from B&N occasionally to keep them open. Amazon sometimes when starting a series and they also give good info about upcoming books. Like your site!!

Terry T. Hi Terry T :-))

from New Zealand.

Ruth Rendell was the only author I would buy in hardback – as soon as – from my local book store – I would order as soon as it was announced – kept it until the Christmas holidays – usually only a few weeks – it use to take that long to get to New Zealand – sometimes even longer – given a couple of times the publisher’s local customer Service Dept would send the trade paperback – even after I quoted the hardback isbn !! – thinking I guess – who would want it hardback ? – I do I do !!

Now it’s Charles Todd – two books a year – wonderful – though those annoying – on line only short stories – are a frustrating part of being a Charles Todd reader – I don’t have kindle or anything like that !!!

Well only a few weeks before Inspector Rutledge comes a knockin’ in my mail box !!!!

I’ve bought all the backlist in hardback – thanks to Better Books in the USA.

Thanks to you for an enjoyable website – looking forward to your printable lists section.

Susan: Good morning,
When new books come out by my favorite authors, I put them on hold immediately and wait until they come in. Sometimes it take a long time but there is so much out there to read, I can wait.

Sue M: I keep an eye on new books from authors I like and put holds on them from the library as soon as they are listed in the catalog. I just have to be careful about how much I ask for because sometimes it’s more than I can read in a 3 week period. Then I have to deselect the ones I can’t read immediately and select them again when I’m ready for them. My current hold list (all deselected) is bout 150 books. Oh, to have all the time I want to read. Wouldn’t that be nice!!

Rick: My kids (and now my granddaughter) and I are ALL readers. I like to think this was my influence with them as youngsters, but regardless, every event in any year that requires gift giving includes books.

I just love to receive hard-cover books as gifts for my birthday, Fathers Day or Christmas. I still love the feel and yes the smell, of a new book. My kids have also made me keep up to date with technology, so I do own a smart phone and an iPad, so I do a lot of reading on my iPad as well. I have a healthly electronic library with Kobo (I had a Kobo reader before the iPad!). I also have several book shelves stuffed full of paperbacks and hard covers.

I still like to go to a Chapters or Coles store and browse through the stacks of books, not looking for anything in particular but for that cover that will catch my eye or the authors name that makes me say … I’ve heard he/she is very good and I should try them. It seems life gets more hectic all the time and there doesn’t seem to be as much time to go and do that.

Though I am mostly electronic these days, it will never be 100% and I will continue to browse the book stores. I always like to see your recommendations and I will be looking at some of this month’s for sure!

Thanks for wonderful site. I recommend it to anyone who I know is a book lover and especially a ‘series’ lover.

Kacey: I have a kindle and I’m a member of so ….IF..I have enough money and or points….I pre-order.
I follow my favorite authors on Amazon so they let me know when new books are coming out!!
Happy Reading!! Or listening!!

Karen: Hi Graeme,

About 3/4 of the time I preorder new books for my kindle. Then, depending on my TBR pile (which is usually long), I may wait for the the book to download from my county Library (overdrive).

Kim: First of all, your site has saved me so much time. Thanks so much for your diligence. J

As to your question of the month, I read 95% of my books on my Kindle Paperwhite – the answer to my childhood dream. I would go to bed at the assigned time but would try to read books under the covers with a flashlight. I was usually detected. I thought I’d have it made if only they would print the books with florescent white lettering on a black background so I could read in the dark. Forty years later my prayer was answered.

I get the BookGorilla and Goodreads daily emails so I can scour for deals. I also check our online library TennesseeReads to see if I can borrow a book. I have Amazon Prime so I can borrow free books there too. My cloud library has several thousand books. So many books, so little time. I’ll have to live to be 150 to read them all. I just can’t stop accumulating. The Kindle saves a lot of space because when I buy physical books I find it difficult to give them away, especially series. Loan yes, donate no. Usually.

I am in a book club so I am forced to read books outside my usual genres of mysteries, thrillers and biographies. I take the yearly list and keep an eye out for sales so I can purchase them on Amazon without paying full price. It works 80% of the time.

Thanks for the service you provide. That would be my dream job.

Kelly: It depends on the book! If it’s something I’ve been waiting on and just can’t wait I’ll buy it on kindle, if it’s one I’ve wanted but am not dying for I wait until the library gets it(much cheaper). I hardly ever buy hard covers, I’m not one to reread a book.


I normally sign up for newsletters from my favorite authors and find that I keep adding more. I also follow on Facebook. J This gives me advance notice of their latest works, etc., and if it is something that I am following in a series, or really want to read, will place an order at Books A Million official website. Since I am a member, I do receive a discount, which is great along with free shipping! I do get some books from the library. Presently, I am waiting for Greg Iles final installment of the Natchez Burning trilogy, Mississippi Blood. I received a Kindle some time ago for Christmas; however, I quickly found that I am NOT a Kindle Reader. It’s great for some but I like BOOKS!

Recently, I started a collection of “Thought Provoking Statements” that I encounter as I am reading. This came about since I am retired! J I belong to a Book Review Club that meets monthly and sometimes we exchange and return books amongst ourselves. It’s a lively group.

Martin: As to how I get new books, I usually check the public libraries (three of them at which I have accounts – only one physically close to me) for new books by my favorite authors. I then put holds on them as early as possible.

I also use OverDrive at those libraries for semi-new and middling-age books.

Finally, for books by new authors and old ones by established authors, I check the freebies at Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and author’s emails. (I get tons of such emails.) I’ve also used Torrent downloads, although that seems to be getting more dangerous all the time.

Steven & Monica: I get my books from the library. I want to feel the book and flip the pages. The library is really good about ordering new books, and if there is one I want they order it for me. I think people need to use their public libraries as they can get free books.

Sandy: Mostly I order thru Amazon. Yes it’s great to pre order and all of a sudden you have a new book.
Finished the gray man series . Started Alex Berenson John wells series and am looking forward to read the rest of the books.
Just finished Gregg Hurwitz the Nowhere Man……..incredible thriller!!!!!!
Looking forward to getting Gunmetal Gray book on February 14.

Sherry: I’m new to your newsletter and really enjoy reading it!

​I do have vision problems so pretty much stick with Kindle books now, although I can read large print ok, regular print, esp paperbacks, can be difficult if I don’t have good enough lighting or the print is too small. I find that the book lights are totally inadequate – always moving them to get the light where I’m reading – any suggestions for a really good book light are welcome!

Anyway, I do some beta reading, review reading and peruse the “on sale” book emails to get eBooks at a reasonable price. I won’t go over $5, except in rare circumstances.

I also check out a lot of books from the local library. They have a good selection of eBooks and take requests, generally filling them within a reasonable time.

I love trying new authors – some are a bust but many of them are very good!

I’ll never understand why an ebook costs sometimes more than, frequently as much as, and usually only a few dollars less than a print book. The publishers are making big $$ on eBooks since, other than paying royalties and server space, there is not nearly the cost to them as print books with printing, warehousing, delivery, and returns.

Did you ever read Ben Bova’s book “Cyberbooks”? Very good – I read it back in 2003 before I got my first Kindle Fire (I’m now using a Paperwhite).

Sherri: Always get my new books from the Library. I still love to hold an actual book and why buy when you can borrow. Libraries are such a great source.

Stephanie H: To answer your question about how I get books, at one time I waited until my favorite (mystery) writer came out in paper back – I did make a few exceptions and bought hardbacks – but mostly they were too expensive (and that was before they really were too costly!). These days, I occasionally buy books that are on sale ($5.99 at Barnes & Noble), but mostly I use the library. I miss buying books and keeping them. At one time I had several hundred books in my own library. My ‘library’ is now smaller – but I keep what I can. I re-read a lot of my authors as well and got my husband interested so now we read the same series simultaneously.

As for ‘everyone’ reading via Kindle – oh, I so hope you aren’t correct. There is nothing like a book – the feel of it – the anticipation of waiting for it to come out – turning the pages – it’s magical and something that reading on line will never be able to replace, in my opinion. If it comes to that – I will feel sad for youngsters who may never hold or cherish an actual book.

Regina: Hi, My answer is simple; Book Bub for e-readers. I primarily read on Kindle now and I rely on Book Bub to let me know what’s cheap! I used to be an avid used bookstore hunter. I’m not real big on having to read the latest release. I prefer to read series after they’ve all been written, especially the ones that are the continuation of one big story. Cheap’s the word!

Phoenix: How do I get my books? Well, that all depends. I pre-order the “No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” books as soon as I see a new one is coming. I used to do the same with Margaret Frazer’s Sister Frivesse mysteries, but alas, that author has now passed away. (Huge tears here…she’s one of my favorites.) If I see a book advertised that I think I might want to read, first I check to see if it’s available at the library. I live on Social Security, so money is tight for me. We don’t have a bookstore in my town, so I’m limited in that regard, but I will sometimes order something either on amazon or via catalog. I love being able to download a book onto my Kindle in nothing flat. My Kindle was lifesaver for me when I lived in Mexico!

Pam: I always go to my local book stores and buy the book. I love the look and feel of a new book. I always am thrilled on what adventure I will read next. I LOVE to read.

Pam: I follow many authors so get notice of their new offerings and depending on the book pre-order it on the Kindle. If it’s an author I collect, it’s pretty much a no brainer and then I am happy when it pops up on the Kindle. If it is something my friends will want to read, that works best. If is something they won’t care for, I check the library to see if they are adding it to the collection. If they are, I ask to be added to the request list. If they aren’t going to add it, I sometimes buy it in hardback, read it, and then donate it to the library. If it is something I no longer collect in hard copy, and the library isn’t going to want it, I get it on the Kindle.

I haven’t had very good luck with digital checkouts from the local library or the state library. Many times there is too long a wait, or I’ve requested it, am supposedly on the list, and then never receive word that I can obtain the book. No one has been able to explain that issue as of yet. The other problem with that is, that I have forgotten that I wanted it anyway since there are so many books and so little time so until it pops back up on my radar, I’ve forgotten that I wanted it anyway.

I read your column and check out all kinds of sites for new books and authors as well.

I also use Amazon’s list of recommendations for me based on previous orders and Goodreads as well. I am lucky in that there is still a bricks and mortar Barnes and Noble nearby so my friends and I drop in there every once in a while and check out the shelves for new things and to see if somehow I’ve missed on of “my” authors. I mostly add them them then and there to my Kindle. One of my friends is still fond of hardbacks so she haunts the reduced price shelves for those.

There is also a mystery bookstore still going strong in Lawrence, Kansas, so that is a favorite stopping place when in that area.

Have a good trip and keep up the great work.

Nancy: If it is one of my very favorite authors (e.g.) Dana Stabenow with Kate Shugak, I pre-order on Amazon. Others. I request my library to order it.

Merilyn: I like to buy books, either online or from a bookstore. As the owner of a small bookstore in the 1980’s I realized how important it is to contribute to small businesses by buying in the store, but now I’m retired & order more & more online. I also subscribe to Mystery Guild so I buy through them sometimes. Just love the feel of a book in my hands & prefer hardbound. I limit my library borrowing to audio books now so I can listen as I drive in my car, especially on long trips. I like to own a book, not return it. However if I try a new author & find I don’t particularly care for the book, I donate it to the local library so others might enjoy it. My mother is legally blind so I have been buying audio books the past year or so, & I listen to them & then mail them on to her in Pennsylvania. We have similar tastes in reading.

Maxi: I read only Kindle now. A “real book” doesn’t fit into my purse. I always have my Kindle to pick up when a minute is available. I too pre-order favorite authors for Kindle. The only problem with Kindle is that it is too easy to buy more books than I have time to read

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: Where Do You Get New Books?

4 Responses to “Reader Mailbag: Where Do You Get New Books?”

  1. Ektor: 7 years ago

    As far as books ending up as movies, “Sometimes A Great Notion” is one of my favorites. “Shane” is another favorite along with “The Martian” as far as newer books and movies go. After watching a movie, sometimes I try to find a book that might have been the original idea, even though I know what the story might be. This is a great site with tons of reading ideas. I sometimes wish I had six eyes so that I could read more than one book at a time.


  2. OrlandoRican: 7 years ago

    Thanks for all the trouble you go through to keep us informed. I am an avid reader and your site has been very helpful. I was able to get a list of all of Jack Higgins’ books (for a long time one of my favorite authors) and can say that now I have erad all his books including the very last one. Thanks!


  3. Phoenix Hocking: 7 years ago

    You asked about the best book-to-movie conversions. Well, Harry Potter wins, hands down. The movies stay true to the books, even though you don’t get ALL the little nuances of the books. Not unless you want a ten-hour movie! Ditto The Lord of the Rings. Now, Outlander’s tv series stays true to the books, but it’s not a movie. Still, counts.


    • Mongoose218: 7 years ago

      OH< YES! I wrote about "Books to movies" and left out the WONDERFUL Lord of the Rings series, which captured the FEELING of the books so perfectly! NOT happy with the three part "Hobbit" way is that story, mainly a children's story, workable as a three part movie! Speaking of LOTR, you can buy (or maybe they come as part of the LOTR purchase?) the "backstory" of the making of the movie, with interviews with main characters, etc, all fun to watch and listen to, AFTER you've read the books, of course, and seen the movies!


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