How to buy books
DOUGLAS DUTTON, owner of Dutton’s Brentwood Books and Dutton’s Beverly Hills, advises that the next time we’re browsing for books in a bookstore we should keep the following principles in mind when making book-buying decisions:
- Giving books is also about sharing, so give something that you love and want others to appreciate.
- Don’t be swayed or influenced by bestseller lists or a single positive or negative review: check out the books for yourself and decide.
- Trust the store’s workers, who spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about titles, listening to opinions about them and being exposed to innumerable reviews.
- Consider the prizewinners (Pulitzer, Man Booker, Nobel, National Book Award, etc.), but also consider choosing runners-up to the actual winners; better yet, give both winners and also-rans.
- There is an abundance of riches awaiting you in the aisles of your neighborhood bookstore. Go explore.