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Where Do You Find Your Books?

My top four ways to find out about books are:

4) Word of mouth is okay but I've nearly lost several friends when I disagree with their recommendations.

3) Amazon.com. I listen to what the reviews say only to the extent that I will not buy a book with less than ten reviews. Even then, the reviews must be spaced out over time so I know it's not the author's buddies writing the review. Then, I screen for books with at least three stars. The stars are actually the least important in terms of criteria I go by. I go by what the top rated reviewers write more than the stars they give.

2) Blogs, websites. These are good because if I don't agree feelings won't get hurt. Opinions tend to be educated. These are the ones I read:

http://threeguysonebook.com/about

http://www.salon.com/books/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/books/

http://www.nytimes.com/pages/books/index.html

1) Forums. Excellent if you know someone well enough to take in consideration their tastes. I love the open discourse about lit with people whose opinions I respect, and it's great when people make recommendations based off of what they know I'd personally like.

Yep, I rate recommends from word of mouth the lowest. I've returned more loaned books, unread than I can count. Often within the same day. Sometimes people get offended when I don't share their tastes, taking it personally. I never apologize because there more great books than I could possibly read in a single lifetime to waste time with shitty or even mediocre recommendations.

Most of the time I'll cross reference a recommend with wikipedia.org and/or amazon.com before I buy.

Where do you guys get your book info, and what's your book buying process?