Ever bought a book and regretted it? You walk into a bookstore and you were attracted by the catchy title and cover design so much that your curiosity got the better of you and you were convinced this is exactly what you wanted. So you went ahead to purchase it at a ‘crazy price’, made more crazy by the fact that you didn’t budget for it or that you had to forego the book you originally had in mind to purchase.

Upon your arrival at home, you excitedly flipped through the first few pages and that’s when your disappointment starts to set in. It turns out that you denied yourself your monthly supply of oats or cable TV subscription for something that’s not exactly worth it. Gosh!

I’ve been there but I’m no longer at that address because I have learnt to use the following guidelines which I am about to share with you when I walk into a bookstore and with it, you can save yourself the pain or a bad purchase and guarantee that you always buy great books.

Following these tips will not only save you lots of money, it will also save you the emotional cost of disappointment that comes from wasting money and expectations on books you have no business with.

Titles Don’t Tell The Entire Truth: Don’t be deceived by titles and cover design. Authors want to sell their books and one sure way to get their books sold is to give it a catchy title and cover design. This is absolutely right and ok. What is not ok is when there is little else to the book than just the title and flashy cover and the content does not justify the hype. You can be sure there are many books like this. So as a rule, do not be deceived by flashy titles and cover designs alone when making a decision of books to buy.

Scratch Beneath The Surface: I know you read the synopsis at the back cover. But what were you expecting anyway. The synopsis is the author [or his friend’s] testimony about the book, and if it were unpleasant, it would not be printed there. If you need to get a truthful and balanced assessment of a book, the place to look at is the table-of-content, here; you can see the heading of each chapter at a glance.

After reading through the table-of-content, and familiarizing yourself with the chapter titles, you may want to also check one or two chapters for more details. This will give you a clue into the exact content of the book aside whatever the title says. Sometimes the issue is not with the book but your personal interest.

So, a book might be great in content but not suitable to you because the theme of the book is not your area of interest. Using this technique will help you determine this, and hence, you will know if to go ahead with the purchase or not.

Get Third Party Perspective: If what you read in the table of content is not enough or you’re still in doubt, then pick out your phone and Google the book title. Check out reviews from people who have read the book. ‘Goodreads’ and amazon.com will prove very useful in giving reviews from readers of the book. This will help you determine if the book is worth your time and your cash

Apply Some Self Restraint: No, don’t rush, don’t fall for impulsive buying. When you enter a bookstore, remain focused on what you came for in spite of the covers that may be winking at you. You can note other interesting titles for purchase later, but keep your focus on what you came for.

Some books can wait. You won’t miss it because it will always be available at other times and you can make purchases online too. If you do this, you will have fewer incidences of buying amiss.

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