The 8 Reasons People Buy Books: Today in Critical Linking

Having convinced ourselves that the observations were genuine, we started wondering as to the reasons and started thinking in more depth about the question, “What motivations do readers have for buying specific books?” Below, we outline some of our thinking on this topic, which is also a manifesto of sorts for future research.

At first I thought this 8 Reasons People Buy Books was going to be a throwaway listicle, but it actually is a considered taxonomy of the reasons people buy books. And it is much more complicated that you might think.


The piece was written for the March 1960 issue of the Grapevine, a magazine for FBI professionals, just months before she was to publish her classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. It was unsigned, but Shields’s detective work uncovered evidence which appears to confirm its true authorship.

Looks like Harper Lee wrote about these murders even before Truman Capote did.


It is unlikely that readers will be able to double or triple their reading speeds (e.g., from around 250 to 500–750 words per minute) while still being able to understand the text as well as if they read at normal speed. If a thorough understanding of the text is not the reader’s goal, then speed reading or skimming the text will allow the reader to get through it faster with moderate comprehension.

In short, “speed reading” is mostly bogus.

I hang on to certain series a bit too long- past the point where I am enjoying them at all or there’s hope that guys, its just another Marvel event, in seventeen issues it will all be over. So they end up taking up a spot that could go to something else (or maybe money that should go to somewhere to PUT the comics.)

Opportunity cost in reading I think is something more of us should consider.


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