Random Thoughts: Book List Mania and the Thrill of the Pre-Order

Monday nights are always exciting for those book lovers who have chosen eBooks as their format of choice. Whether it be Apple’s iBook store, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Borders – or other bookseller of choice – generally the eBook versions are available just past midnight in your local timezone for download. (Apple iBooks are generally available, in the U.S. just past midnight Eastern, and so are available locally at the corresponding time.)

Opting for eBooks gives the reader the advantage – not having to wait for the bookstore to open the very next day – and if the book is that highly anticipated, readers can pull an all-nighter and finish the book before those seeking the printed version even get to glance at their copy. This is definitely an advantage for those readers who choose to pre-order their books, at the earliest possible occasion, and have list upon list of books waiting for release date to be downloaded onto their device of choice.

It may not hold the same level of excitement as rushing out to grab that physical copy, shiny and new, with its beautiful cover art, and having something tangible to pour over, or awaiting that knock on the door when the courier comes to deliver your new purchase, but it is still a thrill to see that pre-order move to purchased status and watching the “item downloaded” message appear on your device. And it is just as thrilling, for book fanatics, to have those new books at the ready to engage with immediately.

Nothing has been quite the same since books online were made available for pre-order. Knowing that you can check a particular book off the “wish list” and that it will be sent to you, without fail, on release date provides such a level of comfort to a book junkie. And although not every book is made available for pre-order well in advance of release, at least these online booksellers allow you to add them to customized Wish Lists. That way, as the time approaches, a particular novel will not be missed. (It is every book lover’s fear to miss out on the release date of a must-read book, after all.)

With the rise of, a large social network dedicated to book lovers, “to read” lists have flourished. These lists not only help drum up excitement for an author’s new book, but also serve to feed the need for the book addict to create their lists knowing these books won’t be missed.

Not only can you mark a particular book that you know about as “to read,” but you can find books by your favorite authors that you didn’t even know were coming out – long before pre-order availability – and add them to your lists. It is much easier than bookmarking your favorite author’s websites and blogs and repeatedly checking there daily for news and information on upcoming stories. The Goodreads faeries manage to get that information in one centralized location for you.

Now that is not to say that you wouldn’t be checking your fave author’s sites for excerpts, giveaways, sneak peeks, trailers, etc., but if your favorite author list exceeds 25 it can be quite time consuming to keep on top of everything.

On the negative side – and isn’t there always a negative side – these wish lists, to read lists and pre-orders can grow so exponentially that either they are completely unwieldy to manage or have such an unreasonable burden of expectation of ever keeping up with the quantity of books on them. And if they are purchased they can be quite costly – especially if the purchaser couldn’t possibly find the time to read all of their books. It is far easier to ignore an eBook than a stack of 50 unread tomes being used as an end table. And, for those with OCD tendencies, they can become quite the obsession – the maintenance in trying to keep everything updated and organized can be rather daunting.

But these negatives aside, having the ability to create these lists and share them with your fellow book devotees is an absolutely wonderful, addictive hobby.

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