October isn’t only for harvesting crops from the field. It’s also the start of the two most bountiful months for literary fiction from the most acclaimed authors. You’ll also see books in other categories by best-selling and award-winning authors spill fourth in a cornucopia of tempting delights. Why is this? And what is a cash-challenged booklover to do?
The approaching winter signals more time indoors and a host of holidays, a perfect confluence for book sales. Book stores start setting up holiday displays in October. Publishers want their new books to be front and center. The uptick in competition for your attention begins in October with a steady drumbeat you’ll remember when it’s time to choose gift books and your own reading list. The best, the brightest and the most popular are rolled out with great fanfare.
Another reason for the spike in new titles from top authors is the timing of submissions for major book awards: autumn is awards season. The 2017 National Book Award, for example, considers books that were published between December 1, 2016 and November 30, 2017. Like film studios jockeying for timely placement toward the eligibility deadline, publishers want their best books to be buzzing in the judge’s minds.
Check out this smorgasbord of great new releases in just-about every genre:
Manhattan Beach – Jennifer Egan
Reservoir 13 – John McGregor
The Rules of Magic – Alice Hoffman
Future Home of the Living God – Louise Erdrich
Artemis – Andy Weir
The Rooster Bar – John Grisham
Leonardo Da Vinci – Walter Isaacson
Where the Past Begins – Amy Tan
Greater Gotham – Mike Wallace
We Were Eight Years in Power – Ta-Nehisi Coates
The River of Consciousness – Oliver Sacks
Short Story Collection
Fresh Complaint – Jeffrey Eugenides
The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick
Turtles All the Way Down – John Green
The flip side of the booklover’s literary buffet is the cost of obtaining so many prize reads. My suggestion is to visit your local independent book store where staff is likely to be more familiar with the books they sell and can guide you to the most rewarding reads for your interests and within your budget.
Once you’ve run through your budget and have only pocket money to spare, head to the nearest public library that has a used book store. This is also the season the library has to make room for new editions by moving a substantial number of books to their store. You won’t find the best just-released books there but you have a good chance to snag the best books of the past three years, as well as older books you’ve had on your reading list. You’ll get these books for a bargain while helping to support your library.
If you also need to make room on your shelves by letting go of some books, consider donating them to your library. What goes around comes around.