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  • Vivian Teo

The 8 types of books that I would buy

We don't have all the money to buy or space in our house to keep every single book we want to read. So how do you decide when to buy or borrow? Well, here are 8 types of books that I would buy!

Much as I'm an author and should encourage people to buy books, I'm realistic - it's impossible to buy every single book we want to read. If I'm to buy every book my kids and I want to read, I'd go bankrupt and we'd also probably run out of space in our house.

So, I'm really grateful we have an excellent library system in Singapore. We borrow a lot from libraries but that said, there are also times when I would choose to buy and sometimes it's after we had borrowed and read the books.

Given our limited resources (money and space), I do have to be a bit choosy when buying books. So here are eight types of books that I would part with my money and find space in my house for:

1) Books by authors my kids love

When my kids' favourite authors have new books out, my kids would ask for them and their favourites include Kelly Yang, Dusti Bowling and Barbara Dee. Sometimes I also like to surprise my kids with new books from their fav authors too. Books by their fav authors never fail to make their day!

2) Book series my kids can binge on

I love book series and so do my kids. There's nothing like reading till the end of a book, and knowing that it's not the end and you can continue your adventure with the book characters. It can be hard to wait for the next book of a series, so I do feel glad when I come across limited book series where all its books have been published as it means I don't have to wait for its sequel and I can immerse in the series for some time.

3) Books that help me improve

If there are things that you want to find out more about, most of the time we'd google and chances are you'd be able to find what you want on the internet. But if I want something more comprehensive, quite often I'd go to books.

I have learnt a lot from self-improvement books. Among those I had benefitted from are books written by experts on psychology, positive parenting and fiction writing. Of course there are self-help and self-improvement books that you might not find helpful, but when I read one that is good and useful, I'd buy it and keep it with me so I can refer to it whenever I want to.

4) Children non-fiction books with good info

I encourage my children to read non-fiction books for the same reasons I read self-improvement books. I've bought my kids books about science, puberty and mental wellness. As they are written for children, many of of them are engaging and helpful for my children. I like that we have these books at home and my children could return to them whenever they need a reminder about the things they had learnt.

5) Children's books with good reviews

Well, there are many children's books with good reviews so sometimes I do make it a point to read reviews before purchases. Sometimes I get recommendations from friends and I'd also go to Goodreads to read a book's blurb and review before buying it.

If you read a book and liked it, it's okay if you don't buy it. But do share about it with your friends and/or leave a rating/review on Goodreads or Amazon. Good reviews and ratings of books do help with a book's discoverability and they encourage others to read/buy the books - that is definitely one way to help authors keep writing, and publishers, publishing!

6) Fiction books I borrowed and absolutely loved

There are books that I had borrowed, read and absolutely fell in love with. They are books I felt I had to own a copy because they have inspired me in some ways be it the author's beautiful prose or its twisty plot. I may or may not re-read it but I would like to have it on my shelf so I can re-read them when I feel like it.

7) Books with authors' personalised autographs

You might have heard me say this before during the preorder of my books but books with personalised autographs make great gifts! The reactions of kids who received books with their names and the author's autograph are priceless!

The books pictured above have autographs personalised to my kids and of course, these are not the only ones. We bought books with personalised autographs during preorder periods, book launches and author visits to my daughters' schools. These are books I would definitely keep for a very long time because of the authors' autographs in them.

Sometimes I would also badger my author friends to sign their books to my daughters' friends during their birthdays. Like I said, books with personalised autographs make awesome gifts!

8) Graphic novels and comics both kids would read

My younger one is very into graphic novels these days. Though she finishes them very quickly, she re-reads them quite often. So I think it's worth buying them, and especially when so many graphic novels are so beautifully illustrated.

So these are the books that I would buy. What type of books do you buy? (Assessment books don't count ok!)

Disclaimer: My opinions and reviews here are strictly my and my family’s own.

©Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.

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Carol Lawrence
May 10

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