As I have aged, I have become more discriminating in selecting books to read.
I have no qualms about failing to finish reading a mediocre book. I buy no
grocery store fiction. I buy more hardbacks instead of waiting for the cheaper
paperback. Why these changes?

I'm 63, so the number of books I have time left to read is limited. I remember
Julia Child, upon her 60th birthday, decided to buy no more cheap wine. I've
applied the same concept to reading.

First, I estimated my life expectancy. There are many web pages to help you
determine yours: http://gosset.wharton.upenn.edu/mortality/perl/CalcForm.html

Calculate the number of remaining years, and multiply that by the number of
books you normally read in a year. I have under 2,000 to go. With this frame
of reference, the books I find that I enjoy are a higher percentage than
when I was less discriminating in my choices.

Oh yes, I also maintain a list of book I have read, so I don't get to the
thirtieth page to remember that I have read that book.

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That's a depressing thought. Mind you, I toss books that are lousy or uninteresting, but I just read the latest Lee Child thriller. A light and somewhat silly book, but it had it's entertainment value.

And speaking as an author who moved from hardcover to trade paperback, I'd say that there is just as much garbage sold in hardcover than in pb format. The general publishing rule is still: first edition hc and second edition a year later in mass market paperback.
You misunderstand. What I meant was that, based on reviews of new books, I used to maintain a list of books which I wanted to read but was too cheap to buy. I would wait one year or so until the less costly paperback was available.

Now, however, time is more important, so I buy the hardback rather than waiting for the paperback edition.
Yes, I did misunderstand. I absolutely agree that life's too short to deprive oneself of joy. :)
Cheers to good books and many healthy years in which to read them. Happy New Years.
I'm with you but I take it one step further - I stopped buying books - too many clunkers out there not worth reading past the first pages - I'm rather not waste the time or the money - it's the library for me and zero patience for bad books the older I get.
This, of course, does nothing to support the writing of more books.

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