So few other people sample books en masse, yet the practice strikes me as trivially correct. If I buy a book the odds that I finish it are reasonably high, certainly above fifty percent. Why spend the money on a longshot? (Btw, "What I’ve Been Reading" is almost always books I have finished, otherwise why report them?) But when I troll a public library for free books, which I do virtually every day, should I pick up only those books I expect to finish? No, I slide further along the marginal benefit curve and that means I grab lots of books with relatively small but positive expected values.
Yesterday’s haul from Arlington Public Library included You Never Call! You Never Write!, and Otherwise Normal People: Inside the Thorny World of Competitive Rose Gardening, neither of which I expect to finish (though I will if I love them). The real question is should I read more on-line book reviews (which are free), or do my own "reviews" by pawing the free book for a few minutes?
What are other reasons not to sample? Are library trips so costly? Are you so confident in social filters relative to your own judgment/pawing? Have blogs outcompeted book pawing? Is the goal of reading simply to share impressions with other people, and there is little uncertainty about what are the hot-selling books?
I say go and grab, go and grab, go and grab.