Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Affordable Book Loving

The economy has hit many of us.  Some people have felt a nudge but others received a wallop when they lost their jobs.  Some like me received no pay raise this year even though everything I've needed to purchase, food, clothing, fuel, electric and college tuition, has skyrocketed.  To make up the difference, I've had to cut back on things I don't need for basic survival. 

I've started making my own ice coffee instead of getting it at Starbucks. We cut out the family vacation last summer.  My grocery cart has more generic items mixed in and we've tried to drive less.  Another item I cut back on, though it breaks my heart, is the purchasing of books.  Even though I feel I can't live without something to read, books don't rank on the same level of necessity as food and electric.

I probably purchased half the number of books in 2011 as I did the year before.  I did lots of my reading from books I borrowed from the library.  Sometimes I had to wait weeks after the book was released to have it in my hands and of course, I can't put it on the keeper shelf, but it sure was cheap. The next biggest group of books I read this past year were ebooks I purchased online.  No driving cost, no shipping, immediate delivery and excellent prices.

Many small presses and self-published authors sell their ebooks for very reasonable prices below $5.  My romance publisher recently offered one of my books, One Good Woman, for the terrific price of $1.99. 

My fantasy series, The Futhark Chronicles, are offered at low prices, $1.99 for The Keepers of Sulbreth, and $2.99 for Beyond the Gate. 

Does the low price mean these books being offered aren't the quality of the ones you might pay 10 to 30 dollars for at the bookstore?  Not at all.  It means the publishers and authors know a reader will take a chance on a new author if they're not risking too much money.  It also means the publisher and reader understand that ebooks carry less overhead and production costs compared to printed books. 

So don't let the lean times rob you of the joy of reading.  Check out the library and shop for bargain prices on ebooks at any of the major online retailers.

Do you use your local library? Have you been spending your reading dollars on ebooks? Have you purchased fewer books in the last year than the year before?


Cate Masters said...

I can't afford as many books as I'd like, and refuse to pay more than $7.00 (it's why I keep my own priced low).
Time prevents me from visiting the library, but I have a ton of books waiting for me to read them.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I know how those TBR piles grow, Cate. If only we had time to write and read as much as we want to.