How to reward great authors when reading them through (legal) free means
February 12, 2014 | 12:53 pm
By Joanna Cabot
I have just finished my first five-star read of the year—which I know is not saying much given that it’s only February, but it’s been a long time since I’ve read a book which really knocks my socks off.
The book—The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker—is set in turn-of-the-century New York City (and is rich in historical details of this period) and finds the two titular mythical creatures washed up randomly upon its shore. The Jinni, a creature of fire, finds water-logged New York City unsettling, and hooks up with a mentor (a Syrian tinsmith) who tries to teach him some social niceties and make him a useful member of the very alien human society in which he finds himself. Meanwhile, the golem (a creature of Earth), finds herself ‘widowed’ when her master dies during the voyage to America. She too hooks up with a mentor, an elderly rabbi, who guides her in a similar fashion.
In my quest to buy less but read more, I wishlisted this book when I first learned of it, and then waited for it to become available at the public library. Now, I find myself wondering what to do. It seems silly to spend money (almost $13 for the Kindle edition!) on a book I’ve already read. But I did so enjoy it. I feel the author deserves her due for this one. If only she had another book that I could buy instead. Or a website with a Paypal tip jar…
I acquired this book—for free—through legitimate means and I know I have done nothing wrong by choosing it from my library’s selection. But still. I wish there was a way to send the author her due without having to purchase a book I’ve already finished. And if I could reach her directly and not have to pay Amazon’s premium, so much the better. So, readers, what would you do in this situation? Would you buy the book because that’s the only way?