Have we forgotten the value of a book?
March 26, 2014 | 12:24 pm
When we look at buying a book, it seems many are caught up in the price – thinking: ‘Can I get this cheaper online? How much is Amazon selling it? Why can’t I get this ebook free?’
The value of books has taken a dive over the last couple of years. We have become obsessed with trying to read as much as possible by spending the least amount of money. Yet, we don’t take into account the value of what we are getting out of a book.
A good book offers about four hours of entertainment. A great book will present even more as sometimes you think about it long after you’re finished. We’re willing to pay $12 for a two-hour movie, but for some reason we have decided that a book isn’t worth nearly as much.
I’m part of the problem.
I see a book I want to read and one of my first thoughts is to get it from the library. If it’s self-published, I get the free first book of a series and sometimes don’t continue to the rest of the paid series.
I have spent about $56 on books for myself this year – two of which totaled $40 and were graphic novel volumes. Ten dollars went to ebooks and one book I bought for $6 from Amazon for research.
I feel like we have lost the value of a book. If reading is your hobby, then we know it’s something that could get expensive. Buying from bookstores is one of the pricier ways to go because often you pay full cover price (like today’s $22 purchase for a hardcover book I got as a gift). Buying a physical book from Amazon is usually the cheaper way to go and ebooks even more cheaply than that.
But what is the price of your entertainment? Do people not want to spend too much money because you don’t actually know if you are going to like the book? Do you want to spend less money because there is more labor in reading a book than watching a movie? How much is your reading time worth?