Thursday, October 24, 2013
Of The Making of Books...
...there is no end (Ecclesiastes 12:12a)
I've always read voraciously and average about 2-3 books a week, over 100 a year. If you read 100 books a year that means you're either the local bookstore's favorite customer or you get your books cheaply. I of course fall into the latter category and could frequently be found at library book sales, garage sales, a used book stores (if I felt like splurging) and every once in awhile, a regular bookstore. I've also exchanged books with friends with no out of pocket cost. This all changed when I got a kindle for Christmas a few years ago.
My kindle tells me that I have 2,334 titles in my archive plus the ones already downloaded on it. And true to form, most of those books were obtained free or cheaply. If we do a little math, we could estimate that 334 titles have already been read. That leaves me with about 20 years worth of books. However, I just found another 8 titles for free that I downloaded, so now we're at 20 years and 1 month. At this rate, I'll have another year's worth of reading by Christmas. (I have tried to stop downloading free books and delete ones that I don't think I'll get to. But really, what harm can it be to get a free book that takes up no space in my house?)
There's really no need for me to ever pay for a book for the rest of my life because of the many authors and publishers giving theirs away on a free promotion. And if I do want to get a book, I can wait patiently for it to go on sale or opt to get 10 ebooks for $ .99 to the traditionally published 1 for $9.99. And I wonder how all these free and cheap books are affecting the habits of other people who have ereaders now.
I believe that readers will always gravitate toward the books they like, even if they have an affair with free books they wouldn't normally have flirted with. I believe that readers will still eventually return to their same price points for the books they want to read. They will still pay for the new bestseller that they must read right away. They will stay pay for an intriguing title that caught their eye on the sale table. But they will also be able to read many titles for free. All things will come full circle, just a little differently.