My writers group linked to this Reuters story on Yahoo! News a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve been too busy lately to read it … until now. It mirrors my very own sentiment: economy be damned–I’m going to buy books!
Three-quarters of adults questioned in an online poll said they would sacrifice holidays, dining out, going to the movies and even shopping sprees but they could not resist buying books.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m a huge supporter of the public library system. In fact, when I have “extra money,” I donate it to my local County library fund. But there are a handful of authors who I will always buy: Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, Rachel Gibson, Michael Chabon, Amy J. Fetzer, Shannon McKenna, Peter Mayle, and Tara Jantzen, to name a few. There’s nothing like the heft of a novel in your hands, or the feel and smell of the paper. My library has an online system that connects it with the other dozen libraries in the county so any book can be requested, and that certainly defrays my reading expense (and keeps me from having to hide my book purchases from the mister) … but it’s such a pleasure to own a book from my favorite author. I can take it off the bookshelf and re-read it whenever I want. A good book, to me, is like a good movie. I can read (or watch) it over and over again.
For New Year’s, my husband got me an Amazon Kindle as a prize for XoXo Publishing picking up my novella, The Right Words. “You need an e-reader so you can buy and read your own book,” he cleverly said. I know that was 99% of his reasoning … but I also know that the remaining 1% is an effort to be cost efficient and conserve paper. So I’ve slowly been acquiring electronic books, and must admit that the Kindle does have its advantages. It’s light and portable, and on the days when I ride the bike at the gym, it’s easy to read.
There’s no denying that the importance of electronic publishing is skyrocketing. I’m excited to participate in the electronic industry, for sure, and hope that I’ll also make it in print one day. But for now, I’ll just take comfort in knowing that my fellow prolific readers would also choose books over dining out. Regardless of what genre or type of books you buy or rent and read, just keep it up. The world needs a good story, and nothing keeps it coming like commerce.