My dad and I were discussing books and he'd said he'd recently read one he'd gotten at the Dollar Store and loved. (You can cringe, I did) Anyway, there is a sequel to it, one he wanted. I looked it up online and found it for $13. He didn't want to pay the money, and trust me, buying the book wouldn't have sent him to the poorhouse. But since he got the first one for a dollar, thirteen dollars seemed like a lot to him. I bought it for him, and he whipped through it in a couple of days because he loved it.
This is what astounds me. People who love great books, people who read all the time, won't spend money on books. I certainly don't expect people to buy the number of books I buy in a year, but if all those avid readers, like my dad, bought a couple of full-price books a year, there wouldn't be all these tales of woe coming from the publishing companies and booksellers. If you love books, buy them! It's the only way to make sure they stick around, and if $13 seems like a lot to you, below are a few price comparisons you and my dad should really be scoffing at.
Mmm. Yum yum! A delicious, coffee-flavored frosty beverage. Buy three of these, and you've bought yourself a book. A book is hours of enjoyment and intellectually stimulating. It tickles the imagination and evokes emotions. A frappuccino gives you coffee breath and thunder thighs.
Movie Tickets - $10.00 (each)
Cable Television: $80 a month (at least)
I think I'm being generous to the cable companies here. And sure, for your eighty dollars a month (which comes out to almost a grand per year) you get awesome shows like The Walking Dead (based off a graphic novel), True Blood (based off a book series) and Game of Thrones (based off a book series...sensing a trend here?). But there's more! You get Jersey Shore, Desperate Housewives and a whole bunch of other lackluster, reality TV shows. Sure, the History channel is right there, but what do you watch? Snooki beating up some other girl in a bar. And each time you watch it, you get dumber.*
Cut the cable and guess what? You get network channels for FREE with plenty of crappy shows to occupy your time, AND you could have 8 new books a month to fill in the informercial spaces! Your brain cells will grow, your imagination will expand, and when the next, hot book gets picked up for a TV series, you can be the coolest of your friends when you say, "I know all about it. I read the book."
So Dad, as you're writing that check for your cable bill, think about your $13 book and decide what's more valuable: eight more great books a month, or Keeping up with the Kardashians.
*There is no actual science and data to prove this, only my biased opinion as being a person who does not have cable.