I’m toying with an idea, but I’m not really ready to commit. Just thinking about it, so don’t go holding me accountable yet. I sort of feel like I only want to whisper it.
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m thinking of ending my love affair with Used Books. Or just declare a break. Sort of like Ross and Rachel. Or more sort of like a post-Easter Lentish thing.
Let’s not go crazy—I didn’t say I’m done with books all together. Just Used Books.There’s so much to love about used books, for sure. The dog-eared pages, the notes in the margins, the softened pages from someone else’s reading, and above all, the price. There isn’t anything much better than Amazon-One-Clicking my way to filling my bookshelves, one penny plus shipping at a time.
I know myself well enough—and I’ve certainly tested the pattern—to know that I’ll buy and buy and buy Used Books for the right price. I just like filling my home with them, surrounding myself with all the words and possibilities. But then I may or may not actually read them.
When I moved into my home, a friend was helping me unload boxes and boxes of books and books. She read one title after another, often asking me what I thought of it, only to hear me say, “Oh, that one? I haven’t read it yet.” Perhaps I could begin by reading the books on my shelf rather than obsessively buying more of them.
Maybe. Like I said, I’m not ready to commit.
But here’s the greater thing I know now: Used Books don’t benefit the author. If ten thousand people read the book but only one thousand people bought it, then the publisher doesn’t make the money, and until the publisher recoups their investment, the author doesn’t make any money. I’m learning this. Intimately.
Here’s what I know about myself: I would easily spend $25.00 on a night out, on tickets to a movie, on a concert ticket in an intimate venue, and those proceeds go to the ones who actually created the art, the environment, and the experience. So perhaps I can take the same approach and choose to spend $14.99 on a book that will change my life, as most books do to at least some extent.
Plus, if I’m more intentional about the dollars I’m spending, then I’ll be even more intentional about the books I’m buying. When I’m invested to a certain degree, then I’m more likely to actually read the books.
Anyway, I’m thinking about it.
But if you happen to see me walking into a Used Book store, please don’t tackle me. I only said I was thinking about it.