I did something this week that I haven’t done in years – I bought five books. And paid FULL PRICE for each and every one of them.
What, you didn’t think it was the bought five books bit, did you?
No, seriously, what with the internet retailers – both ebook and hardcopy retailers – and large chain stores offering x% off, 3 for 2s, BOGOFs*, and every other discount combination under the sun, actually paying the Recommended Retail Price for a book is not something I do very often.
But I did. Not just once, but for a decent number of books on two separate occasions. And I wasn’t entirely sure why I did, which in turn is why you now get an entire blog post on this.
Part of it was most definitely the instant gratification element: I’m in the store, I see the book, and I WANT. IT. NOW. But that actually wasn’t the case for some of the books that I ended up getting. Yes, sure, I wanted them, and would probably have ended up getting them sooner or later, but I would have been quite happy waiting for the books to be delivered by post. Or in one of the instances, walked ten minutes down the road for a 3 for 2 deal.
And after thinking about this for longer, I think it’s possibly my way of saying thank you to the bookstore for stocking the books, for promoting them, and for maybe, just maybe, getting casual browsers hooked on the series. Because, sort of selfishly, because the more people buy books, the more books authors get to write, and the more books I get to read.
Maybe it’s sort of stupid – does a single full-price purchase make any difference? Probably not, in the grand scheme of things. And it’s uncomfortably close for me to the argument that I, as a reader, have any obligations to help authors earn their living / make the bestseller list / etc etc that pops up every now and again. I have obligations, sure, but none related to the author side of the business – and I dislike being made to feel that way by exhortations to buy on release date, to buy from certain stores, to do this, to do that. On a related note, Seanan McGuire has a brilliant post on dos and don’ts for her new release that sort of makes me a bigger fangirl of hers than I already am.
But I digress. Back to why I paid full-price for my books. It’s not as though Waterstones is going to wither and die away if I purchased the books from their online store as opposed to the physical one – but I loved the fact my local store had a display set up to promote YA fantasy and had the latest releases out on the shelves. And actually, taking into account Borders pretty much collapsed over the Christmas period last year, maybe I shouldn’t be taking Waterstones for granted.
So, buying full-priced books a thank you to my local store then? And indirect encouragement to please continue stocking and promoting these books?
I think so. Will it make any difference in the long run? Possibly not, as it’s not something I plan on doing consciously or regularly from now onwards. But yeah, I think that’s why I did what I did this week.
How often do you buy full-priced books? Always? Never? And if you do, why?
*Buy One, Get One Free… certainly makes more sense with books than, say, vegetables – just do the 50% off, okay?
PS: And the books?
Suzanne Collins’ “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay” (YA fantasy): After holding out for months, I decided it was now or never if I didn’t want to be totally spoiled, and finally read the copy of “The Hunger Games” on my bookshelf. And obviously had to get the next two.
Two anthologies edited by Trisha Telep: “Kiss Me Deadly” (YA urban fantasy), which I mentioned here, and “The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2” (genre self-explanatory) because that had a Karen Chance short story (autobuy!) and an Ava Gray one. I’ve Ms Gray’s “Skin Game” in my TBR pile and have been meaning to get around to it for ages as I’ve only heard good things.
Cassandra Clare’s “Clockwork Angel” (YA fantasy): I liked her Mortal Instruments trilogy (the ending not so much) and the cover on this is beautiful.
Pretty evident which sections I’ve been spending time, huh?