How much of a bargain…?

I love books. I love reading books. I love buying books. I love buying books. I love giving books as gifts. Fiction. Non-fiction. Reference. No matter. I love books.

I also love a bargain.

When you read the above, I expect some of you immediately thought of a particular large online retailer of books. I have to admit to having used that retailer because of their prices and because I can buy simply by clicking a button.

Recently I have been noticing that book prices on that site are not as keenly priced as I, and, I suspect, millions of others had previously thought.

My best friend always buys her books from a local independent bookseller. I applaud her for it as I am a firm believer in supporting independent shops but I must admit that sometimes my laziness wins over my principles. However, I have read a blog post today that is making me think about what ‘getting a bargain’ really means.

Yes, I know that if you pay less for something that can be viewed as a bargain. However, if we buy a book from a retailer that operates in the ways described in the blog post how much of a bargain does it end up being? We, the book buying public, are being denied the opportunity of reading books by untold numbers of authors. How many wonderful books on how wide a range of subjects are we being prevented from buying. How much knowledge, how much skill, how much enthusiasm and imagination is being kept from us? Can there ever be too many books of any particular genre? Or too many books about your own favourite subject be it sewing, photography, natural history, poetry, rock climbing, art or whatever.

My reply is ‘No, there cannot be too many books to choose from’. What would your response be?

If we want access to new authors, mid-list authors, limited appeal books then we need to play our part. Is it really such a bargain if, by buying from the big retailers of books, we are effectively restricting our own choice of books?

To find your local independent bookshop, click HERE.


4 thoughts on “How much of a bargain…?

  1. As Henry Ford said of his cars, “You can have any colour you like, so long as it's black.” (In publishing terms I suppose that would be Grey.)

    I think traditional publishers & the major retailers are coming between books and their readers. It's hardly surprising that so many moderately successful mid-list authors are choosing to go indie. I'm one of them and I'm now making a living writing the kind of mixed-genre books I was told wouldn't sell.


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