17 June 2012

Sunday Salon: Books -- Possessions or Experiences?

Hold on to your hats, folks -- I bought a book.

True, it was only a 99-cent ebook, but long-time readers of my blog know that I get all my books from the library. Even my ebooks and audio books come from the library's website. However, I was reading a book that I enjoyed so much that I couldn't wait to read more of the author's work, so I went straight to Amazon and bought one of her books. It was a surprise to me how quickly and easily I did it since I have a slight fear of spending money.

Buying this ebook made me think again about the relationship that I and other readers have with books. A big reason why I've rejected ebooks in the past is that I had trouble paying for something that I couldn't hold in my hand. This past week has shown me that I don't always have to have the physical book. I didn't mind paying 99 cents for the chance to experience the book, almost in the same way you pay for entrance to a concert or a play. I haven't settled yet on an upper limit of what I am willing to pay for an ebook, but thinking of an ebook as an experience rather than a possession has made it easier for me to part with my cash.

QUESTION: Do you have trouble spending money on digital items?

2012 Goodreads Reading Challenge:  We are halfway through the year, so I thought it might be a good idea to revisit my one and only reading challenge. For those who don't know, the Goodreads challenge is a simple one -- you set your own goal for how many books you want to read by the end of the year. The site keeps track of how close you are by monitoring your Read shelf. 

My goal was 50 books read by the end of the year, and thus far I've finished 28 books. That puts me five books ahead of schedule. Starting Thursday, I will be spending a lot of time in doctors' offices and hospital rooms (my son's surgery is on Friday). I imagine that I will be doing a lot of reading to distract myself. That goal may be toast by August!


The Intrepid Angeleno said...

Congrats on spending money! It took me awhile to come to grips with spending money on digital items at first but now I like the instantaneousness of it and find myself doing it without a second thought, which is not always good. :-/

Hope all goes well for your son!

Nose_in_a_book said...

Interesting question. Yes, I do shy a little from spending on digital items. A lot of my friends have been digital-only when it comes to music for several years now whereas I could still count on one hand my digital albums. I am considered terribly old fashioned for buying CDs! And I don't have nearly as much love for my CDs as I do for my books. But I'm also eco-conscious and in that sense digital is the future, right?

Ms. Lab Rat said...

A lifetime of using the library taught me to value books not for what I held in my hand, but for what I walked away with. So yes, the transition to ebooks was all too easy for me.