Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Value of Books

I was standing in the line-up at the local bookstore the other day waiting to pay for my purchase when I overheard a conversation.

Lady 1: Books are so expensive.

Lady 2: I know. Once you've read them what do you do with them? What good are they?

Needlesss to say, I was appalled. Why is it people hate paying approximately $8 to $12 for a regular sized paperback? They have no problem shelling out $2 to $3 for designer coffees and we all know what happens to them once you drink them.

They also have no problem shelling out $10 or more for a movie ticket. You do that for an hour and a half to two hours of entertainment in the movie theatre. When you add snacks and the fact that most people don't go to the movies alone, the cost sneaks even higher.

People will easily drop a $10 bill at a fast food restaurant. You'll be hungry again in a few hours. Yet most people don't complain about that. Maybe it's because food feeds the body.

Books feed more than the body, they feed the soul. They can entertain, inform, and take you places you've never been before. They can make you laugh, cry or sigh with pleasure. They can also take you away from your worrries and the stress of everyday living for a few hours.

Unlike a movie in a theate, a coffee, or a take-out order, when you're finished reading a book you still have it. It sits on the bookshelf, like an old friend, waiting to be read again. You can lend your favorite paperback to a friend. Even if you want to sell, donate or trash your paperback, (shudder) you've had an entertaining experience.

So in my humble opinion books are worth the cost. I've read thousands over the years, and although I haven't kept them all, I still have shelves jammed full of them. And you can be certain that some day this coming week, I'll be heading off the local bookstore to find a new one to add to the bookshelf.


Kathy said...

Well I can understand the beef about price. As with all things lately, the cost of books is going up. Unfortunately, our paychecks, however, are not going up. I remember not that many years ago when paperback books from the mass producers, namely Harlequin and Silhouette were only $2.95 a book. Now, they run about $6.99 to $8.99 a book. Ouch.

But that is where my understanding ends. I have massive amounts of shelves stuffed with books. And, I'm always re-reading them. So to me, the value of a book doesn't end after I have read it for the first time. I re-read all my books and ebooks many times over. If, after I have read a certain and decide it's not one I'll re-read, I donate it to my local library. I do NOT believe in trashing books.

With the cost of books as high as it is right now, it decreases how many I can buy at any given time, but I will continue to buy new books and ebooks and read them.

N.J.Walters said...

The price of books has gone up, but then again, so has everything else. I go to a lot of movies. Cheap night used to be $4.99, now it's $8.99.

The problem is what everyone makes doesn't keep pace.

It does decrease the amount of books I can buy too, Kathy. But, like you, I read my books more than once. *g*

Kathy said...

Geez where do you live? I used to be a manager for a local AMC theater 12 years ago. Back then, a special twilight showing ticket was 5 bucks. Nowadays, there are no special low price tickets and regular tickets cost 12 bucks. And don't even get me started on the cost of concessions. A family of three going to the movies could easily spend in one night almost a hundred bucks for tickets, popcorn and soda. It's so expensive that nowadays I wait for movies to come out on DVD before I see them. I can't afford the theaters anymore.

N.J.Walters said...

You can see a matinee here for $8.99 most afternoons. I think it's more on the weekends.

As for the popcorn...we don't bother. You'd want almost $20 for a small popcorn and drink. It's crazy.

charleneteglia said...

Amen, NJ. When two cups of coffee cost $5 and two movie tickets cost $20 (without popcorn), a $6.99 book is a pretty nice value.

N.J.Walters said...

That's what I thought too, Charli. At least you still have the book and can read it again.

Anny Cook said...

AMEN! Give me a book any day! I read mine over and over and over...

N.J.Walters said...

You and me both, Anny!