Affordable Reads

Have you noticed how expensive books are these days? As a person who always has a book on the go, I can’t help but be shocked to the point of wanting to scream multiple four-letter words at the top of my lungs whenever I see the price of books lately. Ok maybe the same four-letter word multiple times since it is such an effective word. It makes one feel like they are releasing a great amount of frustration with its use.

Up until a few years ago (maybe six years ago), I was the person with a pile of books to be read taking up space on my desk and sometimes my nightstand and occasionally on the dining room table. I loved my books and would have difficulty parting with them if they were especially good reads. There are a some books that I had read several times and could never part with. Timothy Findley’s, Not Wanted On The Voyage, which is my favourite book, tops my multiple-read list at five times.

But I was getting tired of the piles. Looking like a hoarder was not on my wish list. Then I purchased an iPad and realized how easy and, at the time, inexpensive ebooks were. I liked reading on my iPad, the words were clear and well lit. I could adjust the font and the size of the font. I could reverse the screen in order to read at night and not wake my husband. This is now my preferred reading setting no matter what time it is.

In the past year, because of our water damage and the need to have things boxed up for several months, I took the opportunity to cull my book collection and donate a couple of boxes of books I knew I wouldn’t really miss to the SPCA Thrift Store. I still kept my very favourites, but now have a bookshelf that doesn’t have stacks growing on top of the rows.

However, ebooks started to also get expensive in the last couple of years. They are now about the same price that I used to pay for physical books. I believe in paying for books because I believe that authors should get paid for their work. This is one of the reasons why I rarely bought used books, unless it was a book out of print. Writing is hard work; but ,unfortunately, a traditional publisher gets the largest percentage of the profits. E books actually give the author a greater percentage of the sales price than physical books, up to about 50% instead of about 10%, so I actually feel ok about purchasing ebooks over book books. On one hand, I am happy that the authors are able to make more money from their ebooks; but I am retired. There are no raises in my future, and I read a lot of books.

Next stop… Libby. Libby is the app that allows people to borrow ebooks from the library. Only have you tried to get decent books from the digital version of the library without having to get on a waiting list? And what do I read in the meantime? And how come the book I want always becomes available when I am in the middle of reading another good book? So then I delay delivery of the ebook and end up with nothing to read between reads because I finish the book I’m reading before the delayed delivery arrives. 

So basically reading has become expensive and sometimes challenging. 


Enter the publisher Simon and Shuster. A while back (maybe a year or two ago), I purchased one of their ebooks, which came with a link to sign up for future offers. Every Thursday I now get an email promoting a select list of ebooks with exceptional prices. Some of these are new books that the publisher wants to give some traction to. Others may be a few years old but were popular when they first arrived on the scene. 

Sometimes the list is all self help or trendy topics that I am not interesting in, but more often than not it is a list of novels or other genres I enjoy. This is when I dive in to take a good look. There is usually something that piques my interest. Then I go further, check out the learn-more link, and read a sample at my online book store. I look for good characters and excellent writing. The writing is key. If I like what I see, I purchase the book. This week it was two books at $2.99 each. 

I have enjoyed many very interesting books that I likely wouldn’t have read had I not been introduced to them in this manner. Leaving Coy’s Hill by Katherine A. Sherbrooke, is one. It is based on the life of Lucy Stone (1818 – 1893) the orator, abolitionist and suffragist who influenced and encouraged Susan B. Anthony. Lucy paid for her own education and spoke out on important issues of the day although it was very dangerous for a woman to do so at the time. She is said to be the first American female to keep her own name and property after she married. This was one of those books that makes you want to do some research. So you know I did the research.

There are many advantages to these affordable reads. 

1. I can continue to always have a book on the go and sometimes more waiting in line without the piles. I do not miss the piles. 

2. My reading budget is no longer suffering from inflation so my credit card bill for reading materials has decreased considerably. 

3. When I see a book that I want to read, especially one by a Canadian author because I like to support Canadian authors, I have no qualms paying full ebook price for it. I pay full price for approximately one out of every six ebooks I read. The rest of them are affordable because I will never stop reading. 

Thank you for reading. 

Photos: Header books screen capture, Jenn Stone; Other books, Goodreads.

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19 thoughts on “Affordable Reads

  1. I get most of my books from the library (both paper and ebooks) but you are right, there is often a wait… and come all at once. I also subscribe to BookBub, which sounds similar to the offers from Simon and Shuster (many/most are $1.99). You might want to check it out. I also tend to pick up one or two used books every time I bring donations to my favorite charity store.

    Thanks for the book tips… I haven’t read either Not Wanted On The Voyage or Leaving Coy’s Hill. Both sound interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like physical books and buy a few. But I tend to re-read a lot of my books annually – they’re mostly outdoor adventure stuff (true stuff not fiction) and people doing what I’m either doing or would like to do. I have quite a few children’s books though and really enjoy them – some of my favourites are the ‘Famous Five’ series by Enid Blyton – adventure stories with no violence. I also love the No.1 Ladies Detective Series based in Botswana – again gentle books with no real violence but quite humorous.

    You could do with coming over to pick over my parents’ house – I have to sell it to fund my mother’s care home but it’s chock full of books and there’s no way I’ll be able to get the charity shops interested in all that lot! Many will probably end up on the tip unfortunately.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m a voracious reader as well and you’re right, it’s becoming prohibitively expensive to buy new. I do, but I also buy used whenever I can. Wish I liked the ereaders , but I just don’t. It’s a tactile pleasure for me, old school all the way.

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  4. I still prefer a physical copy of books, but inflation and convenience have led me much more toward ebooks. I still get excited when a book comes in the mail. I hope never to lose that feeling.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve never taken to e-readers. I had a Kindle when they were brand new and tried to like reading off a screen, but realized I never remembered much about the books when I read them electronically. Put a paper book into my hand and I’m there for it. Weird huh? And in answer to your question: YES I’ve noticed how expensive books are now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had a kobo, which is similar to the Kindle, years ago and really didn’t like it but for some reason I love reading on the iPad. Partly because it is brighter and clearer. I read it horizontally in two page spread mode. And I have a case that can become an easel making reading at breakfast very easy. That’s often where I read blogs. Blogs and tea go very good together.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never read Not Wanted On The Voyage but I’ll look for it. I find I mostly by Kindle books. I tried my iPad but the light bothers my eyes, I find Kindle is easier for me. Often they have new authors or new to me for quite cheap, less than $5. Maggie

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi there, I popped over from Pamela Wright’s blog when I saw your name ‘Bitchy After 60″–LOVE it. Fellow Canadian and author here, and so I appreciate your love of books. I also am a book lover and get most of my books on loan now. I have a small space and can’t keep filling it with books! If I love a library book I will then buy it but I am very judicious. I have a large collection already. I read Not Wanted On the Voyage many years ago. It was an amazingly creative story telling and rich in detail. Timothy Findley is a Canadian gem.
    Anywho, nice to discover you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So nice to meet another Canadian reader. Thanks for dropping by. You are right, Timothy Findlay is a Canadian gem. His books have a special place on my bookshelf, which is filled mostly with Canadian authors. I am very loyal to the Canadian literary world. So glad you said hello.

      Liked by 2 people

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