Friday, January 20, 2012

The Kindle Problem

I can't imagine there are many people out there who aren't finding that their e-reader is increasing the amount they spend on books.  A lot of people defray the cost by choosing some of their books from the many free options available.  I just can't do that--my to-read list is already more than 500 books long (that's the A-list, mind you; I also have a B-list of over 400 books).  I'm trying NOT to find more books to read.

So I've had a two-pronged approach of a) mining the library's ebooks for all they're worth, and b) sticking with about half paper books.  So I'm still using the library extensively, which is pretty great.  Sure, my book buying has increased, but I actually feel pretty good about the idea of spending some of my disposable income sending money at some of the authors I like, especially the ones who aren't rich and famous yet.

But then I run up against a conundrum like Tomorrow Girls. I've heard great things, and it's a kids' series, so the books are a little cheaper.  I figured what the heck and bought the first one, Behind the Gates.  It turned out to be a lot of fun--in a future America (points!) where resources are scarce and the nation is at war, Louisa's parents are lucky to have enough money to send her and her best friend Maddie to boarding school (points!), where they'll be safe. 

Louisa's having a great time learning outdoor skills, making friends, and impressing her teachers.  But the school doesn't quite make sense--if there's no reception, why were their cellphones taken away?  Why do they need to learn survival skills?  There are plenty of interesting secrets to uncover.

I really enjoyed this--a fun, quick middle grade read that moved quickly and kept me guessing without being confusing.  For a middle grade book, it was really impressively accessible as an adult.  I want to read the next one--in fact, there are already four of them, and I'm not sure how many there will be total.

And herein lies my problem.  I bought the first book for $8.  While I really love this book, I'm not sure if I want to run out and spend almost $24 on the next three.  But--BIZARRELY--the BPL doesn't have any copies of these.  I might be able to find them through the Minuteman network, but even they only have a few copies and it's not clear if they have the second one. 

I guess $24 ($32 total) isn't that much in the greater scheme of things.  I've got some gift certificates to spend and things.  Still, though, I have a terrible time with things like this.  The Kindle puts this conundrum--is this worth my money?--in front of me significantly more often than the library ever did.  Surprise!


Linden said...

Weird! My library doesn't have that series either... My solution is that I just don't read anything that my library doesn't carry, but I realize that might not be acceptable to everyone...:)

Brenda Pike said...

So I was interested in this (the first book at least) because of your review, but I thought, "$8, really? That's a lot for a YA Kindle book." Then when I downloaded it, it was actually $5.59. The others were $5.38 each. Did the price go down?

I'm just sayin', I think you're exaggerating your Kindle conundrum.

LibraryHungry said...

First, I think it was $7 instead of $8, so that was my mistake. Second, looking at it now, I may have mistaken the print price for the Kindle price, but I really could swear that didn't happen. I'm always terrified that the price is going to change and I'll have spent money I didn't need to, though--I need to get over both that anxiety and that paranoia!

Brenda Pike said...

It *is* kind of ridiculous that the print price is only a buck more than the Kindle price. Printing and shipping and storing a book must cost more than that.