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Discounts and book hoarding

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A guy I knew in law school had a mental list of actresses whose careers he wished would tank so he would get to see them in Playboy or some B movie. In other words, the decline of an actress’s career ultimately led to some form of nudity in order to revive her fortunes.  These days instead of Playboy it’s sex tapes or the “inadvertent” release of nude selfies.

I kind of feel the same way about books from some publishers and self published authors.  Wait long enough, sometimes even just a few months, and the book will be discounted to $2.99 and under.  When I do the daily deals, I often come across books I’ve paid full price for like the Harry Hole books by Jo Nesbo.  Some of those I paid the $9.99 because they were for my husband who only reads a couple books a month.  Sometimes I’ll come across deals for books that I bought months ago at a higher price (like $3.99) and I haven’t read the book yet.

Lately I have found myself waiting to buy certain books, even at the not so high price of $5.99, particularly if I’m not going to read that book right away.  I’m much more choosy about books above the $3.99 price from a traditional publisher and even self published books I find myself hesitating at the $3.99 price point because so many of them get discounted, almost within weeks.

Part of my buying habits changed because higher priced books have often disappointed me and I’ve sometimes found gems in the lower priced tier.  But I also think I’m just used to seeing more and more books getting discounted.  I was surprised to see Jeaniene Frost’s March 2013 book come out at a discount.  I paid $7.99 for that book and it was an okay read.  I guess I’ll wait to purchase the next Frost in hopes that I can buy it at a discount just a few months after the release.

Conversely, I find myself buying more books at the 99c or $1.99 price point even if I have no interest in reading them.  For instance, I bought This Man and Beneath This Man for 99c. and $1.99 respectively even though I DNF’d This Man last year.  The third in the series is being released in June and I thought to myself, well, maybe I’m going to want to read this series someday and I might as well buy now at the low price than pay higher prices in a year.  Remember, I’ve already DNF’ed the first book yet I think I may want, someday in some unknown future, want to read the trilogy.

In essence, I’ve become a book hoarder. I’m squirreling away freebies, 99c and sometimes $1.99 books for the long cold winter, I guess.  I’ve got so many of these books, many of them poorly written and barely edited, in my TBR pile that it’s hard for me to tell them apart.  But my library is huge.

Pricing is really screwing me up these days.  I’m buying more book I won’t end up reading and buying fewer books that I might read all because of price.  I’m not sure when this will change. I read a shopping tip the other day that you shouldn’t buy anything on sale that you wouldn’t be willing to pay full price for.  I actually do this with clothes and shoes but I’ve not yet instituted this rule for books.  Are your habits changing any with the discounts?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. CGirl
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 05:22:20

    Well, you are not alone Jane. I have hundreds of books on my e-reader and who knows if or when I will get to them. You are right on about the fluctuations in price and unless it’s a absolute fav author (only a handful for me), I won’t buy a book with traditional pricing. I also compare the price of the book with the number of pages. I am not a fan of the novella. For the most part, I find that they are not enough ‘story’ for me to get immersed in the book. There are quite a few sites out now where you can track the price drop of a book and / or search for the lowest book price (good if you have an iPad – the universal reader option). I recently did some renovations in my house and had to organize some rooms. I’ve realized that I hoarded physical books as much as e-reader books. One is just more ‘in your face’. There were quite a few books that I haven’t read yet – some paid at full price and others on sale (who could pass up a deal). So for me, the habit is not changing. The volume has and maybe it’s because if I had the number of e-books I have been ‘hoarding’ sitting around the house, I’d be on a show called ‘Hoarders’.

  2. msaggie
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 05:35:20

    Jane, the Daily Deals you do are great, and I check them daily. Unfortunately, like you, I have the same problem of hoarding books – I have bought lots of 99c or $1.99 or $2.99 books which I still haven’t read yet. Having an e-reader has certainly made me buy more books, as I can’t see them pile up on my physical bookshelves anymore! I also buy books which are out first-time in hardback, because the kindle price is usually cheaper (but still a few dollars more than when it finally comes out in paperback). In the past, I used to patiently wait my turn for the library copy to get to me.

  3. TrishJ
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 05:36:04

    Oh my yes!! And i find myself buying discounted books I have already read. These are usually by a favorite author, but not necessarily a book I loved. I so many books in my TBR pile that I HAVEN’T read that it seems silly.

  4. msaggie
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 05:38:59

    @TrishJ: I have a tendency to buy a book I already have too – but that’s the great thing about kindle as it tells me immediately “You bought this book on xxx”. I almost got the NK Jemisin when it was discounted the other day – and found out I already got it the last time it was discounted.

  5. Liz H.
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 06:08:53

    As a grad student I’m on a bit of a stricter budget, so sale prices have changed my buying habits a bit differently. I have a list of must buys, and a list of other releases (10 vs. 45 for the year so far). I’m being stricter about buying those other releases only on sale, but that’s letting me stretch the same money to more books and I’m trying more new authors than I otherwise likely would.

    The other thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve got fewer must buys from Big 6/any publisher with DRM. I think this is because when I’m choosing new authors to try I gravitate to books without DRM because it’s just easier, and when the sale prices are equal, why not. So as old favorites age out, they’re being replaced with more e-press/indies.

  6. Noelle
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 06:08:57

    I think this must be a widespread change in book-buying habits. I’ve seen a difference even since January on whether I can get a book to move at all at $2.99.

    Some things haven’t changed. If a book is from a favorite author, people will buy it regardless of price. And if a book is getting really great buzz, people will buy it too, as long as the price is reasonable. But otherwise I think a lot of readers are just waiting for the price to be less than a dollar.

    I have friends who self-publish who have just changed the prices for all their books to $.99 permanently, regardless of length, since that’s the only way to get the books to move at all. The problem with this is that people will buy a book simply because it’s cheap and keep it in their book hoard, and so the low price doesn’t necessarily build a readership.

    I do the same thing as a reader–buy books on sale just because they’re a good deal and not buy books by authors who aren’t sure things if they’re more than a dollar. I don’t know if this is a permanent change in the perceived value of an ebook, or if it will change as we realize the extent of our book hoards and wonder if we really need to be collecting books we’ll never read this way.

  7. SAO
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 06:37:35

    I buy books that I might not otherwise buy when they are discounted. It hasn’t led to a lot of great finds. I got a Grace Burrowes book that convinced me never to buy another Grace Burrowes — and the discovery that this rule is hard to get Amazon to understand, since I paid for the book. I bought a few m/m to try them out. One was free, the other strongly recommended at DA. The first I didn’t finish and the second I enjoyed, but it confirmed my feeling that m/m isn’t for me, so the author didn’t make it on to a list of authors to remember.

    However, I have found wonderful books and authors in the used book swap organized by my kids’ international school. I usually have more coupons to get books than books I want, so I try out things I wouldn’t otherwise get because the cost is zero. For books, I mostly use the library, but a few book swap authors have become go-to authors for when I buy books and are a significant chunk of my book buying.

    But, the bottom line is, I buy more books now that the prices are low.

  8. Cindy
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 07:38:42

    I’ve done the page count vs. price thing too. I actually like novellas at around 100 pages…it’s the right speed with my inability to hold my concentration for long nowadays. But a few that I’ve bought at 2.99 have ended up with actual story pages at 50 or less, and the rest is preview chapters from other books.

    Other than that, I’m not so much driven by price but whether the story is in one of my sub-genres (historical western? medieval? steampunk? futuristic?) and with the self-publishing choices in that way I find myself snagging and hoarding.

  9. Becky Black
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 07:43:59

    I’ve got a collection on my Kindle called “maybe later”, and almost all of the books in there are freebie ones. I’m not saying every freebie one will go in there. Some will go on my actual To Read list. But if I see a freebie that looks like it’s one I might fancy, I’ll grab it now and store it away. I don’t just grab stuff because it’s free, I will only get ones that look like something I probably would like to read, even if I don’t plan to very soon. (I think I have got a couple of books that cost 20p in some mad Amazon promo in there, but there are the exception.)

    As for discounts, well if I’m going to spend money on a book, even if it’s only the 99c/77p price point on Amazon, it will only be on one I will put on my TBR list and will read. I might well buy them on impulse because they are discounted, but only if they are “definitely will reads”, not “maybe laters”. I’ve found several books I might not have taken the chance on otherwise that way.

    But I still buy plenty of full price ebooks too. Discounts and freebies are great, but I wouldn’t rely on them to be my entire library. I would miss out on too much that way, new books mostly.

  10. Lil
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 07:44:54

    This is so funny. I do exactly the same thing, buying all those $.99 and $1.99 books, to say nothing of loading up on the freebies, just in case I wake up one morning and discover I have nothing to read. (That means no actual paper books to read. I’m afraid ebooks are my court of last resort.)
    At least I don’t feel nearly as annoyed as usual when a $.99 book turns out to be a DNF. I haven’t thrown away all THAT much money!

  11. Maddie
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 07:47:04

    I think I wrote this articles! I agree with everything you wrote and I find myself hovering over books wheni know that author is getting ready to release a new book, just in case her previous books go on sale.

    I also have a huge Amazon wish list that I check to see if they have been reduced in price.

    The only authors that I do buy at $9.99 or more are KMM and Kresley Cole oh and Sylvia Day Crossfire series, others I would do the whole budget thing.

  12. Berinn
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 07:55:00

    I find myself buying only my auto-buy authors at full price, otherwise I’m now timid to pick up new books at anything about 3.99. As for sales, I used to glom onto anything that looked remotely decent. I’ve picked up way too many duds and dirtied my library, so I now read the reviews and sample pages before committing .99. I guess I’m trying to bring the sanctity back to my abused library.

  13. Mikaela
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 08:16:16

    The only authors I buy at list price is auto buy authors, and those I get in paper since I balk at paying more than 6.99 for e-books. Otherwise, I wait for a good Kobo coupon or for them to go on sale. And most of the books go on sale sooner or later.

  14. Colette @ A Buckeye Girl Reads
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 08:21:00

    You are not alone in this, and I have also become a book hoarder for the same reason. I also have become a page count watcher-I really think long and hard about spending $1.99 if it’s under 100 pages.

  15. Rosie
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 08:38:08

    I’ve recently begun to get control of my impulse buying. For a while, I would look at a $.99 book and if it looked halfway interesting, I’d think, why not? But as I noticed more and more of those cheapies sat on my Kindle forever because I frankly just had no real desire to read them, I realized it really was a waste of money. I could’ve spent those dollars on books I really want to read. Ones that have been sitting on my wish list calling to me but being rejected because they’re above the “ok to buy” price point.
    Now if I see a discounted book in the Daily Deals post, or elsewhere, I stop and consider the question, do I really want to read this? Really? And I’ve stopped myself from hitting that buy button quite a few times.
    Sometimes I regret resisting. When I see the price go back up to $9.99 (or whatever) and later see a glowing review and get an urge to actually read that book, I kick myself because I knew I had the chance to get it for $1.99 a month ago and passed. But that’s rare.
    I guess the way discounted ebooks have changed my buying habits most is the amount of time I’m willing to wait to read a book that’s NOT discounted. There are a few books on my wish list that have sat there forever. I keep thinking, as soon as I give in and buy that $9.99 book, the price will fall the next week. It’s inevitable. So I wait. Sigh.

  16. Ros
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 09:03:49

    It’s funny but I find that digital reading has (somewhat) liberated me from the TBR pile. I now mostly only buy books that I want to read RIGHT NOW. I think it’s because I know that so long as my wifi doesn’t die, I can always buy more books. It’s not like being in a shop and thinking they might sell out or I might not be there again for a couple of weeks. The books are always there to be bought, so it’s okay if I don’t buy them until I’m ready to read them. I might have half a dozen or so that I’ve bought and then not been in the mood for, but not much more than that.

  17. Tsuki @ Tsuki Books
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 09:03:52

    I get this and I agree. I’ve instituted a no higher than 2.99 price point for things other than my top ten auto-buy authors. I signed up for’s watch list feature where I can set my list and it will email me when the price drops to the price I want. I set 3.99 ones to 2.99. A few weeks ago I got my first alert email and it stated one of my items had dropped the 1.00. I snagged it then and it went back up to 3.99 after the weekend. I’ve found it much easier to manage my list and pay only what I want for my most wanted.

    Great post.

  18. Luce
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 09:12:38

    This post made me chuckle ’cause I’m engaged in a constant battle against myself regarding buying ebooks because of the low prices.

    FWIW, I do have a handful of self-imposed ‘rules’ that I follow…most of the time:

    Aside from the authors in my very short auto-buy list, I won’t pay more than $8 for a book. My definition of book includes a word count of 100k words or more. I just can’t justify paying, say, $5 for a 30k story. More often than not, I try to buy at ARE because of their loyalty program.

    It’s not a perfect system, but it’s helped me keep my TBR pile a little more manageable.

    For me, the Daily Deals here at DA have been a way for me to discover authors whose books I’d like (but who I wouldn’t pay list price for.) To date, none of the books I’ve bought from the Daily Deals have been a dud.

  19. Sandy James
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 09:12:57

    I hadn’t realized I was truly a book hoarder until my husband and I recently moved. Since my nest is empty now, we were downsizing from a two-story, four-bedroom to a one-story, three-bedroom. I took a look at my two very tall very full bookcases (and that doesn’t even include all the books on my Kindle Fire!) and decided I had a “problem.” I ended up taking boxes of books to HalfPrice Books and made quite a bit of pocket money. Of course I didn’t leave the store without a few new books… :)

  20. Marianne McA
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 09:22:52

    No, not at all, but I never did TBR.

    I did buy the first Aaronovitch – Rivers of London – on a day it was discounted for Kindle. I’d read a lot of reviews but wasn’t sure he was for me, but I was prepared to try it on discount. But that’s what I’ve always have done – tried an author for free from the library, or secondhand.
    I bought the rest at full price.

    (I’d hate to have a Kindle full of books that I hadn’t read: be like a houseful of kids I hadn’t fed – an onerous responsibility rather than a source of happiness.)

  21. Keishon
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 09:39:32

    The only time that price is influential for me is when I don’t know who the writer is. Otherwise, I pay for what I want to read regardless of price for the handful of writers I read. I am trying to stop impulsively buying ebooks and have a wish list for ebooks to buy later. I usually will go through it to see what titles were price dropped or delete off titles that no longer interest me. In the end, sometimes it’s best to wait, I agree.

  22. Gwen Hayes
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 10:35:56

    I only notice how ridiculous it is when it’s been a long time since I converted my books to put in my Calibre library. And it takes days. And then I promise to stop. But cheap and free ebooks, I can’t quit you.

  23. cleo
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 10:49:20

    I’ve definitely become more of a book hoarder since getting my nook. I just recently have started trying to be more intentional about buying deals that I genuinely think I’ll read.

    I think my tbr pile says as much about my aspirations as it does my actual reading habits. Frex, I have books by the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela that I haven’t read yet. I am actually interested in spirituality and history but I tend to not read much non fiction. But it interests me and I think I might enjoy it, so I keep buying nonfic on sale. So, just in case I wake up one day wanting to read about the history of salt, I have it in my tbr.

    ETA – I am also a sucker for bonus bucks. I’ve bought tons of discounted books from ARe that I was only mildly interested in because I wanted the bonus bucks. Recently I signed onto a publisher’s site to preorder something and got caught up in their bonus bucks program. After a couple impulsive buys that didn’t work for me, I decided I need to be smarter about bonus bucks too.

  24. Milly
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 11:06:51

    Dear Jane the 1st step is to admitting to having a problem (tongue firmly planted in cheek)… that being said as one book hoarder to another a good chunk of my Calibre library is FULL of freebies and .99 cent deals. I don’t have enough hours in the day to get through by TBR pile. Man, at least my clutter is electronic otherwise I would be buried in books. It can even ruin my day when I see you post a book is discounted that I want to read, get all happy and click on the link and then see that the price is not discounted because I’m in Canada. Happy reading!

  25. Jody W.
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 11:11:52

    You should organize a hoarders’ read-a-thon, where people like us sign up and commit to reading (or trying to read) some of the books that have been gathering cyber-dust on their ebook readers for the longest. You’d enter your “start number”, which would be how many books are on your ebook reader, and report in once a week or so, with an additional “books added cuz I can’t stop don’t make me” column. I actually have gone so far as to have a “paid” folder on my Kindle so it’s easier to sort the $ from the freebies. The prize for the readingest reader would, of course, be more books :).

  26. Willaful
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 11:12:51

    I don’t think the adage about “never buy on sale what you wouldn’t pay full price for” really works with books, because generally, unlike a dress you’ve tried on, you don’t know what you’re getting with a book. (I have a similar rule with books I’ve already read — if I wouldn’t be willing to give the print copy houseroom, I don’t buy the ebook.)

    Low prices did lure me into buying far too many ebooks for a couple of years. Then I noticed that books I’d bought a year previously and still hadn’t read were now free. I buy far fewer ebooks now. As a friend pointed out, they only get cheaper. But it’s less about money and price than just about owning too many books and wanting to get to the ones I already have. I’ll buy a book if I really do want to read it right away.

  27. Lisa J
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 11:14:00

    This is so me. I have so many books I don’t know when I’ll read them all.

    The other reason I wait, especially on trade size books, the publisher will add a novella when the MMP comes out and even though I spent $10 + for the trade I miss out on the novella. I’ve stopped buying the trade size and just wait now. I have actually given up a few series because I didn’t buy the trade and have now forgotten the first book and don’t bother with the rest. I’m sorry to say Meljean Brook’s steampunk is one of these series.

  28. Willaful
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 11:21:47

    @Jody W.: This is just my opinion and no one ever wants to hear it :-\ but just as most stuff owned by hoarders is junk, many books owned by hoarders — and I freely admit I am one of them — are not books they really want to read. Reading more is rarely the answer. Setting boundaries about what comes into the house in the first place has been what works best for me, and learning to be smart and ruthless about getting rid of stuff comes next.

    I do do SuperWendy’s TBR challenge and find it helpful, but mainly because I wind up going through a ton of books before I settle on the one I want, and those other books go straight to the donation pile. The more often I think, “well, I’m just not in the mood for this book,” the less likely I’ll ever be in the mood for it. It gets a miasma of rejection.

    I’ve been in a support group for book hoarders for a couple of years now and this is some of the stuff I’ve learned from my own experience and that of other people. Those of us who have stuck to the group have made serious inroads in our tbrs and out of control keeper shelves, but mainly through buying less and getting rid of more, rather than trying to read it all.

  29. Darlynne
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 11:25:06

    I still check the library first to see if a book that sounds promising is available, and then reserve it. If it’s a book I loved reading, I’ll buy the digital edition or put it on a wish list in the hopes of a price-drop. That much hasn’t changed from when I bought print books and waited for a Borders’ coupon.

    If I’ve paid full price for a book, which only happens for authors on auto-buy, and then discovered a reduced price or free offer, I am happy to have supported an author whose work I enjoy.

    I noticed that Amazon’s recommendations for me now include a lot of discounted or inexpensive titles/authors, which bothered me at first. I wasn’t choosing books because they were cheap or free, I chose books I wanted (or wanted to take a chance on) when they were on sale, but I had to want the book first. Is that a distinction without a difference? I don’t think so, but then, as a hoarder, am I really in a position to know?

    In the end, the biggest shift in buying has been my willingness to take a chance on new authors; even then, that decision is based on recommendations/reviews here and at SBTB and the Book Smugglers, so I’m not exactly going wild and winging it.

  30. Virginia Kantra
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 11:44:57

    @Rosie: as I noticed more and more of those cheapies sat on my Kindle forever because I frankly just had no real desire to read them, I realized it really was a waste of money. I could’ve spent those dollars on books I really want to read.

    As a writer, this is the most encouraging comment I’ve read!

    As a reader, it reflects more of my own habits. Autobuys are autobuys for me, whatever the price point. I sometimes will be tempted by a deal, but only if it’s an author I’ve truly been meaning to sample anyway.

  31. Aloi (guiltlessreading)
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 12:26:52

    A tweet about this made me laugh, so I had to pop over and see what this was all about! I like to blog about the books Ive read but I think I’ve curbed my tendency to hoard by not have an e-reader :) I sometimes feel like I am totally out of the whole e-book fad but hey, i struggle with a growing pile of physical books already, so I can only imagine how easy it is to have an e-reader full of unread books.

  32. Isobel Carr
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 12:50:50

    I’ve gone the opposite way. I sample everything (even free stuff). If I don’t finish the sample, or if I finish it and don’t feel a deep desire to keep reading, I don’t buy. Doesn’t matter if the price is $9.99 or 99-cents. I guess I’m just not a sale-driven buyer.

  33. Jackie Weger
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 13:30:22

    @Colette @ A Buckeye Girl Reads: I’ve been hoarding books on my Kindle for two years. Like most of you, I download the freebies, the cheapies and pay what I must for my fav authors. I, too, have started looking for page counts before I buy. I do not enjoy buying a book, expecting hours of reading entertainment, only to learn I’ve bought instead, a novella or a short story–over before I’ve even finished my first pot of coffee. I spent an hour yesterday ‘managing’ my Kindle, deleting books I didn’t enjoy or those that promised much and delivered little. I’ve learned to be discerning–I download the sample first–even books touted to be by my fav authors–because now Amazon is selling fanfic–and I’ve bought a half-dozen.

  34. Jackie Weger
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 13:35:00

    @Virginia Kantra: I just glanced at my Amazon charge card statement. I’ve spent so much on ebooks in the past two years, I could have taken a luxury spa vacation and got shot up with little Botox, too. Shoot.

  35. Janine
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 13:55:27

    I’m trying to curb my impulse buying and book hoarding some, since there are too many books I just don’t get to. But this is hard.

    Long ago, I used to use the kindle sample feature to help me control my spending. I didn’t buy any book I had not sampled first.

    Alas, no longer! The daily deals have become my downfall. I saw books I’d sampled during a sale go up in price and felt silly for not having purchased right then. It’s frustrating when you miss out on a sale.

    The flip side of that is that once I started purchasing more and more on sale, I noticed that I wasn’t buying at full price anymore, even if it was a book I really, really wanted. With all the spending on sale books, I didn’t feel there was enough left in the book budget for the books I most wanted.

    Now I’m trying to find balance and resist the deals more often. Wish me luck!

  36. Virginia Kantra
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 14:00:06

    @Jackie Weger:

    I feel your pain! There are certain authors (Courtney Milan, I’m looking at you) that I totally glommed because (a) they are awesome and (b) e-book buying makes glomming so darn easy. But I wouldn’t trade those hours of reading pleasure even for a luxury spa vacation!

  37. Lindsay
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 14:08:10

    I was a huge physical book hoarder until the last time I moved, as the time before that I had 30 boxes of books and maybe 5 other boxes of stuff — that sort of woke me up and I started paring down and donating like mad. I love having a wall of books, but it just isn’t reasonable anymore as we’ll likely move again for work at least once more in the next few years. I still have books on my shelves, but they’re very carefully selected and have huge sentimental value (or are signed by authors I adore).

    With the physical down to about 100 books (instead of four bookshelves), my Kindle has exploded. I find that even authors I absolutely love, I will wait if their release is over $7.99, because I just have so many other things to read right now, thanks to the daily deals, Kindle daily deals, Kobo coupons, ARE deals and buy-10-get-1, etc.

    This has been pretty great, as I’ve been on bedrest for a broken rib since March, so I’m reading a book or two a day and discovering some great authors, and have absolutely no qualms about DNFing a 99-cent book and deleting it if it’s clearly not what I’m interested in. Romance is still a very new genre to me — I only found this site about a year ago! — so I’m still figuring out what my catnip is and what subgenres I really enjoy. I am oddly much more willing to take a chance on a $1.99 book if it’s a Romance than a Sci-Fi or Fantasy. If it’s non-fiction or a biography, anything under $10 is generally in my reasonable level, but I only tend to buy one of those a month.

    I also pick things up specifically for my mom and sister, as they share my Kindle account, and my dad as he’ll sometimes steal my mom’s kindle if I mention I found him something! I think he’s going to need his own pretty soon, heh.

  38. library addict
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 14:09:24

    I don’t have a special freebie folder. I put all of my new-to-me authors in a folder called “undetermined” but every digital book I have goes into Calibre. At the beginning of the year I went through and culled my out-of-control TBR list. I don’t usually read samples, so finally did try most of the freebies/bought on sale books and ended up deleting a whole lot of them. Since then I’ve tried to ask myself “Do I really want to read this at some point.” I’ve found I don’t get nearly as many self-published books regardless of cost as I used to. I have my list of autobuy authors I get on sale when I can, but if it’s a book I really want to read I don’t mind paying full price. Of course, my autobuy list is much smaller nowadays than it was even 10 years ago. Plus when I sat down and looked at what I spent on books last year I saw just how much those “It’s only 99¢” books added up to (it was a lot – lol).

    Although I still buy a very small group of authors in print and digital, I think it’s time to admit to myself I’ve become an almost exclusively digital reader.

    As for backlist, I am not-so-patiently waiting for many of the favorites I own in print to be released in digital. Despite vowing I would not “replace” all of keeper shelve books with digital copies, I have when the books are available digitally (and still have the print copies – oops). That’s the only time I find I won’t pay full agency pricing for a book. I can’t justify paying $7.99 for a category length book I already own in print regardless of how much I may have enjoyed it. I yearn for the day Penguin books become coupon eligible again.

  39. Willaful
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 14:18:30

    @library addict: “I think it’s time to admit to myself I’ve become an almost exclusively digital reader. ”

    I was late with my TBR challenge book this month, because my rule is it has to be a book I own in print… and I stopped reading and waited for the ebook version to be available from the library.

  40. Jackie
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 14:47:46

    I definitely check page length/word count, and hoarding freebies is an ongoing problem. And I buy A LOT of books. But I don’t think I can buy any ebook for 9.99. That just sets my teeth on edge. I don’t know about .99 cent ebooks, though. That price point just doesn’t speak to me.

    Also, I don’t think e-prices always go down, or are generally trending down.

    In my writer’s circle, there are several indie authors as well as lots of aspiring authors dreaming of agents. The indies are very professional, and these folks sell a lot of books–from a few thousand books a year to two who sell >100 thousand a year. These people know their business and they don’t have price volatility like we see in the trades. They say 3.99 is their price for a novel, and it doesn’t go down. May even go up next year, the way they sell.

    Of course, their royalty structure is so much better than in the trades, they don’t feel market pressure in the same way. I am sorely tempted to go indie, after what I’ve heard from them.

  41. Moriah Jovan
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 15:11:24

    With physical things, I’m an anti-hoarder/anti-packrat. I will throw something out I KNOW I’ll use tomorrow, I’m so in desperate need of uncluttered space.

    HOWEVER. I have a couple of terabyte hard drives and I’m not afraid to use them. I am a data hoarder of all types, not just ebooks. I have email saved all the way back to 1997.

    That said, my checkbook is my guide, so now even the 99c books get a side-eye. It’s not that I don’t want to hoard. It’s that right now, getting my house foundation repaired is a bit more important than an ebook or ten (thousand).

  42. Shel
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 17:58:50

    Yes, I’ve totally become an ehoarder with the freebies.
    I even bought a Kobo ereader almost solely because it shows book synopsis info (in the metadata; you can add in calibre as lots of publishers don’t seem to include it by default.)

  43. Sarah Hipple
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 19:16:14

    I completely agree, although I think my biggest problem is that the cheaper books have completely ruined me for the more expensive ones. It does bother me that I’ll try three cheap books for the same price I might have spent on a book that sounds like a really good read but has a price that makes me shy away.

    I need to give up three cheapos in favor of the one I really want to read! I need to retrain myself.

  44. Deljah
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 19:52:39

    I probably do hoard ebooks, mainly freebies. When I discovered ereaderiq back in the day, I would download everything. I’m a lot more discriminating now, but still download a good bit.

    I will pay for books that are interesting and that I think I will read at some point. I bought two books today that I just heard about today and have already started reading. But sometimes I also think, “I have too many things to read to pay a cent for *this particular* book”, so I don’t buy. I won’t give anybody $9.99 for a book anymore. I’ll just wait.

  45. Chris Ward
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 20:59:33

    I pick up the odd book on discount but I’m extremely selective. I only read about 20 books a year and I have enough books I want to read already that I’m prepared to pay full price for so I don’t like my Kindle being cluttered with books I may or may not ever get around to reading.

  46. Kaetrin
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 21:29:59

    I’ve always been a book hoarder. Digital books and sales just make it easier for me. *sigh*

  47. Susan
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 16:51:06

    Man, do I ever HATE to see a book I’ve paid full price for go on sale. And, yes, that Frost book was one that burned me up baaad. I’m just starting to try to rein myself in a bit, tho, and there are some publishers that go directly to the wish list until the price comes down.

    As a paper book hoarder, going digital just changed the medium. Although it’s better to have a cluttered cloud than a cluttered home (or storage unit, in my case), when you’re closing in on 5 figures’-worth of ebooks it’s time to rethink things.

    That said, I’m sure I’ll still be checking out DA’s daily deals. Sigh.

  48. Willaful
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 17:04:05

    I dislike even e-cutter, because though space isn’t an issue, you still have to manage and organize the information. I make it a practice now to delete leftover ADE files from library books regularly because otherwise I later get confused about whether I bought the book or borrowed it. And I try to delete kindle books I don’t want because they slow down the load when searching on Amazon. (Which will at least let you search! B&N is hopeless.)

    My calibre library is enormous now (over 2000 books, and it’s only my main library) and it’s making me antsy.

  49. Lesley L
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 17:10:50

    I’ve recently discovered this word: Abibliphobia (fear of running out of reading material) which describes me accurately. At this moment I have 3,144 books in my Kindle cloud account, of these books, I have only paid for 1 of them. I will say it has taken me about a year to collect all of these and to date I’ve probably only read 5 of them (but I just got a kindle). So please don’t feel alone in your hoarding of books. I don’t know how many physical books I have, not quite as many though.

  50. CK
    Jun 25, 2013 @ 09:42:42

    I must be in the minority. I have always had (and mostly followed) a rule about ebooks. I may have: (a) all the ones I’ve read; (b) the one I am currently reading; and (c) the one I am certain I will read next. That’s all I’ve paid for. I do have a few – less than a dozen – freebies that I’ve downloaded from author’s websites or promotions. Of those, I’ve read most. Don’t hold me to this but I think there are currently only two unread – a Moira Rogers and Tarnished Knight.

    I use the library, paperback swap, loaning and buying physical books as well to feed the reading habit. Unfortunately, I have quite a few of those physical books – maybe 15 – in the TBR pile.


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  52. Rochelle
    Aug 08, 2013 @ 14:52:18

    I have hundreds of books in my ereader that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get to. I am a hoarder as well. I think these daily deals are messing all of us up. They’re awesome and everything, I’ve found great authors through a free book. I just worry about those that are regular priced. I found this amazing book the other day ($5.99) and shared it with my friends and family. 8 of them asked me if it was free before they would even look at it. They didn’t even look at it! How lame. I love a good freebie or deal, but when that means I won’t read quality stuff because of the price then something is wrong. 5.99 isn’t even that much for the amount of work that goes into a novel. But then, here I am hoarding free books. I have read books I might not have read if I’d had to pay for them. But I agree, it’s changing the way we deal with books you actually have to buy.

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