Discounts and book hoarding
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?