Tuesday, September 10, 2013

buying books

Them there books sure are 'spensive these days. Sigh. If I had a dollar for every time someone said this to me...*

And I know. It's true. $30ish dollars for a trade paperback adult novel isn't a small amount of money. $30 is my share of the kitty in my sharehouse for a whole week. It's just over four days travel on your MYKI. Around 3 pints of beer - and don't try to tell me you've never dropped that in one evening without even thinking twice about it. 

Purchased and borrowed from a variety of sources.

Books cost a lot. We're such a teeny tiny market in this country, we just can't compare with America or even the UK. Things just cost more here. I'm sure that if we lived in the States my housemates and I could buy way more stuff with our $30 each a week.

I totally get the allure of Amazon and the Book Depository. But try to understand that they are basically the devil. How can we expect to have a local publishing industry if people continue to send their money to companies that don't even pay tax in Australia?

Mark Rubbo, the managing director of Readings, in a recent interview with the Design Files said: '...the huge share that online booksellers, especially the overseas ones, have is another challenge. It galls me that these monkeys don’t have to collect GST – they rip the guts out of local publishing and bookselling and on top of that they avoid paying tax.'

If you love Australian books, support them with your money. Buy books. Make a point of buying locally. If you want to buy books online, try Bookworld. It's not as good as buying from a real shop, but it's easy and quick, they offer some sweet discounts.

Perhaps aim to buy one book from a local independent bookshop each month. This is my rule, though usually I end up buying more and have to sacrifice something else - usually credit card repayments. Then source your other reads elsewhere if you want, especially if you're a voracious reader or poor  (or both). Libraries, secondhand bookshops, Bookworld, the Little Library ... or maybe work for a publishing house so you can get copies of some books (for me: Wild Awake) to keep for your own. Better yet - buy kids' and YA books - they're cheaper!

Maybe you love reading so much you want to be a book blogger. Publishers will probably be quite happy to send you books to read and review - and there's a vibrant YA blogging community in Aus, with readers from all over the world.

I just ask one thing. Bloggers, when offering your readers the option to click through and buy the book, consider not linking to those devilish sites mentioned above. You're in the business of selling books too, by recommending them. When you've been able to read a book for free, make sure you do right by its publisher, and especially its author.

Oh so many great Australian books!

There's so little money in books and publishing. Let's just make sure we put it in the right places in order to keep all the good stuff coming back in return.

*(I could buy so many more books)