Sunday, March 31, 2013

Raving for a Change: Amazon


By JccKeith

In the last two days I have downloaded more books than I have over the past year.  Over the past year I have read what I consider to be a very small number of books.  To put it in a way most can understand, I just didn’t have the money to buy any new books.  I was too busy spending it on other things like food, my mortgage, utilities and clothing for my children.

Times are tough.  It is hard to find justification for spending even a few dollars on a book I may or may not like in addition to shipping costs.  Back in the day when times were great I would have gladly handed over whatever amount for the simple joy of holding a new or used book in my hands. 

I love books.  I like the smell of ink off the pages of a book.  I like the way words look printed on the pages of books.  I like flipping through the pages.  I like earmarking the pages.  I like placing a bookmark between pages.  I like the way books look on my shelves.  I even like the way books look stacked up on top of things because I have no bookshelf space remaining.

My passion for books has been temporarily locked away.  I realize that digital copies of books, kindle formats, are much cheaper than physical printed copies of books.  I just hate, really hate reading books on a computer screen of any kind no matter how large or small.  I don’t like scrolling down or sliding my finger across a screen to turn a page.  I hate it.

I need the feel of a page in my hand.  I need to physically turn pages.  So for years I have avoided downloading books for a kindle.  I don’t own a kindle but I have one I could use in my house.  I refused to give in to the pressure, even the financial benefit, of reading on a screen.  But now things are different.

I still despise reading on screen just as much but I have, due to financial reasons, given up the quest to only
Picture that came up
when I typed in Amazon
read physical printed copies.  I miss reading lots and lots of books.  I miss having access to other people’s imaginations.  I miss the wondrous thing that occurs when I read a book.  My world is expanded, characters of all kinds fill my thoughts and I am exposed to new ideas and new cultures when I read.  I have decided I just can’t go any longer without access to books.

So I logged onto Amazon.  Disheartened at the prices of printed copies I was skeptical.  Then I began to discover free kindle copies of books.  They were books I was uncertain about as far as whether or not I would enjoy the writing style and plot line.  I was astounded at how many free books were offered.  There seemed to be just as many offered for only $0.99 or $2.99.  These I could afford.

I hated the idea of downloading free books because I understand Amazon forces independent authors to offer their books for free for a certain period of time.  I hate to not support these authors by paying for the books.  I consoled myself with the idea that although I was downloading the one book for free, if I liked it I would be a lifelong fan.

See, if the book wasn’t free, I wouldn’t have been able to read it because I wouldn’t have wanted to risk wasting even a few dollars.  For now, wasting even a few dollars is too much.  However, things will not be this tough forever.  Things are going to be improving very soon.  When that happens, I can guarantee that if I like the free book, I will be purchasing more of the author’s works.  Being certain I like their work, I will have no problem paying for it.

So today I am raving for a change about something.  I am giving Amazon a rave for offering free books.  I feel it is a great way to get people like me to read author’s works they may otherwise not have read.  I may have never given these authors a chance.  Now, thanks to Amazon I can get back to my favorite pastime of reading and enjoying other people’s ideas.  I can start exploring the epic fantasy universe again.

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