Last week I spent $60 to purchase a book. Sixty! I got a used version of Doctor Strange Volume 1, part of the Marvel Masterworks series. Not including some very expensive textbooks that I had to buy for college, that’s a record for me!
The upshot is that I felt jittery and even kind of guilty! Who was I, after all, to blow that much money on a book? When it comes to books (and I say this both as a writer and huge fan of literature) I’m something of a cheapskate. I like buying books on sale, for Kindle, and I (especially) like used books. I often visit my library. I tend to only buy hardcover books at full price if I am at an author event, like a book signing, or if I am buying a book as a gift.
But since then, I have reconsidered my buyer’s remorse. Here’s why: my family cable bill. Full disclosure: Each month we pay $150 to RCN for cable. Now, that actually includes our home phone and internet connection, so it’s not ALL for TV, so let’s say $50 each month goes to pay for TV. That’s $600 dollars a year!
And that does not include movies. Last week, I took both my kids to a matinee showing of The Lego Movie and bought one large popcorn, Total cost of admission and snack was about $30. And that $600 figure also doesn’t include the occasional streaming movie rental or DVD purchase. All-in-all, I would guess that my family spends about $1,000 per year on video entertainment of various kinds. And- surprisingly- I don’t feel guilty about that at all!
By comparison, we probably spend a measly $30-$40 per month on books (for all four of us). So let’s say our book budget is closer to $350 per year. Anyway, that’s the kind of math that made me feel a bit better about a very rare book buy!