My friend Emily Pullen at Skylight Books in Los Angeles wrote a great post about the price wars between Amazon and Wal-Mart. If you haven’t heard, the two behemoths are reducing prices of bestsellers to ridiculous prices. I love Emily’s response:
But times are tough, everyone’s pockets are feeling a little empty these days, right? What kind of soulless person would think that cheaper isn’t better? According to Merriam Webster, the verb to cheapen also means “to lower in general esteem; to make tawdry, vulgar, or inferior in some moral sense.” And frankly, that’s something that I’d rather not do to our concept of reading and its influence in our lives. I’m amazed that publishers don’t seem more outraged about this. As luxuries go (and reading is usually a luxury), you can’t get much more economical than a book. Let’s say you read one page per minute for 30 minutes every day. At that rate, it would take you 10 days to read a 300 page book, or 5 total hours. Where can you get 5 hours of entertainment or education for less than $15, let alone 10 DAYS of entertainment or education for about $25? And what if that book happens to change your life? Priceless.