I like to think that I support my favorite authors, as well as my local bookstores. I’m constantly recommending authors and books in practically every other conversation that I have. I recommend to friends that they go here or there, buy this historical book or that novel . . .but in all honesty I should admit that I’m a very frugal man. (translation=cheap bastard)
I like to pimp the fact that Abebooks is an excellent resource for obtaining out of print books or inexpensive used copies. I’ve also extolled the virtues of the FirstLookBook program from Harper Collins, both here and elsewhere, that lets lucky readers obtain free galley copies of soon-to-be-released novels for review.
However I wonder if I’m being entirely fair to the authors by letting out all of my cheap/free-book secrets. Take, for example, my latest acquisition from QPB, one of the book clubs that I belong to. I recently obtained a spanking new copy of Dan Simmons’ The Terror for $13.00. It’s a large paperback version-hardcover sized, really–and, granted, I could’ve gotten a “used” hardcover copy for under $10 on Abebooks–but still it’s much cheaper than the usual hardcover price.
I also have managed to recently acquire the first six novels of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, in three hardbound editions, for $18.50. They should have run me a great deal more.
I make no secret of the fact that I also visit numerous local bookstores looking for used copies of novels, etc–often paying at little as 50 cents each for like-new paperbacks. (I’m just not paying full price for Star Trek paperbacks.) Granted, given the number of books I consume I could never afford to buy them all at list price, but still I’m faced with this quandry: is buying used or discounted books unfair to the author or is it just being Pennywise?