Saturday, May 31, 2008

People are reading less?

It seems to be a recurring cry that people are reading less and less these days. All sorts of reasons are given, but I'm wondering if one of them is the very basic factor of cost.

I went into a bookstore for the first time in ages yesterday (since I read mostly American books I tend to shop online, at a specialty store or buy ebooks) and I was horrified at the prices. An average mass market paperback was okay (for New Zealand) at about $21, but as soon as the books got a bit thicker the prices were jumping up to $26 - $30. No wonder people are reading less if books are so expensive because that doesn't even take into account the trade paperbacks that so many books are relased as these days.

I hope there's a corresponding upsurge in library use or people aren't reading because it's too expensive which is really, really sad.

7 comments:

fudgey said...

i will be honest and say i rarely read a hard copy of a book..
i listen to about 2 books a week that i buy form audible and sometimes itunes
i still buy copies of books to complete sets and i read them when i am on holidays .. but my down time is exclusively for cross stitch..
and yes books are expensive and not that much cheaper as audio books and often more expensive ...

Kerry said...

I hadn't considered the price compared to audiobooks but you're right. I'm on Audible's one credit/month scheme and one book a month is usually enough for me to keep up with (if I had more time to listen and stitch I'd go through more, but Marcus is usually around and I have to be ready to pay attention to him not listening to something else).

Rebecca said...

are you in New Zealand? I'm an American in Australia and books are MUCH more expensive here than on the shelf in an American bookstore. It was quite a shock walking in to a book store here. Stick with ordering online. Even with the extra shipping on Amazon coming from the US it's cheaper than buying at an Australian store....

Kerry said...

Rebecca - it's a big shock to the system, isn't it? Yes I'm in New Zealand, and I certainly buy anything I want in hardcover from Amazon as it's still cheaper than here. Paperbacks I still hesitate about, but I've discovered ebooks and buy a lot of those now (unfortunately not everything is available) and that makes a huge difference to my book budget as I can buy at the US cover price usually.

fudgey said...

kerry i am on the platinum level so i get two credits.. which is still a real bargain.. but i always have to buy a multitude of books as well..
and as i prefer unabridged... it gets scary
paul knows now if he wants to treat me buy a audible or itunes voucher

Kim said...

$21 for a mass market paperback?! No wonder not a lot of people are reading. It's definitely cheaper to buy them online and have them shipped. I think I would die if I couldn't afford to read.

I tried audio books and they work great if I'm driving somewhere but between concentrating on stitching/knitting and the kids demanding attention I can't pay attention to an audio book.

Kerry said...

Sadly, $21 is a good price here.

I love audio books while stitching if there's nothing else going on. But if Marcus is around there's no point in even trying as he'll soon be demanding attention.