Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Price of Books—Still the Best Deal Around

by Lynn Huggins Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I am a book lover. Always have been.

I realize that not everyone is. (I don't understand these people, but I recognize they exist).

But one thing I do not understand is anyone who complains about how "expensive” books are.


I went to see Star Trek Beyond (in IMAX and 3D because I’m a nerd). Total cost - $18 and change. I savored every one of the 122 minutes of that movie. I love movies. I don't go to a lot of them, but sometimes they are just so worth it!

Approximate cost/hour of enjoyment? $9

I recently stopped at Starbucks. I bought two coffees. One for me, one for a friend. Total cost. $10 and change. Total time to enjoy those tasty beverages? Fifteen minutes. Tops.

Now don't worry. I'm not going to give you grief over your $5 coffee. I don't drink $5 coffee every day or even every week, but I do enjoy them from time to time. Nothing wrong with that.

Approximate cost/hour of enjoyment? $20

While on vacation a few weeks ago, I read a couple of new releases. These books retail around $15, but can be picked up right now on Amazon for a hair under $10. I'm a fast reader and it took me about 4 hours to read each of these books.

Approximate cost/hour of enjoyment? $2.50


Not only is this significantly cheaper than either the coffee or the movie, but when I finish reading . . . I STILL HAVE THE BOOK. Sadly, I will have to pay to see Star Trek Beyond again (which I hope to do). And the iced honey vanilla latte that I'm looking at right now will not regenerate in my cup. Once it's gone, it's gone. But when I buy a book, I can read it for a second (or third or twentieth) time, or share it with a friend, and it won't cost me anything ever again.

Please understand me. I know not everyone can afford movies, coffee, or even many books. I also know that if you are reading this, you probably already agree with me. Writers tend to appreciate books based on the amount of time and effort we know went in to producing them.

But in our homes, in our schools, churches and conversations with our friends, we could begin to shift the conversation from the cost of books to the value of the written word. We don’t need to argue about whether or not books are better than movies (well, they are, but we don’t have to be snotty about it). We don’t even need to get into a holier than thou debate about whether or not it’s a waste to buy coffee versus making your own.

The real bottom line is that whether you prefer your books in hard copies or electronic versions, books are the best deal around. If you’re on a budget, you can’t get more bang for your buck. (This isn’t a new argument. George Orwell declared that reading is one of the cheapest forms of recreation, second only to listening to the radio).

With e-books frequently going on sale for $.99 or free, with books discounted on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble, with coupons to your local independent book seller, and sales running at Wal-mart and Sam’s Club, books ARE within reach of almost everyone.

(And let’s not forget the library where you can read anything for FREE—unless you’re like me and wind up with late fees so high you would have done just as well to buy the book…)

Who better to remind people of how cost-effective AND valuable books are than the people who write them?

Have you had people give you grief over the cost of your books? What’s your favorite way to shine the light on this subject? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

The Price of Books—Still the Best Deal Around - @LynnHBlackburn (Click to Tweet)

Who better to remind people of how cost-effective books are than authors? (Click to Tweet)

Lynn Huggins Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. 

She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. 

She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. You can follow her real life happily ever after at


  1. This would make a good infographic (hint hint) ;-)

    1. It would! I really need to step up my image skills (which are nonexistent)! :)

  2. Lynn, Great post. I purchase books electronically, hardcover and paperback. Books on the craft of writing, I usually check the library first. I read it and if I find myself wanting to highlight or underline I then purchase a good used one on Amazon or eBay. I rarely buy new books. I am a member of Amazon Prime and get many Kindle books for free.

    1. I get my books from everywhere, too. I also try the library first on any author that is new to me. But my bookshelves prove that I buy a lot, too. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. hullo Lynn, first KUDOS!!! STANDING OVATION!!
    and second, i might could help with a visual to this! ;-)

  4. I couldn't agree more! I've often pointed out the same thing regarding a coffee house coffee and the price of an e-book. I prefer ebooks. :)

  5. No persuasion needed here, Lynn! And I have a library (with a ladder!) to prove it. :) We're going to see Star Trek tomorrow. Can't wait.

    Were you at Exchange Coffee enjoying that iced latte? Their lavender latte is my fave.