Sunday, July 26, 2009
It's scary out there. People are losing their jobs, their homes. It seems like government spending is reaching terrifying proportions. Home equities and retirement plans are looking shaky. It's time for most of us to cut back on the luxuries.
I'm lucky. I'm not quite sure that my job is 100% recession proof, but we're busy as hell at work and things are looking good for the future.
A lot of people have a bleaker view of their futures.
I was listening to the radio one morning this week and the lady DJ was advising listeners on how to cut their spending. The topic of reading came up and she said to use the library and to buy books used. It's sound advice and I've been forced by necessity to do it.
But the writers need to survive too. I'm not suggesting that those that are unemployed to spend their precious resources on new books, but most of us can at least afford to buy new paperbacks.
We need our writers and they need us. I literally consider book buying to be as important to me as my monthly bills. I have to have the new titles by my favorite writers and as long as I'm gainfully employed I'll continue to buy them.
It's nice to say that we need to support the local booksellers and I try to do so. But no one can find fault in a reader using Amazon and other discount retailers. Nor can we blame them from buying their Leisure books at WalMart. I don't enjoy supporting the corporations, but the main thing is that the writers get their royalties.
It sucks, but for better or worse the rules of distributors are changing. It's no longer mandatory to buy your books from the local bookseller. Get it online if that is what makes it easier on your bank account.
And electronic fiction is a big option too. It's not for me and it never will be, but for those of you that like it, bless you. It's sales that make the genre stronger.
You can change your habits too. Maybe spend fewer nights drinking beer and more with a book. You can buy a paperback with the cost of a twelve-pack. Instead of greasy, nasty lunches at fast food dumps, brown bag and save money (and your heart).
And I'm not saying that we shouldn't use the library. I do all the time. We'd be fools not to. I'm just suggesting that we mix it up and that we don't forget that the writers have bills too. I'd hate to see my own favorites give it up and go to work at factories.
It's a little different with movies. History tells us that movie ticket sales thrive in dire economic times. People like to escape and movies are a reasonably priced way to do it. My advice is to see the first show of the day, which are generally less crowded and much cheaper than evening shows.
For those facing the terrifying prospect of unemployment and foreclosure, my heart goes out to you and your loved ones.