[Belle’s Bookish Tales] WHEN BUYING BOOKS BECOME A PRIVILEGE

Ebooks have come under a lot of scrutiny; ebook readers are accussed of not being real bookworms and the reason for the death of the industry for physical books. The reasons for our betrayal is a list longer than my arm. The long held opinion that bookworms are only supposed to read paper and ink books is one I disagree with.

Here’s what people don’t understand: to be able to buy books is a luxury not everyone can afford.

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Allow me to familiarize you with my situation first.

In the Philippines where I live, the cost of a new book ranges from 400 to 600 Philippines pesos (8 USD to 12 USD). Many of the books I want aren’t always found here, and buying online means having to pay for shipping which costs more than the actual book. Secondhand books range from 150 to 300 Philippines pesos, or if I’m lucky I’ll be able to snag one for 35 pesos. For many of us, these prices seem normal, even cheap! However, the amount of money for one book can provide a day or two’s meal for a family.

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I received my first Kindle earlier this year in May 2017. You can turn your nose up at me but without this Kindle I wouldn’t have been able to achieve the many opportunities I have now. Without my Kindle I wouldn’t have been able to blog and review consistently, be a part of an author’s review team, be able to support indie authors, or even receive ARCs.

Through Amazon and Kindle, I’ve been able to afford books at cheaper prizes – say between 50 to 100 pesos (0.99 to 1.99 USD). Needless to say, the cheap prizes turned me into an even bigger book slut. Not only was I able to buy old books but I was also in on the latest book published AND I could even buy indie books!

You have no idea how much bigger my world felt after being introduced to the Kindle.

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Now, you’re probably wondering how I was able to afford a Kindle but not an actual book, right?

I didn’t.

My Kindle was a gift! Although I did consider buying one at some point, I don’t think I would have gone through with it because I would have convinced myself that my money could go for better things.

Just because I read using a Kindle doesn’t mean I’m against physical books. I love paperbacks and hardbacks just as much as any bookworm; I love the smell, the feel of the pages, the colourful covers, and the sight of them snug on my bookshelf.

But I also have to understand that my financial standing does not allow me to constantly splurge on books so I have to find a cheaper mean to appease the literature gods. Without my Kindle, I wouldn’t have discovered new authors or made new friends! I wouldn’t have known about Young Adult or #OwnVoices. My literature knowledge would have been limited, in fact, I may not have been able to read diversely.

I love my Kindle! It has helped me become better read. I’m not ashamed to admit that I own more ebooks than physical books.

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As bookworms we should really consider how this bias against ebooks will affect our community and the future bibliophiles.

Do we really prioritize format of book over reading?

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This post was inspired by Avalinah’s post about her favorite gift. You can read how having an e-reader has helped her with her own bookish blog.

What are you thoughts on the physical books versus e-books debate? Do you own an e-reader?

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18 thoughts on “[Belle’s Bookish Tales] WHEN BUYING BOOKS BECOME A PRIVILEGE

  1. I’m with you on preferring to read ebooks. They’re a cheaper option and as someone who doesn’t have a used bookstore near me and doesn’t get to a mainstream bookstore much, I usually buy my books online or buy ebooks. It’s a lot more convenient and since I have student loans, I’m kind of splurging when I buy books anyways.

    I personally don’t own an e-reader, but I read on my phone and sometimes my laptop. I might end up buying one eventually, but it’s not a huge priority for me right now!

    Like

  2. I have a whole lot of physical books, of which a whole lot of unread ones too.
    I simply prefer those and – I have to admit – can afford them pretty easily. That’s the thing with being a grown-up and having a job. Pretty sure there are a lot of bloggers out there who still go to school / college and can hardly afford to go on a book splurge like I love doing once in a while, haha.
    I do have a Kindle as well though! But that’s mostly to read my eARC’s / author requests. I simply like reading a physical book a lot more than reading on my Kindle. It’s a matter of preferences, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true! About being a grown up and having a steady income. I’m not at that stage yet haha but I have been lucky with books, lucky enough to have an unread TBR! Many are gifts and some are cheap secondhand hands.

      Ah yes, being from Asia many authors prefer to send their books to e-readers! Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful post! I’m also really grateful for ebooks. I love collecting and reading physical books, but sometimes it’s much more practical to go the electronic route. Having access to more affordable ebooks allows me to take a chance and read things I may not have otherwise picked up. I’m all for anything that makes reading more accessible to more people. And at the end of the day, a book is a book, no matter what format it comes in!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a great post – and also a great reminder for sure. E-books are so much more practical and cheaper, most of the time, and I love that, by just existing, they make reading easier for so many people, me included. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love my Kindle. I carry it every where I go, never fail. I also love my physical books. Having my Kindle has saved me money because now I only buy what I really love in print. I think they are both valuable bookworm tools. However, it drives me nuts when people try to argue that Kindles and ereaders are killing the print book business. First, it’s not even true. In fact, this year ebook sales have declined and print book costs have risen. If there’s anything that’s killing the ease of getting a print book, it’s online book buying. Not ereaders.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this comment! Having a kindle has allowed me to get a book without feeling guilty if I don’t like it, you know?

      And yes, people don’t understand how efficient an ereader can be! I need to look into those statistics! Thank you for the info πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. I’m a TOTAL ereader… I didn’t really realize until recently I got a couple paper books from the library (and I know what a privilege a library that buys YA books is!) and I just struggled to read them… it actually took me double the time!! So yeah the ereaders have really opened to world up! I don’t think its the doom of books either… the world is diverse and so can readers be!! ❀ Such a GREAT POST CAM!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yessss, I wish there was such a library nearby! The closest has mostly academic related books and ONE shelf for fiction :O

      Yes, that’s true! It’s a bit of a far fetched idea that ebooks will kill paperbacks πŸ˜› That would make a good story thought πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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