Recently on a popular list there was a discussion about used book stores. It was prompted after someone posted that a seller on ebay had an auction that included printed off copies of ebooks. An author on the list posted that readers should keep in mind that there are no royalties for authors on ebay, used bookstores, etc.
The post made me feel kind of defensive. I mean, I know that. I really do know that, but I just can’t afford to buy all of my books new. I won’t say it’s always there, at the back of my mind, that when I shop on ebay or at a UBS, that the author isn’t making money on me, but it does come to mind.
Books are my habit. They’re my addiction. At the height of my addiction, I can spend at least a hundred dollars a month on books. At least. And if we break it down, that’s not that many new books. After all a good sized paperback is an average of $8. And if I buy even one new hardcover… well… that’s only 10 or 11 new books a month.
And not every book I read is a keeper. So I *gasp* recycle the books I’ve bought. Sell them on ebay, donate them to the library, send them to friends. Earn back a small portion of the money I spent so I can buy… more books! Reselling the books. Another knife in the author’s back? In addition to buying used?
Add in the fact that I’m now a SAHM so we’re a single income family- now I really can’t afford to buy new books. Used book stores and ebay allow me to buy books that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to purchase. I also have an ebook habit to support and there aren’t any options there for buying used or re-selling to recoup some of the money. And some of those ebooks are priced the same as paperbacks.
So when an author posts on an active reader’s list, promoting that readers remember that authors don’t make royalties off of used book purchases, I guess I’m bound to feel slightly targeted – even though that author has no way of knowing what my particular buying/selling habits are (well, if she reads my blog she does now!) and more than a little defensive. And maybe kind of annoyed. These, of course, are my personal issues but I’m wondering, should I really feel guilty for buying used?