Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Reader Guilt

I feel bad.  Instead of reading books by people I genuinely care about, like and follow, I'm reading a book by someone I've never heard of. 

In my defense, it was free.

Back before we retired from obtaining money via other people, I had a book budget.  Sure, it was based on how many people bought books from my online used bookstore, so it was never very big, but it was enough to feed my need for new books.  If an author I follow came out with a new book, I'd order it.  If the next book in a series I was reading hit the shelves out there, it was hitting the shelves in my house.


I closed my store when we moved, so there went my bi-monthly deposits.  And since we're living off our savings until one or both of us succeeds in our personal endeavors, I'm down to sneaking a book in with the groceries or keeping myself to $25 a month (if I can swing it) in Kindle purchases.

I know - boo hoo.

I don't mean to bitch.  After all, this was the life we chose.  Out of debt and free from financial encumbrances.  And I really am grateful for every free book I can download.  But I feel guilty when I can't just One-Click on a new release to feed my addiction. 

Anyway, to all the writers our there that I know and love, I really am sorry.  I will get your books eventually.  They're all sitting on my Amazon wishlist.  And I will try to remember to get a review up at Amazon, too.  (I do review most books on Goodreads, but I don't go to Amazon as often as I should.)

Here's just a short list of books I'm waiting to buy (if I can't support my authors with money, I can support them with links):

Warbound by Larry Correia
Cafe Midnight by Silver James
Bone Deep by Debra Webb

Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword - edited by James R. Tuck
Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery - edited by James R. Tuck
Deadly Pursuit by Misty Evans
Pile of Bones by Bailey Cunningham
Last Blood by Kristen Painter
Rubbed Out by Riley Adams
Nightbound by Lynn Viehl

And we won't even get into the books that aren't even released yet... like Seanan McGuire's Chimes at Midnight.  

Okay, now I'm getting the DTs from talking about buying books.  Ah, the life of a book junkie who can't get a fix.  (Lucky for the world that jones'n book junkies don't try to knock over convenience stores to feed the habit, or I'd be so there.  'Cept I'd be holding up the nearest Barnes and Noble using a sharpened bookmark.  "Give me all your books, or I will cut you.")

What about you?  How's your book budget looking these days?  Do you feel guilty when you can't buy an author's new release, or is it just me?

(Lest you think this is a shameless ploy to get free books, it's not.  I want to BUY these myself so the authors I love get a little something in their paychecks from this devoted reader.  This is just me bitching and feeling like a toad.)


  1. I'm sorry you don't have much of a book budget these days. I cut way back a year before the wedding for obvious reasons: 1. money and 2. I didn't want to move 1000+ books to Virginia. Since then I've just kept it up--I only buy one or two books a month, sometimes more if its a busy publishing time. I don't think I could stay under the 25/month, but I could do 50 =)

  2. Guilty.all.the.time.

    But, like you, we chose this life of being debt free and free from the stress of all-consuming careers! So I suck it up - and feel guilty.

  3. If it would ease your guilt you could always request your wish list from your local library (if there's one nearby that still has books...I was listening to radio report yesterday about a library in NY that loans out fishing poles and tackle boxes....). That would help the authors you want to support too.

  4. Oddly enough, I am extremely patient with my book, movie, and music budget. I can wait.

    Part of the reason is because of careful spending habits, but a bigger part is that I don't want to get sucked into all the release frenzy.

    Once the hoopla dies down, it's a better barometer to see if the book is the right choice for me.

  5. Book budget? What's a book budget? Haha!

    I don't necessarily feel guilty about not buying a new release. It's not like I'm going to be reading it right away anyway (my stack of books to be read is not small). What I feel guilty about is when a writer friend has a book out that just doesn't appeal to me. Do I buy it and read it anyway?

    I knew an author that bought her friend's books, but never read them. Said she didn't have time to read all the books. She didn't seem to feel guilty about that, either. I would feel tremendous amount of guilt. Why buy a book if you're not going to read it? Just doesn't make sense to me (that's the frugal part of me showing, I guess).

    I guess we all have different levels of guilt, huh?

  6. Overdrive/digital library lending is my friend! I'm lucky that the metro library system has a good catalogue. I'm really trying to keep my purchases to a few "all-star" authors on my Must Read Right Now list and then getting library versions of other books I'm interested in. Check into your local library system. They might surprise you. Especially if they have inter-library loans. :D

    P.S. Thanks for having me on the list! That means so much to me. Even more than you actually buying the book.