E-Book Sticker Shock

Ed and I Are of One Mind When It Comes to E-books (But When It Comes to the Use of Quotation Marks on Signs, We Part Ways)

Are you all crazy??!!!! You non-noobs are paying prices like $7.99 apiece for E-books?? The “publishers” have no (or next to no) printing costs, no paper costs, no warehousing costs, no shipping costs, almost no booksigning costs… Please explain to me why you are paying prices equivalent to those for paper copies? (I really do want to know.)

At least the possibility of price-fixing is now being looked into.

As a lower-rung economic ladder dweller, this issue concerns me particularly because, when fewer and fewer paper copies are published and e-books are in the majority, with prices being what they are:

What happens to we lower-income folk? An even worse class division based on access to e-books?

Currently, I can, eventually, get almost any book from a library or used bookstore, if I’m lucky enough to live near one and have access to transport. Will free e-libraries provide loans of ALL e-books? (“Bookflix”, anyone?) And won’t these be versions that expire…? You see the problem?

Some of us po’ folk is a mite worried ’bout how this will all shake out. Particularly for those with low or moderate reading skills, to whom each of the the free e-books is, in a real sense, a closed book: A harder-to-read classic with high-falutin’ vocabulary, or similar inaccessible or uninteresting item.


Boring? But It's Sir Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe"!

Immediately after my fall from loftier economic rungs, my reading access was sharply curtailed because I could no longer afford to buy the latest favorites (oh, how I miss browsing and brunching at Barnes!). Now, since e-books, things have already gotten much worse. When everyone wanted Stiegg Larsson? A five month wait at the library. You try staying current, keeping up with conversations, or even joining a book club when you’re half a year behind the rest of the world.

Please. Take away all our money–it’s already happened–but leave us poor our books–one kind or t’other.

A Once-Avid Reader. Now Too Poor Both For Adequate Clothing, and Words on the Pages of Her Book. (Gratuitous Sexual Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

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