Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Bargain Books and Sadness
Signs such as these often make me sad.
Yes, I know.
A bargain is a bargain.
Amazon and Book Depository discount prices anyway.
A book is a saleable item subject to the vagaries of supply and demand like any other.
The author has reached the writing Holy Grail: his/her book has been published.
Mine is the tainted perspective of a writer who struggles to get words out, who knows how hard it can be, who dreams of one day finishing THAT novel.
Yes, I know all that.
Yet, whenever I see a bin filled with unread, unopened books at sinfully low prices or a bargain shelf offering irresistible value, I don't find myself going: "Hooray, bargains!"
All I can think of is the amalgam of dreams, sweat and tears invested in getting each of those pieces of art (irrespective of genre or so-called writing standards) into a manuscript
the long journey of negotiating with agents and publishers, the thrill of the book launch, the pride of holding the finished product in the hand.
Then to be sold off at bargain prices.
And of course, in spite of all I've just stated, I BUY bargain books.
Tons of 'em.
But that doesn't stop me feeling sad when I see travails of creativity hit by the ruthlessness of commerciality.
Do you ever feel like this?