This past week, a friend was looking online to buy a book I recommended to them and made this comment:
“Oh man, that book is $18… that’s a little expensive.”
I always wondered why statements like that sounded so strange to me. I mean, I hear it all the time, I totally get it when it comes to throwing around cash
For some reason, out of anything I buy, I rarely think hard about the cost of a book and didn’t know why I felt that way until I heard this quote by Seth Godin that I will now butcher a paraphrasing from memory:
“Books are the greatest bargain of your life. The fact that you can spend $10 - $25 and possibly read something that changes the entire trajectory of your life is a steal and always worth it.”
I couldn’t agree with this more. I also have a love of how fate brings books into our lives and how it’s the ultimate leveling of the information playing field.
The same book someone went into Barnes and Noble specifically looking for and spent $30 was found randomly by someone else for free at a ‘leave one take one’ shelf at a coffee shop and it has the same power to impact each of their ways of thinking equally.
By the way, Kindles and eBooks don’t count. I’m talking real tangible, rip the page, write in the margin, smell the freakin-ink books. Some of my friends (especially those who travel) enjoy reading from their tablets and that’s totally cool
For me, it’s just not the same. Yes it’s the same ‘words’ and information but it has no soul. The words don’t have the same power. Any pain in the ass traveling with a book can be (and it is sometimes) is totally worth it. The fact that I can still pull off my bookshelf a novel I read a few years ago on my flight back from Malaysia and remember that whole gig when I flip through it is priceless.
A Thought On Cashola: For those still stuck on the finance side of that comment, we live in an amazing time of Amazon, Ebay and used bookstores (See: Half Priced Books if you live with me in the Twin Cities) I love the fact that even if a tangible book is worth $20 you can probably find it for $5 if you look hard enough.
What I’m reading (again) right now: “Becoming A Category of One” by Joe Calloway. Written for business’ and entrepreneurs but so freakin valuable for artists and creators. He dives into thoughts on the need for you to create something that adds so much value to other people that you are placed in your own category. Freakin read it. (Cover price: $16.95… I found it at a used bookstore for $3.50 and it ended up changing my career.)