Last night I finished reading the last of the paper bound books I had waiting in a pile on my nightstand. I told myself that once I'd read every bound book I owned, that I would never again buy another. The last paperback I will ever read? Extras by Scott Westerfeld. (Great book series, by the way.)
Don't panic. I can't give up reading. I would go insane! I am buying a Kindle from Amazon! I've been researching these digital book readers for about a month now and the Kindle is the best fit for me. I'll have instant access to almost any book I want, the ability to make the type larger once my eyes go (I hear this is inevitable), save a few trees, and give my poor arthritic hands a rest from having to hold these gigantic hardcover volumes I've bought so often in the past.
The irony? In the last book series I read (Scott Westerfeld's Uglies) paper books are things you see in a museum display or special collection at the library. Everyone uses special view screens to do their reading. Heh.
I know writers who are convinced that bound books will never completely die...but as they make these reader devices better and better, I see paperbacks becoming a rarity. I can get a new release seconds after it goes on sale. No waiting for shipping or wasting gas on a trip to a bookstore. I can get a new book in the middle of the night to combat insomnia. No trees need to die. Plus the Kindle editions are way cheaper than buying a first edition hardcover book.
So I had this brilliant idea on how to pay for my Kindle (and maybe send the boys to summer camp next year too.) I read a blurb in the AARP magazine about a couple websites that would buy back your gently used books. Since I have more books than the local public library, this sounded like a gold mine! I checked out cash4books.net and sellbackyourbooks.com to see what kind of prices they would offer me. I had a tall stack of hardcover and paperbacks that I knew I would never re-read and were just gathering dust on my bookshelf.
It took 10 minutes to enter all the ISBNs. The result? Zilch. Nada. No sale. I read the fine print and discovered they don't buy any books published before 2007 (say what?) and even then not every book is in demand. I was miffed! It felt like a knock on my taste. I have an awesome book collection! Any geek would drool.
I moved on to check out Amazon resellers and Ebay. I checked just one book from the stack (a first edition hard cover.) Amazon had over 100 people trying to sell the same book. Ebay had even more. That was a total buzz kill! So it looks like me and my piles of dust collectors won't soon be parted. I feel like each volume has an expiration date. How long before the stacks are all obsolete and considered worthless?
I spent soooo much money on these books. There has to be someone out there who wants them. Any ideas, gentle readers?