Like anyone else, I get seduced by getting books at a discount off cover price, whether at Amazon, or with coupons, or at special sales. It's nice to save money.
There are two problems with this. One, how much money am I saving? Given that I sometimes like to go out and get a drink at a local bar like the Saloon or Casablanca, which runs over $10. And sometimes I have more than one. It's not that saving money on books is thus irrelevant, or that I drink way more than I read (really!), but it seems proportionally less important.
And when books are on sale, I am often tempted to buy them. I mean, I buy books I otherwise wouldn't, because the price is lower. Yes, I know that's dumb. I do it anyway.
So I have books I sell to used bookstores, and books I leave on my shelves for some future date when I read them. Hello, three volumes of the Memoirs of Saint-Simon. That vicious little court intriguer sounds just up my alley, from what I've read, but I can't say when I will finish them.
So, a couple of days ago, when I read a David Frum review of a new book by one of my favorite history writers, Tom Holland, In the Shadow of the Sword, I went out and bought it at my local bookstore, Porter Square Books. At full price. Who's going to tell me where my consumer surplus lies? Tonight I'll drink at home.
And I'll report on the book when I'm done. So far, it's great fun.