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The value of a good book

If you ever want a sense of how expensive things have become I suggest, like me, you find yourself in a situation where your disposable income is vastly reduced. You were perhaps aware of costs creeping up over the years but only then do you appreciate how ridiculous things are:

Council tax – over £200 a month. For what exactly?

Gas and electricity come in for us at around £100.

But it’s not just the household bills. It might be that I’m getting old and grumpy but I’d swear it wasn’t all that long ago that a McDonald’s meal cost £2.88. Now it’s nearer £6!

And take the cinema. When my wife and son came with me to watch The Last Jedi at Christmas, admittedly in IMAX 3D it cost us £50. Almost made the £10 for a box of popcorn and a drink seem reasonable.

However, there is one item that seems to just get cheaper all the time: books. Not if you still hang on to physical copies but if you read on Kindle or whatever platform then you can expect to pay much less for a novel than you used to. And market forces are only pushing prices lower. To try and make it as an indie author you have to compete with the millions of others out there who are peddling their wares. It doesn’t seem to matter whether your work is any good; unless you’re willing to flog it for 99p (or in fact just give it away) it seems 99% of potential readers aren’t interested. But seriously, with Playstation games retailing at £40+ where else can you expect to get 7-8 hour’s entertainment for anything like that price. TV perhaps? Well maybe – but then my Sky subscription comes in at a whopping £90 and that’s before I cough up more than £50 to BT to get a decent download speed, plus a line rental I have to have but never use.

So what’s the point of this rambling of mine? If you see a book that somehow intrigues you either by the cover, or the blurb or perhaps by the reviews it’s already received, don’t just dismiss it because it’s not 99p. Sometimes you get what you pay for and I would rather spend a couple of quid more on something decent than provide myself with 7-8 hours of, admittedly cheap, tedium.

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