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Old 02-05-2011, 03:29 PM   #1
amybobamy
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Arrow Informal Poll - How much do you spend per year on books?

I'm new, so please forgive me if this question is asked elsewhere, but I'm terribly curious. If this is handled elsewhere, perhaps someone will point me in the right direction --

How much do you spend on books per year -- including readers/accessories, ebooks, and "dead tree books"?

My 2010 cost-of-reading:

DTBs: $300 -- I also borrow heavily from public library
eBooks: nothing -- I only borrow from the library
eReaders/accessories -- $50 (or nothing -- I bought it but returned it as defective, but planning to get a Nook in near future)

I have no idea whether this is a little or a lot compared to others, but I had been castigating myself for excessive expenditures until I went back and checked -- and really, to me, less than a dollar a day for reading material seems rather trivial.

(I get a lot of my books used from half.com, too -- hardly ever purchase brand new)
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:21 PM   #2
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Probably $400 to $500. I keep a running wishlist at Powells, and another at Amazon, and buy from them regularly. I go over to the local Borders every now and then, and usually get two or three books. And whenever I travel, I buy books while I am out. But the sheer volume of books in my house is getting overwhelming, and the ereader is my second attempt to scale back. I went to the library several times this past summer, but the habit didn't stick - I fear I'm too disorganized to keep track of my library books, plus I really do like to own them and take my time over them rather than keep track of that 21 day return due date. And library books are no good for traveling - they're usually heavy hardbacks and you have to be more responsible about them, you can't just leave them behind somewhere and never think of them again, even if they turn out to be boring.

Then this past fall I got my Sony reader. Since then I have not purchased any print books, but it's not because they don't call to me - they do! But I am considering myself to be on a print book diet. If the urge to graze hits, I will go online and buy ebooks. With luck this will stick, and my overall household will lose weight. But I suspect my book expenditures will not be reduced one bit.

Besides the reduced weight of household goods, there's another advantage I don't see talked about much. And that is the cost of shipping. With print books, I would keep the Amazon and Powells wishlists and buy several at a time, to qualify for free shipping deals if I could. But with the ebooks I will never pay shipping again, and I can buy books one at a time if I like. I think I can pay for a new ereader every year, with what I will save in shipping costs!
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by amybobamy View Post
How much do you spend on books per year -- including readers/accessories, ebooks, and "dead tree books"?
I don't know how much I spent on books in 2010, but I read $522.45 worth of books (About £350). I'll probably read a similar amount this year, but spend less, as I'm trying to reduce my TBR pile.

I got my Kindle 2 in October 2009. It cost $387.85, or about £250 (including cover). I might get £75 for it on ebay today, so that's £175 over a year an a bit, say about £150 for the year.

I don't buy DTBs any more.

Hmm... £500 on reading in 2010. Wow.
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:31 PM   #4
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Elizilla, I had not considered the environmental impact (nor expense) of the shipping materials, the gas to move it all around, etc.

But it's difficult to weigh that against the environmental impact of an ebook.

And to pdurrant -- Isn't it shocking how the cost of ebooks has plummeted?

Do you all think that your quantity of reading has changed much with the advent of ebooks?
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:21 PM   #5
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I don't keep track for print books. The only ones I buy are cookbooks and fitness books.

As far as ebooks, 2010 was an anomaly because I went on a binge before the agency pricing kicked in, and also for some of that year I was still entrenched in the Fictionwise reward system, so that made me over-spend a little.

For 2011, I have been much more restrained and only spent $30 so far. If that continues, I'll be under 200 for the year. I think it will continue; a lot of books I have wanted lately have come out at unacceptable prices, so I have wishlisted them and in all but two cases (the two books I bought) the books in question eventually turned up in e-editions at the public library so I never bought them.
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:55 PM   #6
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For print books, I mainly buy graphic novels, coffee-table type art books, specialty/academic/reference-type non-fiction items, foreign language books, and the occasional new release/special deluxe collectors editions by certain favourite creators, all of which tend to be considerably pricier than standard hardcover/paperback fiction books even though I try to get them on sale.

So I'm guessing in the neighbourhood of $1000 CAD per year for hardcopies would not be an overly conservative estimate.

For e-books, my reader cost me nothing because it was a gift of sorts, and for a long time I thought I would only make the very occasional purchase given how many free books were out there and the fact that I'm perfectly comfortable with reading paper books from the library.

But then I discovered just how much backlist sf/fantasy by authors I liked was available at reasonably discount prices. I've had my K2 for roughly a calendar year now, and thus far, I've spent enough on e-books to buy myself the latest model and not the cheap lower-end model at that.

So, an estimated additional $200 CAD a year for e-books would probably not be out of line.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:56 PM   #7
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I've never kept track. I don't want to know, lol.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:50 PM   #8
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I joined both the Doubleday Book Club and the Quality Paperback Book Club in 2010 and spent about $70 total for the introductory books and the obligatory purchases.

I bought no other paper books for myself, but bought a large number from the clubs for birthday and Christmas presents. But I suppose they don't count regarding your original question.

In the thirteen months I have had my eBook reader, I have yet to buy an eBook. I have downloaded a great many from the MobileRead library, Munseys and the free Amazon books, plus my jetBook Lite came with 100 books, some of which I had wanted to read for years.

So I am reading much more, and spending about the same or less.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:54 PM   #9
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About $500 per year.
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:20 AM   #10
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I went through what I can find of my ebook receipts and payments; looks like I spent about $150 last year on ebooks. Hard to be certain, because Smashwords doesn't send receipts with prices, and there's no record of what discounts I got with coupons. I may be missing a purchase or two from a store I can't remember, but it wouldn't be more than $10 worth. I expect to buy at least that much this year, most likely more.

Print books, hmm... two new nonfiction books, total of $40; bag-o-used-books at a rummage sale, $5; 2 used books from Amazon to scan & convert, $10; total: $55 on paper books. I expect that number to stay about the same, but will probably shift to only 1 new book, and more used books.

Ereaders/accessories: got husband a Sony 300 on sale for $100. Was all ready to buy an Astak Pocket Pro to replace my Sony PRS-505, had credit card in hand (I'd been dithering for two days between red & blue), and found they'd pulled them from the site. Sigh.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:14 AM   #11
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And to pdurrant -- Isn't it shocking how the cost of ebooks has plummeted?
No, it's expected. And I expect them to get cheaper and better for the next decade, and then they'll just continue to get better.

The first modern computer I bought was a Mac Plus in early 1990. £999+VAT. 9" B&W screen. 800KB floppy. 1MB RAM, 8MHz 16-bit processor. No hard disk. Taking inflation into account, that's £1700+VAT.

In 2000, £550+VAT (£720+VAT in 2011 money) got you an iMac: 15" full colour screen. CD-ROM drive, 64MB RAM, 350MHz 32-bit processor, 20GB hard drive.

Now, £850+VAT will get you an iMac: 21.5" full colour screen. DVD-RW drive. 4GB RAM. 3GHz dual core 64-bit processor. 500GB had disk.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:57 AM   #12
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This year, my counter is still at 0. Last year, I spent maybe $50. I hardly bought any book last year due to the continuing difficulty in actually buying books.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:52 AM   #13
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Less than $100. Like many here there are soooo many freebies, that I don't have to buy many, but some of my favorite authors just never do free, so I buy those from time to time, but will not spend over $5 per book, so...


As little time as I get to read lately, I will be lucky if I spend $25 this year though.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:58 AM   #14
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2010 was, for me, an anomalous year... on the low side.
Since I'm boycotting the Price Fix Five I only bought a handful of hardcovers, all from the book clubs. About US$100, maybe $150.
A year's worth of webscriptions: $180.
Two eArcs: $30.
Plus four more intro bundles, about $130.
Add in a couple dozen Amazon Kindle books, including the full set of Hyperion PD SF anthologies, about $200 more.
Finally, two impulse-buy paperbacks: $15.
I'll round it off and say; $700; $550 in ebooks.

Yeah, a low year for me. Usually I run $500 just from the book clubs. And in the old days I would drop about a hundred per trip to the Borders Outlet a couple times a year (it was heck having it a block from my house) but a boycott's a boycott so I'm not buying even clearance from the Price-Fix Five.

Not sure I'll ever top a thousand a year again (it's only $20 a week, I know--barely a trip to the movies) what with ebooks and the boycott. And I'm gaming a bit more for now; still working my way through New Vegas and the DLC and there's four must-have RPGs this year... (sigh)

It still adds up over the course of the year, though.
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:38 PM   #15
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Around $300 or so on ebooks.

I don't buy pbooks anymore (that way I don't have to figure out what to do with them when I'm done with them).

I bought an iPad and a Sony PRS-350 last year--I don't think I'll need to buy a new reader for a while now. I'm not much of an accessories person, either. I have a silicon skin for the iPad I never use, and a DecalGirl skin on the Sony, and that's it.
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