Browsing through my local Borders this weekend, I had two books in my hands. My kid was in the YA section choosing between a big fat Sarah Dessen tome or a skinnier category novel. I’d also planned on buying a magazine (Adam Lambert is on the cover of EW this week, omg!fangiiirl squee!).
And it’s not like I don’t have plenty to read already. I’m getting ready to dive into Anna Elliot’s fabulous Twilight of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde, which released May 5 (fans of historical fantasy novels won’t want to miss it!) to prepare for our interview.
Usually, I don’t care that I overspend on books. My purchases support other artists and an industry that I care about. But for some reason, I hesitated. Maybe I should put one of the books back, my head said. Maybe I should tell my kid she could have the skinnier (cheaper) novel. Maybe we should just go to the library instead. (No way was I putting back that EW magazine). After a long winter and gloomy spring of bad news and witnessing layoffs, the jitters about the economy were starting to get to me.
Despite hopes that the publishing industry would thrive during the economic downturn because people would gravitate to cheaper forms of entertainment, the increased traffic at libraries would suggest otherwise. Library Journal reports that circulation has exploded at the time when libraries are cutting back purchases and hours. Border’s financial woes and possible merger with Barnes & Noble would indicate that it’s still a rough climate for booksellers. Which means rough times for authors.
I bit the bullet and bought everything anyway. Maybe I’d regret it later, but right now, the power of my purse might save someone’s job, or help a struggling author meet their earn-out quota, or keep another magazine from shuttering. Next month, I might be in the library checking out old favorites instead of the bookstore buying new ones. The times, they still are dicey.
Is the rough economy still affecting your book purchasing power? Are you using the library more? More importantly, do you think Adam Lambert will win American Idol this year?
2009 is shaping up to be a wild ride.
Image by Pinknihon.