I woke up this morning, poured myself a cup of coffee, and checked out my blogs (this seems to be my usual routine over the past couple of weeks and I must say I really enjoy starting the day in this way). I was thrilled when I saw that 7 people commented on my last post ‘ I LOVE a Bargain’ and I thought perhaps I struck a positive chord with other bloggers out there. I must say I was very surprised, and somewhat hurt, that was not the case. One particular blogger seemed to be quite offended that I purchased my bargain books at a used bookstore and led me to believe that perhaps this was not the right venue to celebrate such finds. I do not know if this particular blogger is an author or just an advocate for them, as I was blocked from leaving a comment on her site. She brought to my attention (although I was already aware) that authors do not receive any money from books purchased through a third party retailer and that by making this purchase I have caused further damage to the already hurting book publishing world.
I am TRULY sorry if I have offended any publishers, authors or advocates out there. That was not at all my intent. I LOVE to read; I am in awe of the writing talent of authors and constantly seek to not only enjoy the book for entertainment, but to learn how to be a better writer myself (and pass along those writing tips to my students). I am just learning the ropes of the book blogging community and I have apparently overstepped a boundary. Please know that it was done with the purest intent of celebrating my love for books – and not with any ill-will towards the community I most admire.
That is my sincere apology. My wish? My if-I-had-all-the-money-in-the-world wish? That I could routinely walk into any independent bookseller (Rainy Day Books and I Love a Mystery are the two Kansas City retailers that I would frequent) and buy any and every book that I even think I might enjoy (I simply cannot imagine how many books that would be as I have never had the finances to do such a thing). I would pay full retail price and not even hesitate. I would not worry that I had a coupon that I could use elsewhere (as it is now I consider a coupon to Borders or an extra 15% off coupon at Barnes and Noble like pure gold and agonize for hours which ONE book will I choose).
This is truly how I would spend my money. While I try to “look nice” and buy clothes to help me achieve that goal, I do not choose to spend a lot of my disposable income on clothes or shoes. I rarely watch television and I think the last movie I saw in the theater was Becoming Jane (and I only went to see that because I could rationalize that it was “educational”). I enjoy good food, but usually try to cook it myself at home. I do not drink. I have not decorated my house since we moved in 13 years ago. My only other vices in life, besides reading, are my dogs and travel (now, I could spend quite a bit of money on travel – but that should be saved for another blog entry).
As long as I am dreaming, let’s follow this dream through to completion. I would go home and immediately begin reading the newly purchased literary materials. I would have someone to clean my house and while I cannot imagine my life without teaching, most of my lesson plans would be completed. I would have all the time to read whatever and whenever I want. The books that I rate 5 out of 5 stars, I would keep – as I know I would want to re-read them again and again. For books that are rated less than 5 stars, I would either keep (at least for a little while) or donate — to either the library used book sale OR an organization like Helping Hands, where they would find a home that would truly appreciate them (and would never have the opportunity to read them otherwise). That would be my paradise on earth.
My reality? I have a very fulfilling career as a teacher in a small private school. The job provides immense rewards that are not of this earth — very little rewards that are of this world (income is less than $20,000 and no benefits). My husband has been unemployed for 6 weeks and there are no job possibilities on the horizon. We currently have a house, plenty of food, our health, and a good credit rating. We have no savings, no insurance and mounting bills. I do not say this to solicit pity — we will be victorious because I have faith in God — but I do say this to perhaps somehow justify my spontaneous purchases of yesterday and my seemingly callous blog remarks.
I have learned a valuable lesson – and I know that I will have many more lessons to learn in the future. Thank you for patience as I am publicly educated.