Books, Downloads and Buyer Morals

Books, Debate

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a lot of books by one author en masse so-to-speak. Okay, sometimes if an author has a series of books – like The Hunger Games, or His Dark Materials – then I might read them in succession, but it’s very rare that I’ll read the books of an author if they’re stand-alone books.

That being said, I seem to be on a John Green reading marathon, since I am now on my fourth John Green book, and third in a row. And the fun thing about this fact? Look, look:

Looking for Alaska // The Fault in our Stars

Looking for Alaska // The Fault in our Stars

I bought two real books. I didn’t download them for my Kindle!!

It was actually incredibly nice to go into a Waterstones, and browse books, because it is so long since I’ve done it. In fact, I think I got my Kindle last April, and the few times that I’ve been into Waterstones, it’s only been to jot down the names of some authors so I could look them up on my Kindle.

I picked these two John Green books up in their Buy One Get One Half Price offer, but truth be told, I still ended up paying more for them both, than if I’d bought them separately for my Kindle. It’s like the shops just cannot compete.

I had a similar incident recently with HMV. I am incredibly keen to support HMV, because I think I’d be lost without it. I’d been thinking about buying Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto album for quite some time, and I’d spotted it in HMV for a fiver, which is pretty good. I do prefer to buy hard CDs, because I always think that there is something nice about owning them. Nevertheless, a quick browse of Amazon, and I find out that I can buy it on download, for just £2.99, so now I’m feeling in a moral bind:

Do I support a struggling company, and pay more, even though money is really tight for me, at the moment? Or do I buy the cheaper version, but sacrifice owning an actual CD?

To be fair, before it went offline, I always bought my MP3 downloads from the HMV website, so I did used to support them that way, and I do think that they were a little naive to take the website down – under the circumstances, although I appreciate why they did.

So, anyway this post hasn’t really ended up about books, as I’d originally intended, but more about the debate between buying downloads cheaply, or buying hard copies and helping companies?

There is always a small part of me that wonders if we allow large companies to go under, will smaller companies be able to push back into the High Streets and reclaim that market that big corporations took away from them? But, then we also have the power struggle with the cheap supermarkets?

Whatever happens in the future, it is without doubt that the dynamics of the High Street are ultimately going to change – whether for the good, or the bad, I’m not really sure.

What are your thoughts? Are you a Download Diva or are you Faithful to the Shops?

If you prefer hard copies of books and CDs, do you shop in-store or online?

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