Reading is cheap.
You borrow from the library where it’s free, or you simply sell any book that you’ve already read because what are the chances of you re-reading it again, and that way you can live that minimalist life that Marie Kondo seems to love?
But books are expensive.
To make books your hobby, it’s not just the reading. You want to own, collect, display, interact. Reading isn’t enough.
Book fans want to own it. We hoard them on our shelves. We love that new book smell and creating the spine ourselves.
We probably want specific editions too. If there’s an edition with a revised afterward, we are all over that bad boy. If there’s a limited edition released on the anniversary of the author’s birthday with a fancy cover, it’s going straight onto our wishlist. If there’s a hardcover collector’s edition, we covet it like we don’t already own a copy anyway.
And it’s not just the books we buy. We are an insatiable market for all the pop culture merchandise like little figurines and plushies. Which we then artfully arrange on our shelves because #bookstagram is a hashtag that we flock to.
Book fans also want to go to author signings and writer talks. We wait in line for authors to sign newly purchased books that we just had to buy at the festival because hey, it’s part of the experience. We need to take a picture with them too. And writer events aren’t free; the ticket is $20 (and if you bought online, the processing fee is $5 for some unfathomable reason) and lunch is another $20 and the book was probably $35, so all up, just under $100. For one event.
And even though reading is a solitary activity, books are a community event. We need to discuss about our feelings. We join book clubs. We write reviews. We may even start up blogs dedicated to books. And this costs money. If you upgrade your blog, it’ll cost you. If you join a book club, hosting the meeting will cost you in food expenses. If you want to meet up with other book aficionados anywhere, the travel expenses will get you.
Reading doesn’t cost a cent, but if you want to immerse yourself in the whole experience, books are a hobby that drains your wallet.