21 November 2011

The Cost of Books in New Zealand

by Carrie Bailey

I'm writing about this topic, because I'm thinking about this huge glaringly immense problem that I face on a daily basis. Kiwis (that really is the term they prefer to call themselves) buy most of their books online and I don't blame them. Actually, online or they post them with a trading website similar to Craig's List. The fact is that their bookstore selection is so poor that I'd have a better chance of finding a menorah in someone's window this year than a single book I'd honestly like to read and the prices make me want to change careers, but alas, no, I'll stay a writer. If I were to open a bookstore, it might very well descend into Black Books style debauchery, which is a great series if you've never watched it...

Currently, I don't have a solution to this problem other than beg friends and family for a new eReader since my last one met a tragic end on set of conveyer belt rollers. Ebooks have incredible potential here, but first eReaders need to gain popularity. I can only tell those living and breathing nearby on these green little islands that it's too much to bother with the buying and selling and posting book titles online. Get an eReader. Then, buy The Handbook of the Writer Secret Society. Okay, that's shameless promotion of all the awesome writers who contributed to the first edition, which is absurdly entertaining and likely to make all writers a bit more successful at what they do, and I apologise.

Alright, so if you're a kiwi, please buy an eReader this holiday season for everyone you love. If you know a kiwi and you're able to mail one down this way, please package the contraption appropriately. If you're not a wealthy kiwi, but you're dying for an eReader (you're probably one of my classmates or much like them) then enter every single eReader give away you can find and keep the hope alive that a single day of reading may someday be less expensive than smoking, drinking, gambling and every other vice.

Note: Wellington Public Library in New Zealand charges quite a bit for checking out books, which is fine if you do so every once in a while, but if you do so every once in a while and then drop them in the bathtub after drying out the coffee stains, then well, you understand why I'm recommending eReaders. They dry out better than an average book although better could be debated when most books don't survive the tub anyway. Do they make a waterproof eReader?

Carrie Bailey is an American graduate student living in New Zealand studying at Victoria University of Wellington. She misses decent Mexican food, Powell's City of books in Portland, Oregon and tacky pictures of turkeys prepared by the fourth grade and under crowd. She also edits Peevish Penman.

1 comment:

  1. I bought a kindle recently and it was one of the best purchases I have ever made!