I buy books. It’s what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. I do not intend to stop until the bitter end.
As far back as I could remember, I loved books. It began with Golden Books when I was a toddler. I was in love with them. I went on to Dr. Seuss and other children’s literature and comic books. From there I moved on to science fiction and pulp reprints and media tie-ins.
You’ll hear me bemoan my financial situation and I still buy books. I get behind on my bills and I buy books. When I was a kid, in middle school, I would starve myself and skip lunch when I had the will power. Two days of sacrifice and I could afford a Doc Savage paperback, or maybe a science fiction book. My mother would have been pissed had she known, but as far as I was concerned it was none of her business. As a parent I vowed that if my kids wanted to read, I would always provide them with books. Thankfully they do love it. I think it helped that I have taken them to conventions and signings where they’ve met authors.
I’ve cut back on the expensive limited editions. I do consider myself a collector, but I’m a reader first and foremost. But I did buy two Ronald Kelly books from Cemetery Dance recently. As usual, CD had a special offer with them that made them much more affordable than the average limited.
I’ve slowed down on all my book purchases, in fact. It’s not like the early days of Shocklines when so many in the community seemed to have some sort of feverish dementia about purchasing small press editions.
I still buy on a weekly basis though. This week I bought the Leisure paperback of Richard Laymon’s Dark Mountain and the Delirium trade paperback of New Dark Voices 2.
You’ve heard the cliche where someone impulse shops to help their depression? It’s a little like that for me. Very little gives me as much joy as going out to a bookstore and making a purchase.
I know that the economy is in rough shape and that a lot of people are hurting. But if we love the genre. Worship at the alter of the printed word, as I like to call it, we’ve got to show our support at the source. That means buying the books. If a writer you like has a new publication out, it really helps to make that purchase within the first week that it’s out. And the small press publishers really need our support the most. We all have our favorites and in order for them to survive and continue to bring us these lovely books, we need to at least occasionally patronize them.