Anachan's Corner

One woman's journey through marriage, motherhood, and the classroom…

Cost Versus Enjoyment

Written By: Anachan - Feb• 17•14

For a long time now, I’ve been one of the queens of free Kindle books.

Each day, I would browse the best-selling Kindle books, only on the free side, to see if anything looked interesting.  If something looked even remotely interesting, after clicking on it, checking it out, and reading any reviews already in existence, I would pick it up, just in case I wanted to read it someday.

I now have over 500 books on Kindle, the vast majority of them free, and the vast majority of them not read to completion.

I’ve learned a few things about free books.

  1. Classics are always good, but sometimes the editing on a free edition can be difficult to navigate or have typographical errors.
  2. Cookbooks can be fun, but often, one can find similar or better recipes just as easily on allrecipes.com, without having to remember in which book the recipe was found.  (Unless the recipe was bookmarked the first time it was read, it’s much more difficult, as a general rule, to find a remembered recipe in a Kindle book than it is to find it in a print cookbook or search out a similar one on-line.)
  3. When rolling the dice on free books, one is far more likely to find an acceptable mystery than an acceptable fantasy.  While there is a lot of stuff labeled “fantasy” out there, most of it is rather drab or canned.  As “world-building” can really be a challenging activity, it takes a special author to bring it about to the point where I don’t find myself yawning and just removing the book from my device.  (Mystery writers have an advantage here, as they usually set their mysteries in the “real world”.)

This last item has been causing me a certain amount of grief lately.

My favorite fantasy author currently writing is Brandon Sanderson, author of Elantris, the Mistborn trilogy, and several other books.  I first became acquainted with him when I learned he had been chosen to finish Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, after the author’s death.  Curious, I found a free shorter story by him on Audible, called “Legion”, and downloaded it.

That was enough:  I was hooked.

Most recently, I read the start of his own epic fantasy series, a book called The Way of Kings.  Or, rather, I read it on Kindle, then I started listening to it on Audible and rereading it on Kindle.  The second book is due out in March, and I’ve already read the preview chapters at Tor.com.

The trouble is I’ve been turned into a slobbering, blithering idiot, waiting for this book with an anticipation which rivals anything I’ve experienced relating to literature.  (Which says something.)  In the interim, I’d like to find something else to read, but it has to be something free.

Today, as I looked at the list of free books, I realized something.  I realized that, most likely, there is nothing there which will capture my interest as much as another Brandon Sanderson book at this moment.  Face it, nothing out there on the free market can match the enticement and the excitement attached to these books for me at this time.

Sometimes, as they say, you really do get what you pay for, I guess.  Despite the cost, it really is worth shelling out the money.

Perhaps it is a good thing he can only write so many books at a time, or I’d be even more broke than I am right now.

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