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At the end of 2012, I made a pledge to limit my e-book spending to only DRM-free e-books this year. I made this pledge for a number of reasons, the primary two being that firstly, since the whole rise/fall of agency pricing debacle, the books I want to read seem to be unreasonably expensive, and secondly, these very expensive books since to have an increasing quantity of typos and quality control issues, which makes the high price especially galling.
I still am allowing myself to borrow books with DRM—I use my public library regularly, and feel that the function of DRM in their books is perfectly acceptable. (It expires the book when the load period is up, which is perfectly fair for something for which you enter into the transaction knowing it’s a loaner). And I do have some DRM’d purchases I have not yet gotten to; those are of course fair game. But I am voting with my wallet and staying away from the big publishers when I purchase. I’ve already been a somewhat regular customer at Delphi Books, Humble Bundle and Smashwords. I wondered what else was out there for my enjoyment…
So, January is just about over. How did I do?
1. All Hail the Public Library
There were three new releases that caught my eye this month, and to my delight, the public library had all three of them. I’ve already checked out The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, and I’m on the waiting list for The One Plan by Cameron Alborzian and The Money Rules by Gail Vaz-Oxlade. I am especially excited about that last one; Gail is a no-nonsense money guru whose earlier book, Never Too Late, changed my life. (The Beloved and I use her jar budgeting system religiously.) And while I suspect there won’t be much in this latest that’s new or revolutionary, I like Gail’s style and will be grateful for even a nugget or two of new tips and tricks.
There was also a day when the Kindle store was offering the Best American Stories of 2012 series at a discount, and the library had those too. Score!
Delphi Classics sent me a coupon to celebrate the new year, and I got the complete works of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Washington Irving and Katherine Mansfield. I love these guys, and a Calibre extension called EpubSplit has breathed new life into these massive complete works collections. Typically, I’ll split the collection up into stand-alone novels and then a smaller omnibus of series stuff, another of short fiction and another of extras. This allows me to actually finish some books, even if every work in a collection doesn’t interest me.
There are a few releases I have passed on recently, but for authors like Montgomery who wrote many series books, I enjoy the convenience of getting them all in one go and not having to go hunting for multiple volumes. I also appreciate that, for the most part, the formatting is decent and the extras add to the reading experience.
I am especially looking forward to more volumes in Delphi’s Masters of Art and Delphi Poets series. I have to admit, I don’t ‘get’ modern poetry; it’s worth a few dollars to me to get these great classic poets in attractive and well-formatted editions.
So that’s it! Less than $10 spent for January, and all of it on classics. When I get my ‘to be read’ list down to a more manageable level, I want to pick up the Hal Spacejock series—the author sells them in a bundle off his website at a steep discount, and the sample I read on Smashwords intrigued me.