New hobbies can wreck a teacher’s budget, especially if she’s a research fiend. How to afford the books that will bring me up to speed on my new interests? I’m already a constant buyer. Besides, some books in the end may turn out to be wastes of money—just duplicates of other titles, or of free information online. I want to pick up the basics, then choose carefully to deepen my knowledge.
Here’s my solution. I’ll read the sample all the way through. I don’t know why this never occurred to me before. Maybe I viewed the sample as a pre-purchase filter; you were meant to skim it, decide if you wanted to buy it, and then buy. It never occurred to me to treat it as actual reading material. With my new approach, however, I’ll go one book at a time, download the sample and actually read it all the way through. If I get to the last page and still want to keep going, that’s when I will click and buy. My game-plan is working so far. A few of the books are long enough for a ten-percent sample to give me a good few chapters. One of the books I did go ahead and upgrade. Another one turned out to be a little on the dry side once I was a chapter in. That’s $14 saved.
I’ll buy the books I truly do want to get this time. But I want to avoid what happened last time when the new hobby bug bit me. I bought half a dozen books, in paper, because they were art ones, and I didn’t even get to some before the Next Thing came along.
Not now! Treating the sample like a readable book, not just a browsable preview, will help me shop smarter this time around.