You ever find a poet you really like and then decide to buy their book? Then you see how much it is and save the book to buy later?
I do this all the time. If I buy online, I buy off Amazon. Most of the poetry books I’m looking for are anywhere from $15 – $18. This is for a slim collection.
Here’s a peak at what’s in my cart now: Two Mark Strand collections, one for $16.95 and the other for $18, Ted Hughes collection for $18.17, Sylvia Plath collection for $15.43, and many more. The cheapest one I have carted is a Mark Doty collection for $12.99.
I’m not complaining about the price. I think poetry is worth it. But I do think the price discourages people from buying. And with so many poems online, why buy?
I personally buy because I like having physical books. I can underline and mark it up. And I want to encourage others to buy physical, too, at least when it comes to poetry.
Because you can find cheaper collections. In Texas we have Half Price Books (don’t think it’s national, but I’m sure other places have a similar resale bookshop).
A few weeks ago I went in to look for poetry and walked out with 18 collections. The books mostly ranged from $2.99 – $8.99, and most of them were on the lesser end of that scale. All were used but in great condition.
Now, you may be asking, “Why don’t you just buy used online?”
Well, that’s because you never really know what you’re going to get. At least at the store I can flip through it and see the condition first hand.
And while we live in an online age, online isn’t always the answer.
I came across the Hungarian poet Miklos Radnoti, who died in a labor camp in World War II. His body was found and his last poems were found in his pocket. Those poems, plus some of his other poems he wrote before the war, were published in the collection, Clouded Sky.
I looked everywhere online for this book, but couldn’t find anything that was in “good” condition less than $40.
I did what any good aspiring poet would do–I asked for the collection for my birthday.
Guess what I ended up finding that day at Half Price? The collection. For $12.
Also – used collections tend to be cheaper than even eBooks.
Have you ever randomly found a book you wanted?