Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Is $22 too expensive for a book?

My wife and son has just left for a trip to the Murray River. The day before she left, we went on a shopping trip to stock up on some baby supplies. While we were walking around, she also bought a novel to read during the trip. Now we haven't bought a brand new book for a long time, we have always bought second hand books, at book liquidation sale or at the library. I was a bit taken back by the price. It was $22 for the book!

In the scheme of things, $22 is probably not that much if it meets the following 3 criteria
  1. It provides good entertainment - a novel is usually a work of fiction and it provide nothing more than entertainment. If it provides some positive insight, then we managed to get bonus.
  2. It is easy to understand - This is highly dependent on the reader as everyone's ability to consume visual information is different, and choosing the right book is key to providing a good entertainment.
  3. It is not overly expensive - There is no way that if the book was anymore expensive, the cheapskate in me would try to persuade my wife to look for another book, but I would not need to do this as my wife has a fantastic sense of worth. She would have know what is good value and what is bad value.
J.D. over Get Rich Slowly wrote an article about getting a debt to pleasure. He spent the day playing paint ball. From a financial perspective, he broke his activities down and found that it cost him $10 per hour. Whether that is expensive or not totally depends how J.D. views on how much recreational activities are worth.

From my perspective, paying $22 dollars for a book is well worth it as I know that my wife will totally enjoy it, especially give the month that we just had.

How much is too much for you?

photo credit: Manu M


Louise said...

I am a bit of a bookworm, and own lots of books. I think books can be money well spent. We all need our pleasures.

Sometimes when I hear the amounts that people spend at the pub each week I realise that my little splurges are much better value in the long run!

tehnyit said...

I also like books, especially espionage thrillers like the Bourne books. However, I find myself only reading the novel once, therefore I don't buy many books. I usually browse the local library instead.

Lynnae @ Being Frugal said...

I think you need to allow yourself to splurge a little, or you end up getting frustrated with your budget.

That being said, you could sell the book when your wife is finished with it and recoup some of the cost.

tehnyit said...

lynnae, you are correct. The whole point of budgeting is to be able to afford items that we can enjoy with the money that we save.