Balancing the Budget

I recently read in another writer’s blog about the mindful need to support writers without having to sell the car or take out a second mortgage. If one is an avid reader (AKA bookworm), this could happen. I confess there’ve been months when the largest item on my credit card bill was the local book store. I’ve come up with some solutions, most of them readily available to any reader.

As a blogger, I qualify as a member of Net Galley which offers a multitude of advance reading copies before the books hit the market. The publisher’s goal, naturally, is advance publicity for their books. This “reading for free” should not scare my blog followers. I only give blog reviews, with very few exceptions, for those that I would give at least four of five stars. I give feedback to the publisher on the others, but Net Galley does not require that I blog about the books they send. Since they have a huge selection, I try to choose those I assume would get a high ranking from me. I still only have twenty-four hours in my day and don’t need to waste a single one reading something that does not bring either enlightenment or pleasure.

The second choice awaits any dedicated reader. An obsession with putting words on paper is not necessary. This one involves becoming friendly with a librarian or two (a pleasure in itself). I’ve become friendly with our local public librarians and our church librarian. I recommend books to each with a request for a hold so I can read first. Selfish of me? Sure, but they gain an appraiser who reads reviews and looks for the best and the ones most appropriate for their library patrons in that long list of books that comes out each month. Their readers get the books quickly since I put those books on the top of my pile and read fast. Win – win – win.

My third way involves ten grandchildren and various friends and relatives who need gifts from time to time. What could be better than a good book that fits the personality and interest of the recipient? The books are not harmed at all if I pre-read them before I wrap them up.

Of course one can always borrow and loan books with friends which may ultimately be one of the best ways to help a writer. More often than not it’s the word of mouth sharing of “You’ve got to read this book,” that makes a book a hit, especially for authors whose names have not yet become a brand.

Then when push comes to shove, there are books I want on my shelf because I want to read them again or just because it makes me happy to see them there. USPS just brought a package of those. I’m doing my part to support my fellow writers. So far, I haven’t had to sell the car.