A Thing for You to Buy, if You Are Needing to Buy a Thing

Sempre Susan by Sigrid Nunez was the first Emily Book that I bought, one year ago this week. Emily Books, of course, is the ebook store started by Emily Gould and Ruth Curry. They pick really, really good books that you probably haven’t read or even heard of and make it easy for you to buy them and read them on your phone or Kindle or tablet or whatever instantly without giving money to mean conglomerates. We’ve run an excerpt from one of their books (also great) and I spoke with Emily about buying ebooks last year.

ANYWAY, Sempre Susan. It’s about Susan Sontag as a mentor. An imperfect mentor! I’ve now read it maybe six times? Maybe more. Sometimes I just read through list of parts I have highlighted (TECHNOLOGY), but that usually just turns into reading the whole thing again. It’s short and good and inspirational and quiet and for the rest of this month it is 30% off with a discount code AND you can also get a hard copy sent to you in the mail for $1, which is how I wish it always worked when you bought ebooks and music and television shows and movies online. But it doesn’t work like like that. Except this time it does.

The book is $12.99. With discount that’s like $9, which as we all know, is practically free. I suppose I should put the Amazon link here but I’m not going to. It’s $7.99 there, so: Cheaper. Yes. BUT AT WHAT COST. (Books, writers, readers, authors, workers.)

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8 Comments / Post A Comment

readyornot (#816)

Point taken, don’t buy from mean conglomerates.

And also: Susan Sontag, On Photography. Not at all the same feel as Sempre Susan but so wonderful. “Needing to have reality confirmed and experience enhanced by photographs is an aesthetic consumerism to which everyone is now addicted. Industrial societies turn their citizens into image-junkies; it is the most irresistible form of mental pollution.”

Instagram-fostered mental pollution, yes.

lemons! (#384)

@readyornot Agreed! On Photography changed how I view the world and I am sad we don’t have On the Internet by Sontag either. Sempre Susan was just such a great coming of age and a great respectful and fair biography.

Also yes, don’t buy from mean conglomerates when there are Awl friends out there.

Also Also, I guess I learned how to use italics in a comment.

I’ve been wanting to join a book club, so maybe this is just on my mind a lot, but how cool would it be for a club to just follow along with the books they released?

Another group doing something similar is Twelve Books: http://twelvebooks.com

@polka dots vs stripes Well okay, doing something similar in terms of limited publishing = higher quality books, not doing something similar in terms of being an indie publisher. In case that distinction is important to you.

null (#1,101)

AHHH I ALREADY HAVE TOO MANY BOOKS TO READ, but am buying this anyway. I can’t turn down a good bohemian memoir set in the 70′s.

Also, this is the second book I’ve purchased this week as a result of a Billfold recommendation!

Beezus (#1,007)

Library! What about the LIBRARY? I just put a copy on hold at the Seattle Public Library. /smug comment is smug

ellabella (#1,480)

Bought. Including the hard copy. Because I’m a compulsive book-accumulator. The libary! Ebooks! I know! But also: when you can afford/enjoy spending money on books, don’t feel guilty about it! Because that’s how authors make money. And the pleasure of 45 minutes in an independent bookstore isn’t one I ever want to lose.

amirite (#2,677)

I have a rule about buying e-books where I don’t buy them until I’m ready to read them. This keeps me from stockpiling books I’ll never actually read, like I used to do with paper books, until their weight and accumulated cost started to make me sad. My one exception though, is Emily Books. I have a subscription and I’ve loved everything I’ve read so far. I do occasionally get a book from them that I don’t read right away, but they are so consistently good at picking books that I would want to read if only I’d heard of them before that I don’t feel bad about stockpiling a few titles. I’m tempted to buy this one at the sale price (it came out before I started my subscription), but I think I am going to stick to my rule and wait until I’m ready to read it. The beauty of e-books is that when I suddenly become seized with a desire to start a book, they’re always available to me through the magic of Internet.

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