I’ve been on a roll lately, reading and blogging my picks for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar nominees for Best Novel. At five of the six nominees read, I ran into a roadblock when the ever-so-accommodating Oak Park Public Library was not quite ready to lend me The Odds, by Kathleen George. According to their online info, the book was in the “sorting system” and so even though I was #1 on the hold list, it was not going to be on the shelf when I went to the library to pick up my next trunkload of books.
Woe is me. How can I start another book? The Odds was it. The next one. Should I read magazines until it was ready? Watch reality shows? (Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares is addictive, I don’t really want to start.)
My anxiety abated when it occurred to me that I could order The Odds on Amazon.com and have it delivered in moments, via Whispernet. Plus the reviews for the book were stellar, so I wouldn’t mind owning it. Heck, I’d probably read it over and over.
But the new price system on Amazon – augh! $14.82 for the e-book. That’s just 18 cents away from $15.00. I could print out a Borders coupon, hie myself down to Harlem & Lake, and get a brand-new, pristine, hardback version for that much.
So – the publishing wars (where Macmillan and Amazon battled over pricing, and other publishing houses entered the fray) are pretty much over. Amazon lost this battle. And the publishers accomplished their goal… they made me think twice about the cost of an e-book compared to a hardback. But what about the war? Did they push me into printing out their coupon and buying the book? Am I now sitting here, caressing the smooth book jacket, inhaling the tangy scent of freshly pressed pages?
Nope. Amazon lost and the publishers lost… because in a day or two, I’ll get my email that says “The following book is being held for you at the Main Branch of the Oak Park Public Library: The Odds by Kathleen George.” And I’ll go pick it up, read it, and get back on that lonely blogging road.
To those who are eagerly awaiting each blogging pearl on the Edgar necklace (how’s that for a convoluted metaphor), my apologies.