Bookmarks, Book Titles And Bargains

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine told me about his e-Reader.

What’s an e-Reader, I had to ask, envisioning some type of contraption to hold a book open — or something like that. Two years ago I’d never heard of such a device.

These days, you can’t look through a department store’s advertising flier without seeing an e-Reader of some sort splashed among the pages. The Nook and the Kindle are probably the most widely known, but there are a number of other, not-so-famous brands.

While shopping at a Barnes and Noble last weekend at the Mall of America, I had a one-on-one demonstration with the latest name-brand e-Reader model available.

The associate explained all of the great attributes of the electronic gadget — you get access to thousands of books, magazines, newspapers and even movies, Internet, email and, well, I can’t remember what else. My eyes were too fixated on the $250 price tag.

Wow. I can buy a lot of library book sale books for that price!

Imagine how surprised I was to find out then that if I purchased this top-of-the-line gizmo, I could get three free books — the rest were going to cost me. Curious about the cost, I had the associate help me find the book titles of one of my favorite authors. Sure enough, there were about a dozen titles to choose from, all at the amazing low price of $7.99 each. I seem to remember the associate saying something about titles costing roughly 60 percent or 70 percent of the cover price — if you were to buy the actual book, that is.

Now, I’m all for a bargain, but rarely do I pay the cover price for any book I buy. In fact, I can remember paying cover price only once in my life — earlier this year when I purchased “Unbroken” and used it to collect the autographs of as many of the World War II veterans on Honor Flight III that I could before we landed in Sioux Falls and went our separate ways.

Right there is one reason I prefer real books to e-books. My “Unbroken” book is one of the most treasured in my collection, alongside some of my autographed Bob Artley, Jim Brandenburg and Paul Gruchow books.

While I was a bit tempted by the easy access to book titles offered through an e-Reader, I decided to be patient. After all, the Nobles County Library’s special Christmas book sale was just a few days away (it started Thursday and continues through Friday in the lower level of the library, 407 12th Street).

I had hoped to be one of the first customers to the book sale on Thursday, but a two-hour session of the Nobles County Board of Commissioners delayed my visit until the noon hour. I was on a mission — searching for any and all Debbie Macomber books. I read my first book by the author last month and absolutely loved her way of combining her favorite hobby, needlework, with her job that pays the bills — writing. Yes, we have a couple of major things in common.

Anyway, I was luckier than I had anticipated. I found 17 titles by the author, enough to fill up the length of my arm and then some.  (I apologize to any of you planning to go to the sale in search of Macomber books!) I was then in for an even better surprise — books were 50 cents each or a bag full for $2. Now that’s a bargain those e-Readers can’t even touch.

Yep, for $2 I have enough reading material to last through the winter (if I set aside a little time for stitching each day). And, I’m recycling to boot! Not to mention, I much prefer holding a book in my hands, watching my progress as my bookmark moves from beginning to end over the course of a few days or a week. It’s kind of like reading a newspaper — I prefer to have a newspaper in my hands and be able to flip through the pages rather than read it online.

If you’re looking for some book sale bargains, the Library Book Sale is going on from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.