Books: More Bang for the Buck
Posted by: Keir Graff
Ever since I signed up for the artsJournal newsletter, I’ve been reading more books coverage from Canada. (Confusingly, they spell “out” the same way we do.) In the Globe and Mail (“Books still win“), Rick Groen declares:
I’ve done the math and here’s the bottom line. If you want consistent artistic bang for your buck, skip the movies, forget the theatre and turn off your TV set. Instead, read a book. More specifically, read a novel. More specifically still, read the kind of novel that publishers call "trade fiction."
It’s a good essay, but I was waiting until the very end for a cost-benefit analysis that would consider financial outlay on said artistic commodities against the time spent consuming them. But Groen’s a little more highfalutin than that. Still, I’ve always defended the rising purchase price of books by comparing them to movie ticket prices. Even the fastest readers are likely to get more value from books unless, say, they’re speed readers who bought the latest Ken Bruen in hardcover.
(I’m not saying anything about the quality of Bruen here: his books are short and there’s a generous amount of white space on the page.)