Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Used Bookstore Headache

When it comes to genetics, my husband passed along bad teeth and freckles to our children. I generously gave my daughter a genetic B-12 deficiency and a dislike of stress. So when my daughter told me she preferred to buy her books rather than use a library, I knew exactly how she felt. I have the same problem, especially when I am on the library's most popular book list and don't know when I will get it. The stress of getting that new bestseller finished in a week can suck the enjoyment out of any book, not to mention needing to be in the mood to read whatever the library throws at you.  Fiction when you are hankering for a biography or non-fiction self-help guide just doesn't do it. So, this past week, I became her book finder.  I went out in search of the books on her list, visiting more than one bookstore on a quest to find as many as I could. Unfortunately, her budget required I peruse used bookstores for the most part.

As much as I understand my daughter's point of view, I am still conflicted about the whole UBS business.  When I started reading romance and decided to read a number of golden oldies no longer in print, I had to purchase books through half.com and a few UBS in town.  The library didn't have them and they could not be found otherwise.  But I also like the feeling of supporting the authors I love when I purchase their books, even with deep discounts or 33% off coupons. I may not like paying full price for a trade paperback at $14.99 but I understand the necessity of the price point for authors and the industry. 

In spite of my author loyalty, when I venture into a UBS, I also notice the unemployed middle aged woman searching for health guides or the young stay at home mom looking for children's books, the senior citizen looking for pleasure reading or the teens looking for DVDs. The economy has made the local UBS the bookstore of choice or necessity for many who want the feeling of browsing in a bookstore but are unable to pay $24 for a hardback even with discount.  My own daughter occasionally buy new books but her salary makes her frugal.  What about that side of the coin? Therefore, my headache.

There are many ethical issues right now floating about in the media. Like the UBS debate, they don't have clear cut answers or people think they should. It isn't just gray in a black and white world. It is muddy out there.  I pray about these things but often in equal measure with arguing with myself or making excuses for whatever I decide. I need to listen to God's guidance more on these issues, seeking answers that are in line with my faith. I also need to recognize those answers often don't come in a day or even over a lifetime. Maybe then I will have fewer headaches.

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me." John 5:30

What issues are you conflicted about? Have you prayed about these issues and what would you discover if you did? 

Peace, Julie