It's a reasonable question. With all the free e-books out there, not to mention the streaming video and computer gaming options, why should you ever buy a book? Why wouldn't you just download some video for free (or borrow it through one of the many programs)? People love video nowadays, and everything's on video, isn't it?
Consider this. If you read, you're improving your mind. You are co-creating the "vivid, continuous dream" of the story. A viewer is passive, while a reader is active. A written story can go so much deeper and resonate with readers. Reading can open the door to another world and stimulate all sorts of thoughts and ideas, rather than just showing you the dream of the director who made the movie or TV show. I always learn something when I read (even if it's wrong--LOL!) So that's why you want to read.
"Sure," you're saying. "But why should I buy a book when I can borrow it or get it from the Kindle Unlimited program or some such deal?"
Frankly, it makes me happy to hear someone is borrowing my books from a library, from a friend who's spreading the word, or from basically anywhere. I just want to be read. I'm not expecting to make lots of money (and that's a good thing, too, because most authors don't!) I know people read blogs and Facebook and tweets and all sorts of other material now, all free. It's not a given that someone who loves reading will need to purchase a novel.
But how will writers continue to afford to sit and write if no one buys the books? Where will more books come from if writers have to give up and get full-time day jobs or become TV pitchmen or whatever? The answer is that high-quality books will become scarce. You'll have to be independently wealthy in order to be a novelist. The only books out there eventually will be poor quality tomes dashed off by hopefuls. Some of those will be good--but what are the odds? Most of them, let's face it, will be lacking and won't feed your need for cadenced prose and a healthy storyline.
I know we're all moving the belt to the next tightest notch these days. Budgets are smaller. We don't know what will happen in the next election. So we can't spend a lot of money on books. I know I used to spend lots more money on books than I can now. But I try to support small presses and indie authors if I can by buying the books whenever possible. I am supporting one of my favorite addictions. And at $2-$6, most ebooks cost less than a fast-food taco and drink! Books are bargains that you can keep on your shelf (or electronic library shelf) and refer back to as often as you like, re-read whenever you please, and even lend out to people who'd appreciate them.
Surely there's something that you love to read. Mystery/suspense, fantasy, contemporary romance, or whatever. You can find a book that's right up your alley, probably right here at Oak Tree Press. I review books on both of my blogs, Denise Weeks Books and Shalanna Collins Books. Many online reviewers talk about worthwhile novels that might otherwise be under your radar. Make time this week to read a book. I promise you it's worth the effort. (And if you can buy the book, so much the better!)
If you can't purchase books, at least consider reviewing the good ones you read. That can help an author immeasurably. And if you watch for sales and special events, you can pick up many books at a discount. Every little bit helps. Improve your mind and improve the chances that books will go on. It's a win-win situation.
And thanks in advance for buying the next book you buy!