Cheapskate alert: Indy Reads Books opens

As a published author and long-time book lover, I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I rarely buy new books unless I'm buying a gift.

Instead, I'm more likely to troll the aisles at Half-Price Books, raid the Central Library book sale, and liberate volumes from garage sales.

So, yes, I'm part of the problem as to why there aren't bookstores in downtown Indy. And why, when it comes to places dedicated to new books, Big Hat Books in Broad Ripple stands nearly alone (and long may it be with us).

Then again, maybe I'm being hard on myself. I just checked an inflation calculator and found out that the equivalent of the new $.95 paperbacks that got me hooked on reading in the mid-'70s now should cost under $4 today.

However, the latest paperback edition of Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" has an $11.99 list price. A new paperback of "Catcher in the Rye" is now $13.99.

Yes, these are mass market paperbacks rather than traditional ones, but does that matter if they are the only copies available in full-price bookstores?

If I were a 12-year-old reader, I'm not sure if I'd make the investment.

Whatever the case, I'm thrilled about the opening of Indy Reads Books on Mass. Ave. I love hanging out in bookstores, and Indy Reads promises a slate of author-related activities.

And now, when shopping for used (and, occasionally, new) books, I have a new way to be a cheapskate and help a good cause at the same time.

Your thoughts?

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