FREE is the Magic Word

Why Was This Book Not Free?

Why Was This Book Not Free?

Tonight was an amazing date, and it was nearly FREE. I only say nearly because my girlfriend and I stopped at Starbucks for a cookie (she loves them)! Other than that we had a great night exploring the neighbourhood and reading free books at the local Chapters – I was actually reading one about “Free” as a real business.

In our 3rd effort in two weeks, we attempted to see a movie at the local theatre only to find it sold out as we got to the front of the line. Is that weird that it happened three times in a row? Anyway we didn’t get to see our movie again but in our normal fashion we didn’t let that stop us from having fun. Instead we decided to spend the evening finding great books that we can never seem to find at the library.

Ironically enough my eyes were drawn to a book called Free: The Future of a Radical Price. As I took the book into the corner and read the first three chapters I had to chuckle at my gaining the knowledge in the fashion the book described. I’m such a rebel! While I would really enjoy being able to buy the book, here’s why I didn’t.

Firstly the book’s entire subject is about how the Internet has created a culture of people (myself included) that are used to getting quality goods and services for free (Facebook, Google, etc). With the library down the street giving me acccess to 50 books at a time why pay $30 for a book?

Secondly I really just don’t have the free cash to be spending that much on one book that will take me two days to read between work and sleep. The value proposition is just not there for me.

Finally I have a nasty habit of reading between the lines. I felt as if Chris Anderson was speaking to me with his analysis of Freenomics as he offers many users information for free subsidized by the paying users. It made me feel like I was being the sucker that was ‘subsidizing’ the free readers with an abnormally high price. Not only that but it also made me abnormally aware that Chapters was only allowing me to ‘freely’ read their product in the hopes that I buy it.

Enough about the book though. While I did take away a great deal of useful insights from my limited read, the story is about me having a great night with my girlfriend at a cost of a $2 cookie. I’m sure that the folks at Chapters aren’t happy that I walked out with nothing in my hand with my wallet firmly placed in my pocket, but hey – we had fun. That’s really all that matters right?