Norwegian crimewriter Jo Nesbo is in Wellington for the New Zealand Arts Festival’s Readers and Writers Week and he’s making a splash on radio and television.
Tomorrow there’s an in-store ‘Meet Jo Nesbo’ at Whitcoulls, where attendees can pick up his latest book, Phantom, for $30. That’s a fairly typical price for airport thrillers. But I can buy Phantom for my Kindle ebook reader for half that price, even allowing for the NZ$/US$ exchange rate.
There, I just did it…
Why would I pay twice the price at Whitcoulls for a paper product that is actually less pleasant to read?* There’s only one possible reason, and that’s to support the local book trade. All well and good, but twice the price is a very stern test of altruism.
No wonder ereaders are going gangbusters in New Zealand. Bookshop owners should be – and no doubt are – very afraid.
*See my earlier comments on relative readability in this post.
[Follow-up: the Nesbo book was a disorganised load of tosh and I’m glad I didn’t pay the full NZ bookshop price for it. I gave up halfway through. The publishers are trying to latch on to the Scandinavian thriller/crime genre that kicked of with the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but Nesbo doesn’t cut it.]