Dichotomies and contradictions: Putting your money where your mouth is

Now that I don’t work in the CBD, and don’t walk down Queen St every day, I can’t get used to not seeing the iconic Borders bookshop below the cinemas.

“I can’t wrap my head around the fact that it’s just not there anymore!” I lamented to T on Diwali weekend as we passed the dark, hollow building, plastered with ‘For Lease’ signs.

“You know why they had to close? Because of people like you, who go in there and read for hours without buying anything,” he replied without missing a beat.


While that’s not the whole truth – the book and CD industry is in near terminal decline – people like me didn’t exactly help stem the demise.

In fact, when it comes to putting my money where my mouth is, I fall so far short it’s not funny.

I love books, but I’ve never been a book buyer. I’ve had a library card ever since I can remember.

I love good writing, full stop, but I don’t pay for it. Given that this is how I earn a crust … yikes. I don’t have any magazine subscriptions, and I’ve never donated to, say, Longreads, though I adore what they’re doing. In short, I grew up in the age of free content, and wound up in the heart of that industry. I’m part of the problem.

I love music, but hate to pay for it.  I spent most of my childhood first taping songs off the radio, then pirating music in my teens. Now I pay to attend concerts, but we’re now well and truly into the age of streaming music, which costs nothing as long as I’m connected to the web.

I love good food, but am loath to pay for good ingredients. We do from time to time – good cheese, good meat, good ice cream, good olive oil… but eating quality is not cheap. In fact, I love food but don’t enjoy cooking. (I’m mired in a MAJOR food rut at the moment. A spot of Food TV revived a bit of interest the other night, but not nearly enough.)

Do you walk the talk when it comes to your dollars and cents?

6 thoughts on “Dichotomies and contradictions: Putting your money where your mouth is

  • Reply plantingourpennies October 27, 2012 at 01:37

    It’s a mixed bag, isn’t it? We do pay for a couple journalism sources that we really value even though we *could* get them for free. But I, too, am a bit of a library addict and only tend to buy books that I know I will read again and again – it’s usually only a book or so per year that ends up getting purchased.

  • Reply Cassie October 27, 2012 at 03:02

    That last one was a major mental struggle for me. I want to budget and minimize my expenses so I can save more of my money, but at the same time I want to eat organic, and really want to support local farmers. It’s tough! I ended up having to make a choice. I upped my food budget to allow for organic produce, and occasional meat, while still choosing conventional products elsewhere.

  • Reply Linda October 27, 2012 at 13:06

    I’ve never been a big music collector, although I have always been a big reader. I still buy books, but they are usually e-books because I’m trying to minimize the amount of physical stuff I have. My “strategy” for years has been to check stuff out from the library first and if I really, really like it I may buy a copy to keep.

    As for food, don’t worry about being in a rut, it happens sometimes. For me, it seems I fall into them following periods where I’m “forced” to eat a lot of meals outside the home (such as after a vacation, a period of intense work, or a business trip) and I just haven’t settled back into a routine of cooking. Once I start easing my way into it, I realize how much more I enjoy the food *I* cook than the stuff I end up eating in those situations and find my cooking mojo again.

  • Reply mochiandmacarons October 28, 2012 at 00:34

    I’d like to say yes, but I’m sure I’m a hypocrite somewhere in saying so.

    I buy e-books and e-magazines, not paper ones, and I do buy music but only one tune at a time on iTunes not the whole CD.

    Same with TV shows… iTunes is it!

    Otherwise, I am loathe to pay for anything. I HULU it first to see if I like it.

  • Reply MFB October 29, 2012 at 05:29

    I don’t think any of our citizen will buy music here when we have shops that sells music, movies and latest television series of a rate on 2GB less than a dollar.

    I sometimes buy books online but that’s it for me as well

  • Reply The Asian Pear October 30, 2012 at 14:08

    I’m not gonna lie. I’m a hypocrite as well.

    I will shell out the cash to buy stuff I REALLY love though. The problem is I can’t get it in the formats I want or the price point is higher than I’d like. So I always will wait til it’s dirt cheap or on sale to buy. Or I won’t buy it at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *