Book Related

Mathematical Justification for Buying Books

So it’s Saturday, and you’re out running some errands. You finish in one store, and you just happen to notice that your favourite bookstore was right next door. You promise yourself that you’re just going to look, just see if there’s anything you can add to your Goodreads list.

But an hour later, you walk out with three new books, and a little less self-respect.

Let’s think about this for a moment, though. Say one of your books (I’m using The Heart of Betrayal as example, as it’s what is closest to me) cost $16 plus tax (I’m using my local GST, which is 5%):

16.00 x 1.05 = $16.80

Now, this book you just bought has 470 pages. Let’s say that you are able to read approximately 70 pages per hour, if you’re really focused.

470 / 70 = 6.7 hours spent on reading this book.

If you take the amount you spent on the book, and divide it by how long you spent reading it, you’ll see how much you paid per hour of entertainment from reading that book.

16.80 / 6.7 = $2.50

Now, let’s say that you absolutely love this book, so you not only re-read it, but you also lend it to a friend who reads it once.

2.50 / 3 = $0.83

That book you just purchased has provided you and a friend entertainment at the very reasonable cost of $0.83 per hour. There aren’t too many other forms of entertainment that will come that cheap. Let’s look at a few, shall we? (These are all costs local to where I currently live in Canada, and will likely vary from what you pay for such things.)

Netflix is cheap, but internet connections can run a little higher. Let’s say you watch two hours of Netflix a day for a month:
9.99 for Netflix + 75.00 for internet / 62 hours = $1.37 per hour

Movies are fun to go to, but also are getting expensive. Let’s say you go to the cinema to see two 3-hour movies per month:
13.25 per ticket x 2 / 6 hours = $4.41 per hour

If you go to the zoo and spend five hours looking at the animals:
$24.95 per admission + $10 for parking / 5 hours = $6.99 per hour

So compared to some things that you can be doing for entertainment, buying a few books really isn’t that expensive. That book will likely be enjoyed, and you’ll more than get your money’s worth out of it. Maybe you should even buy another!

And I know that these things are completely different experiences, and I’m not knocking any of them. This is just a fun post I thought of, nothing more.


5 thoughts on “Mathematical Justification for Buying Books

  1. You make me smile.
    You remind me of me: I can justify anything. That made me realize that I could buy books and not feel guilty. But the difference with me is that currently all my entertainment is paid for by my mom. So books are my own little piece of me.
    I love this post. I want to show it to everyone and say, “look, books are the best value for multiple hours of entertainment!” πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, awesome! I’m glad this made you smile – that’s what I was going for.
      I can justify most things, whether it be financially or self-care. Or maybe I just am only interested in things that work along with those.
      The math says it though. Books are the best value for multiple hours!


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