Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Belinda - by Maria Edgeworth.

Before I go into my review, I am just going to edge into a rant.  I usually restrain myself, but of course that just means it will bust out even worse, so here goes . . .

David McCullough has a new book out, “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.”  I bought it for my grandniece for her Kindle.  She is sixteen and I thought the book might show her what is to be learned from travel.  I heard it discussed on the radio and got all excited that this would be the perfect book for her and so I bought it.  

I never would have bought it if I had not talked myself into how she had to read it.  This book, FOR KINDLE, was $19.99!  I would never pay that for a Kindle book for myself  - no matter how badly I might want to read it.  But I did buy it as a gift and gave the book one star for the preposterous price.  Warehouse costs – 0  Printing costs – 0  Shipping – a few cents.  And I am sure the author does not get anymore than he gets for the $20.63 hardback and probably less.

The UK Kindle edition is £14.99 and Amazon UK has the nerve to brag your savings are £8.17.  The hardcover is £18.37, so I am not sure how they determine those incredible savings, other than perhaps they represent what Amazon could charge if they were not so benevolent!

In the US we are told, “the publisher sets the price.”  Ahhh, poor Amazon with no influence over the publishing companies. </thus endeth the rant>

Luckily there are still free and inexpensive books out there for us to enjoy!  Here is a novel from 1801, Belinda by Maria Edgeworth.  ( $0.99 US Edition) ( £0.69 UK Edition) (EUR 2,28 DE Edition)

Per another one of those great Amazon reviewers: “For anyone looking for an accompaniment to Jane Austen this a great read about romance, dueling and regency women behaving badly.”   
Mrs. Stanhope, a well-bred woman, accomplished in that branch of knowledge which is called the art of rising in the world, had, with but a small fortune, contrived to live in the highest company. She prided herself upon having established half a dozen nieces most happily, that is to say, upon having married them to men of fortunes far superior to their own. One niece still remained unmarried—Belinda Portman, of whom she was determined to get rid with all convenient expedition. Belinda was handsome, graceful, sprightly, and highly accomplished; her aunt had endeavoured to teach her that a young lady's chief business is to please in society, that all her charms and accomplishments should be invariably subservient to one grand object—the establishing herself in the world:
    "For this, hands, lips, and eyes were put to school,
    And each instructed feature had its rule."
Mrs. Stanhope did not find Belinda such a docile pupil as her other nieces, for she had been educated chiefly in the country; she had early been inspired with a taste for domestic pleasures; she was fond of reading, and disposed to conduct herself with prudence and integrity. Her character, however, was yet to be developed by circumstances.
 Ahhh, yes.  Just what I need after a rant, a peaceful trip back to the Regency Period.

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  1. I am surprised that you think it is cost-free to produce a non-print book. Also, Amazon does not set the price, the publishers have formed a cartel to set the price. Before they did this, Amazon Kindle prices were very cheap.
    The novel from the 19th century is out of copyright (so Amazon has to pay no publisher) and also has probably been scanned by some other outfit, eg the Gutenberg project.

  2. Not cost free - but there is no cost for printing or storage as are passed on to the consumer in the price of a print copy. The Kindle version costs far less to produce than a physical book. Certainly $9.99 is reasonable, while still less than a trade paperback or hardback which can be resold, lent repeatedly or given away. But $20.00 for an e-book? I think that is wrong. Thank you for reading and commenting!


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