Friday, October 23, 2009

Warning! F-word used here

Don't use the F-word, I tell my students. It's tacky and it's wrong. But some of them just can't quit. They've been doing it far too long.

You know the four-letter F-word: free.

Free as in the internet is free, information is free, butterflies are free ... oops. That was a movie.

Sure, the internet is free, as long as you don't count your monthly cable fee. Yes, information is free if you value the time you spend searching for it at zero. Butterflies? Who knows?

But we love the F-word, don't we? Especially in Winnipeg, the capital of cheap.

"Everyone hates paying for books," asserts Carson Jerema, a former student-newspaper editor, in a column Oct. 19, 2009 in the Winnipeg Free Press.

Apparently retailing behemoths Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target agree. They have started a price war on a handful of hardcover books by big-name authors such as John Grisham and Sarah Palin. These authors' latest tomes are selling for about $9, a discount of about 70 per cent from the usual $25 or $30.

Palin's book is still overpriced.

But hate paying for books? Not me. I probably drop a thousand dollars a year in my favourite local independent bookstore.

Love to tell you more, but I gotta go. Time to hit Wal-Mart for some almost-F*** weekend reading.

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