Good writers are always good readers. But even in today’s world of cheap digital books it can be too easy to run up one hellacious bill.
Both of my parents grew up in the depression, and the maxim “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” was a strong part of their psyche. My father was proud that he could support his family by himself and could give my sister and me an allowance, which was to cover most of our small desires and FOR WHICH we were expected to perform certain chores, such as making our beds and keeping our rooms clean. If we sloughed off, we were docked our allowance. I spent a lot of time at the library.
I was in junior high school when I offered my mother a deal: If they would double my allowance (from fifty cents a week to a dollar!) I would wash and dry the dishes every single night, no matter what. I was a bit miffed when I came home from my first out-of-town job and discovered that my younger sister was getting five bucks a week. For the same work. The aggravation of inflation and the cost of living.
But whatever, the thing I quickly learned in childhood was the value of putting in the work to earn the pay, and then budgeting that pay — I could blow the dollar on Cokes and comic books, or I could save up and buy myself a pair of nylons that didn’t have dried nail polish all over them to stop the runs.
These days I may have progressed from comic books to novels, but it’s still tough reining myself in at the bookstore.