How Would You Spend a Free $50 Amazon Card?

June 12, 2008 at 7:16 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe | 10 Comments
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I attended a focus group meeting at my conference today and earned a $50 Amazon gift card. So, now I get to puzzle my way through how to spend it. One thought is to hold on to it and eventually order a Kindle. Another thought is to buy some more wonderful books. I’m an immediate pleasure type of girl, so I’m leaning toward the books. This then leads to the question: which books should I buy?

I’ve always wanted to read Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen. Amy at Pages from the Past, a new book blog, posted her review of the book today and it is glowing. So, I’ve added that to my cart. Steven King reviewed The Garden of Last Days by Andre Dubus III a couple of weeks ago in Entertainment Weekly and it sounds incredible. I’ve added that to my list. What else?

I had to go to my last session before I finished shopping. While I was there, Flannery O’Conner flashed into my head for no apparent reason. I’ve never read anything she’s written, but I’ve always been intrigued. I also remembered Marie from The Boston Bibliophile recommended the Rashi’s Daughters series and Bluestocking recommended The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe. I wrote those down in my notebook for later. When I got back to my computer, I discovered that the first book in the Rashi’s Daughters series was not in stock, so I couldn’t even consider buying it new. So, I added The Complete Flannery O’Conner and The Mysteries of Udolpho to my cart.

This put my totals over $50 and I wanted to get as close as possible. I had to make a cut (well, I didn’t have to, but I wanted to pay nothing for the books so it was a complete fruit from my focus group labor). I played around with the totals and when I took Through a Glass Darkly out of my cart, my total was $49.27. What could be closer? Since I can easily get that book from the library, I went with that.

To recap, here’s what I bought:

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
The Complete Flannery O’Conner
The Garden of Last Days by Andre Dubus III

I know I’m going to kick myself for asking this because you’ll come up with such marvelous things that I will second guess myself, but I am anyway:

What would you do if a $50 Amazon card fell in your lap?


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  1. Right now I would probably buy books for my kids. I have so many freebies and ARCs waiting to be read that I don’t need any other books at the moment. Not that “needing” a book really ever plays into my book buying habits! But my kids are always needing new books. Right now my oldest wants the next book in The Five Ancestors series by Jeff Stone (mean mom that I am, I’m making her wait for it to come out in paperback). She also wants Twilight but I think she’s too young (10 yrs) and The Giver.

  2. I think I would put it aside for just a bit, but I would be getting the books I’m dying for that won’t be at Half Price Books for awhile, like “Unaccustomed Earth.”

  3. Oooh, Ooooh… I’d order The Annotated Brothers Grimm & The Annotated Hans Christian Anderson. If I had any money left, I’d pre-order the new Neil Gaiman novel, The Graveyard Book. Thanks for this fun exercise!

  4. Congrats! I would totally run out to the bookstore if I had that burning my pocket! It’s funny..I complain to my husband about not having any clothes, but whenever I have a little spending money I always go for the books. It’s a sickness I think?! Hey, thanks for linking to my page…that was pretty cool to read your blog and see my name! Have a good weekend!

  5. “Through a Glass Darkly” is probably the only romance novel I really like, so yes, read it soonest! Ms. Koen recently wrote a prequel to the novel that sounds like it might be good too.

    With the Amazon card, I’d buy around 8 Kindle novels. It would be ALL for me! How’s that for being selfish?

  6. Thanks to everyone for commenting! It was so fun to log in after a LONG day of flying back to the East Coast and seeing everyone’s replies.

    I am a bad, bad, Mommy. I didn’t think about my girls for a second… However, a little angel out there did and my girls were in hog heaven with their new books tonight. Thanks SO MUCH to that angel!!!!

    Putting aside is probably a really good idea, but I have a big problem with delaying gratification. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t thought about The Brothers Grimm in such a long time. That would definitely be something to revisit.

    I have to agree about buying books above all else. I never even considered looking at Amazon for something other than books…

    Chartroose, would you read the prequel to Through a Glass Darkly first? More importantly, how do you like your Kindle????

  7. Lol when I get giftcards I (like you) try to get rid of all the money on them at once. I take a look at my wishlists, and preorder stuff that won’t be out for awhile. That way, when it starts arriving, it’s a nice surprise πŸ™‚

  8. I’d run down my wishlist and put some of those items in my cart. I’d go over the $50 if I had to, so that I used up every penny of the gift!

    I bought my husband a Kindle for his birthday this week. He travels quite a bit and it seems to make sense for him. The display looks great; I was impressed with it, and it takes a lot for any “electronic book” to impress me. Also, the convenience of getting your “book” delivered immediately is a big plus. They just dropped the price by $40 or $50 … it will still take a lot of your focus groups to earn it completely … I like your approach of getting the traditional books now! (more instant gratification)

  9. I hadn’t thought about pre-ordering… What a fun way to surprise myself – not only do I have instant gratification issues, I also have a lousy short-term memory for how I spent the money!!! πŸ™‚

    Dawn, please let me know what your husband thinks about his Kindle over time. I’m really very curious.

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