Apr 28, 2019

The moral dilemma

Whenever something bothers me, I would like to explore that feeling further to see why I'm affected by it. I usually do this exploration through the process of journaling. If it is something personal, involving family or friends, I quickly jot down everything that is troubling me on top of my mind in a "note" in Evernote and delete that note right away. Whether it gives me an answer or not, this process definitely clears my mind.

If it is something that can be shared, it turns out as a post in my blog (where else) tagged under "Ramblings". So here's one issue that is bothering me a bit this evening. Read it at your own peril, share your thoughts/perspectives but without any snide remarks or harsh criticism, please.

I was at a bookstore this evening, perusing through books I want to read. As I was contemplating what books to buy, I couldn't help but check Amazon app for their respective prices. Most of the books in my wishlist are above Rs.500 MRP and the prices shown in Amazon were nearly Rs.150-200 less than what I would end up paying if I buy the same books from the bookstore. 

After spending around 30 minutes, I picked up a couple of books for my daughter, trying to comfort myself that I have still given some business to the physical book store. But I felt quite bad that I didn't buy any book from my wishlist.
  1. The price difference was something that I couldn't let go of. Rs.150-200 is still a worthy amount to me. It wasn't about Amazon but more about my price sensitivity.
  2. If price is such an important factor to me, then I would end up buying all my books ONLY from Amazon/Flipkart but not from a physical bookstore. And if everyone does the same, the small bookstores would eventually shut down. I so don't want that to happen. There are very few places in a city that I would like to spend my evenings in and one of them is certainly a bookstore.
     
Has anyone faced such a moral dilemma? How do you address such issues? Any word of advice/change of perspective you could offer?
Yes, there are regulations that are aimed at protecting small players but what can I as a price-sensitive individual do to maximize value but at the same time not end up trapped to a monopolistic player? 

As I was discussing this uncomfortable feeling with my husband, he brought out another interesting point - the time-value of reading a book. If I'm interested in a particular book, I should just pick it up then and there and start reading the same day. I'll be able to apply a few ideas from the book earlier than wait for the right time (read: SALE) to buy it from Amazon. I might lose interest in that book or the ideas in that book would no longer be relevant to me. It made a lot of sense but given my wish list is long, it is not easy for me to narrow down on one particular book ;-)

The solution that my mind is giving me after jotting down this post is that I should consider the additional Rs.150-200 as an "experience" cost that I'm paying the bookstore AND not for the value of the book per se. Hmm, maybe?

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