This is a story of unavailability. I have probably purchased this book five times in my life, between my own childhood and the assigned reading needs of others in the family. I don’t begrudge Blume her continued income from her work, she deserves it. So a sixth purchase wasn’t the issue. In fact, the school loaned each child a copy of the book so if things had gone as planned, I wouldn’t have needed to buy it at all.
When do things go as planned?
First, there was a scooter accident that left the kid assigned to read this book with two broken arms. Then there was a ridiculously mundane fall that left her parent with a broken leg. We needed an ebook and we needed it fast. The library only had an audiobook on offer. The teacher wasn’t thrilled, but we were in negotiations. Unfortunately, the audiobook required a Windows computer to operate. After looking for the book on Kindle (no) or Sony Reader (no) or Nook (nuh-uh) a google search was performed for alternate vendors.
Guess how many “free” download options came up? You’ve got it. Over the weekend the child in question read a perfectly formatted (better than most I have purchased) copy of the assigned reading. The book was read on an iPad carefully propped up upon a pillow and pages were turned with the edge of a pinky. So why was I frustrated? I was frustrated because of the absurdity of the situation. Publishers are turning away income at a time they really need it. If an expertly formatted copy of the book can appear on “free” download sites, why can’t it appear in stores?