The logic of spending money …

I spent a good hour at Landmark (which is a pretty large bookstore in our city) the other day – having nothing to do. I ended up buying two books even though I entered the shop with the intent of just casually browsing through the store and passing some time …
While browsing, I had picked up a couple of books with the intent of buying them – but later placed them back on the shelf, changing my mind the last minute.
The books I eventually ended up buying were – The Alchemist (something that I have wanted to read since a long time) and Games Indians Play (a book in which the author tries to explain why Indians behave the way they do using Prisoner’s Dilemma in Game Theory)
The books I ended up placing back on the shelf were – “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini (not the right time to jump into a large novel) and “It Happened in India” by Kishore Biyani (wasn’t very keen and would be able to borrow it from a friend later).
Anyways, getting back to the topic at hand – the reason I wrote this post – is because I was wondering — how we willingly spend money for different things.
I have never felt the pinch while spending money on books – I spent a good 400 bucks on books I didn’t even intend to buy when I got to the place.
Similarly, I never quite feel the pinch while buying computer hardware – say a new hard disk or some ram.
Honestly speaking, I have started feeling the pinch (computer hardware) a little as compared to my college days – but nothing compared to spending a similar amount on getting my bike serviced — or on buying clothes for example.
I found it ironic that I could buy books worth a 1000 bucks in the morning – and cringe when my mechanic told me later that evening that I would have to change the brake liner of my bike which would cost me 250 bucks.
I really wonder why…
Maybe its because the way we are brought up.
Maybe because I had a sort of a “no questions asked fund” for buying books as a kid – that I continue not to feel the pinch now.
Or maybe I just strongly believe in the benefits of buying books.
I really don’t know – but I definitely do believe — different people do have different policies on spending money on different things. I just really do not know why.

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Comments (6)

  • bikram 12 years ago Reply

    hmmm… the only time i cringe while spending money is everytime!
    dunno why but i am stingy at heart and although i seemingly spend freely, it is never without a fair deal of cringing to myself!
    huh… money speak…

  • I Me My 12 years ago Reply

    Buying books online is perhaps the easiest way to splurge so I avoid going to Amazon Books as much as possible because once I am there I become ‘click happy’ and then there’s no stopping…

  • Jomy 12 years ago Reply

    There’s an easier way out …take one FULL day off work, go to Landmark/Crossword, grab a cup of coffee, make yourself comfortable on the sofa and read as much as you desire!

  • Sneha Nair 12 years ago Reply

    I really cringe when i have to pay the auto fair. I always feel cheated……in Hyderabad, as im sure in many other cities, the meters are rigged. But, like you buying books = guilt free money spending. 🙂

  • Arnold D'Souza 12 years ago Reply

    The reason is quite obvious—people value different goods/services differently. That the basis of all trade, if you think about it. It would be a very different world if everyone’s evaluation function for everything was the same as everyone else’s (and quite frankly, not a world I would want to live in).
    In simpler terms, different people like different things. So it’s obvious, that they would have varying amounts of money that they consider it worth spending on different things. Time is another resource—similar to money, but we all have the same amount of it. Once again though, you see that the distribution in the way it’s spent is quite varied. I might spend hours and hours doing what I like while you would not spend more than few minutes on that activity because you don’t like it. Any more than that is torture to you (read: feeling the pinch).
    Also, I agree with Jomy. That’s what I do. Not the entire day, but just weekend afternoons when I can. It’s surprising how many books you can actually read that way!

  • Saurabh Jain 12 years ago Reply

    Hmm … I agree with your point of view.
    Very apt.

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