While most of the attention of Black Friday deals focuses on things like TVs, AirPods, and other tech-related gadgets, these weren't the discounts that most excited me this weekend. Instead, I turned to the thing that Amazon was originally known for: books.
For Black Friday, Amazon has a buy-two-get-one free deal (opens in new tab) for many hard- and softcover books, which has helped me to finally build out my library.
I'm a huge fan of the fantasy genre, classic and modern. I love The Lord of the Rings, but I think my true favorite series of all time is Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time. This 14-book epic (plus the prequel) is a massive time sink, but I've never experienced post-book depression like I do when I finish all of the novels.
For over a decade, I've slowly collected the original hardcover editions with the classic fantasy-style covers. The publisher has released other versions in the years since Brandon Sanderson finished the series (following Robert Jordan's death), but I wanted the hardcovers. Turns out that tracking them down, in good condition and at a reasonable price, proved difficult.
For the last two years, I've found myself stuck at 10 of the mainline books plus the prequel. I hadn't been successful at finding The Dragon Reborn, The Fires of Heaven, Lord of Chaos, and Knife of Dreams at bookstores, new or used — at least here in Virginia. But after seeing the original editions for The Eye of the World and The Great Hunt at a Books-a-Million in Pennsylvania, I decided to check if the hardcovers had become more readily available again.
I searched Amazon and there they were. The last four I needed, right there. But these huge books are expensive and buying four at $30-$40 each was too costly at the time. But when I saw Amazon had a buy-2-get-1-free deal on books for Black Friday, I checked again. Lo and behold, three of the four I needed were on sale, one for as low as $15. So I finished my collection for around $90 out the door.
The timing of this purchase is not lost on me, considering the surging popularity of the series thanks to Amazon's new The Wheel of Time show. While the show is quite excellent thus far, I think reading the books adds that much more to the experience. And if you're not willing to sit down and read 14 books, the audiobooks read by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading are incredible. I highly recommend them even if you aren't normally an audiobook person.
Robert Jordan's work with its beautifully-crafted world offers some of the most powerful escapism I've ever found. He (along with Tolkien) even inspired my own fiction writing endeavors. I'll have these books for the rest of my life. And if I have kids, I want to read the whole series with them as they grow up.
Next is the special edition alternate covers (opens in new tab) (from Juniper Books) you see in the image at the top of this article, but that's a ways off yet.
I quite like technology, but what's new and hot right now won't be come next year. But finishing a collection of my favorite books of all time? That's what meant more to me.