Friday, August 17, 2012

Save Your Lungs; Improve Your Mind

I quit smoking thirty-two years ago, when cigarettes were well under a buck a pack—about sixty-five cents, as I recall. Today, here in Jersey, I was surprised to find out that they hover around eight bucks a pack, and in New York, they can cost twelve dollars.

That means each smoke you light up today can cost essentially what an entire pack cost in 1980. You would think that economics alone would bring the tobacco industry to its knees, and in fact, that largely is what’s being done—or at least being attempted, because the majority of that price increase over the years has been from taxes, as opposed to the actual cost of tobacco.

So if you smoke a mere pack a day and gave up the habit, you would stash away more than three grand a year—tax free! And even if you’re not a saver, think what you could do with an extra eight dollars a day. Every day!

Someone once scoffed at the price of my first novel—Grave Departure—which retails for $9.95. “Ten bucks is a lot to pay for a book by an unknown novelist,” he told me as he lit up a cigarette.

Now, I have a pretty good brain, but not a terribly quick one. If it were quicker, I would have done the afore-mentioned calculations and told him that if he gave up smoking for two days, he could afford my novel. If he gave it up for a week, he could afford the top tier of the New York Times Best-Seller List!

Well, today, all of my published work—short stories and novels—are available as e-books, that is, every one can individually be downloaded to your Kindle or Nook e-reader. It’s quick (takes seconds, literally); It’s cheap (even the novels are below four bucks); and heaven knows, it’s healthier for you.

And, whereas a pack of smokes may last you a day, it will probably take you several day’s worth of reading to get through Grave Departure.

Both activities—smoking and reading—will (or should) cause you to think. Grave Departure will compel you to think about how you would have acted, had you found yourself in such a position as the detective portrayed in the novel finds himself.

Smoking will (or should) compel you to think about how your health is deteriorating with every passing day. So, in paraphrasing the Surgeon General’s remarks: Warning, failure to download Grave Departure can be hazardous to your health!

Be good to your body, and start clearing up both your lungs and you mind…download a bargain instead of lighting up.

For Kindles: Amazon

For Nooks: Barnes & Noble

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