Sometime last year, at a book festival in Indonesia, I approached an author to ask her if she was carrying copies of her book. For some reason, Gramedia does not carry titles under her name so I thought maybe I could get it directly from her. I was happy to learn that she brought one of those novels I had been looking for. “But it’s expensive, mind you,” she said.
At that moment, I didn’t have time to process what she said. My excitement to finally get a copy of her work filled the air. “Oh come on, I don’t mind at all!” I said, and them my ego started to diminish. As I reached home, I found myself devouring a plate of gorengan I bought on my way from the event. “Does she seriously think I can’t afford her book?” I asked myself, with a part of me wanting to e-mail her not as a fan, but as a GMRC (good manners and right conduct) police. Today, I look at the books I shipped from Indonesia to the Philippines and imagine how much I’ve spent for these so they can reach my new home. What if I sent her that message? Will it matter? Looking at it now — I learned that in life there will always be people who think you can’t afford ‘it’. ‘It’ can mean an MBA, a brand new car, a house, or an ideal body weight. But you know what? What they think about you doesn’t matter. Perceptions don’t pay books, get loan applications approved, or help lose weight. It’s what you’re doing that makes you move forward. So don’t let .
What if at that moment, the author was just worried that the quality of her book didn’t quite match the price tag? Well, anyway, I don’t think much of that moment now. In case you ask, the book was around $5.00 — roughly the same cost of my Apple Music monthly subscription — or a trip from home to work by cab.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a wonderful reading on the same topic.