I'm in a little reading slump at the moment. I've tried to start a new book, but I've read the first few pages several times now and my brain is all, "Nope, not absorbing that. Oh, look! It's that chip in the ceiling that looks like a spider!" Or, as was the case this afternoon, "Book, schmook. Oh, look! The internet!" So I put the book down (again) and started scrolling through my Facebook feed.
And I saw an author doing that whole comparing books to coffee thing.
You know how they do. They say something about their book costing the same as a fancy cup of coffee only their book is a superior investment because the coffee takes mere minutes to make and consume while sometimes years go into writing and publishing a novel that will entertain you for hours and can be read again and again. So the book is totally a better deal and you should buy one instead of coffee!
My problem with this is that it callously disregards all the colossal effort that goes into each and every cup of coffee.
Do you know how long it takes a coffee plant to grow to maturity before it starts producing beans? Three to five years, depending on the species, and then add in another nine months for the fruit to ripen. During that time, the plant requires constant maintenance lest it should get too wet or too dry or too cold or too hot or produce too many blooms, etc. etc. Coffee farming is hard work! If you want to grow your own coffee and produce enough beans to have just one cup a day, you'll need to plant thirty fricken' coffee plants.
Yes, it only takes one barista a couple of minutes to brew a cup, but that barista isn't equivalent to an author in this analogy. They're the bookstore cashier or the computer that wirelessly delivers your ebook. And yes, it doesn't take long to drink a cup of coffee, but the caffeine buzz lasts for hours, and who could forget that lovely taste?
Dear coffee-bashing authors, quit being dicks to coffee farmers and overlooking their massive, labor-intensive, often thankless contribution to society. You see, the coffee farmer is your equal, possibly your superior, so show some respect, will you? Many of us booklovers have enough room in our hearts for coffee and books. Don't try to make us choose which one to spend our money on. There are plenty of authors who don't bash coffee, and libraries are free.