Fall of Giants

I got an email from Barnes & Noble the other week telling me that Ken Follett's latest historical novel was available for pre-order.  I don't read much historical (okay, I hardly read any), but I did enjoy both The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, so I clicked over to read up on his new Fall of Giants.

The first thing I saw was the 1 1/2 star rating.  Um, what?  The book wasn't even out yet, and yet there were already 200+ reviews with an average rating of one star?  I skimmed over the reviews and it became very clear what the problem with the book was, and it had nothing to do with the actual story.

Readers – most of whom hadn't read the book because it wasn't released yet – thought the book was too damned expensive.  So they were giving the novel terrible reviews, I suppose because they're trying to make a point to both the publisher and the bookseller.

Fall of Giants' list price is $36.  B&N is discounting it 41% online, which gets the price down to $21.06 for the hardcover.  A bit expensive for me.  If I bought every book I wanted to read in hardcover, I wouldn't be able to afford very many books.  Then I glanced at the eBook price.

The eBook is priced at $19.99.

WHOA!

Would you pay this much for an eBook?  I wouldn't, and I'm a fan of eBooks.  Typically I never spend more than $13 on a book, in any format.  What can I say, that's my comfort zone.  I have paid more for books occasionally if I was simply unable to wait for the paperback, but I have to be a big, big fan of the author to drop more than $20.  I have a budget to stick to!

What about you?  How much are you willing to spend on books?