Cracked Columnists

5 Modern Luxuries You Need to Stop Paying Full Price For

#2. eBooks

Wikipedia

The music industry gets all the press, but when it comes to having the absolute maximum amount of gall possible as it pertains to selling digital files, my vote goes to the publishing industry. An eBook, for all intents and purposes, is nothing more than a glorified PDF. Sure, if it comes down to paying $9.99 for an eBook or $24.99 for a hardcover that I'll enjoy once and then resent every time I have to pack up my shit and move, I'm taking the eBook. That's only after exhausting every possible resource that might allow me to just read it for free legally, though.

You have at least two options in that respect. For starters, if you own a Kindle and have an Amazon Prime membership (which you totally should), they offer thousands of books for free through their "Lending Library" program.

Amazon.com
Fact: Not paying for shit is one of the seven habits of highly successful people.

You can only check out one book at a time, but you can keep it as long as you want, which leaves you plenty of time to watch the 11 seasons of Forensic Files they just added to Prime Instant Video instead of reading books like some kind of genius showoff.

Granted, seeing as how it requires an Amazon Prime membership, that doesn't exactly qualify as a "free" option, but another, slightly more obscure resource for free books also exists. It's sometimes referred to as a "library" but you'll probably recognize it as "that place where the homeless watch porn" more than anything else these days.

Jetta Productions/Photodisc/Getty
Get a job, loser!

If you have an e-reader of any sort, though, you should have a library card. With very few exceptions, most libraries offer an extensive selection of e-books that you can check out just like any other, except with the added bonus of not having to actually go to the library to do it. Free is a hard price point to beat, you know?

That said, none of this applies to any book written by anyone Cracked-related. Buy all of those in all available formats wherever fine books are sold.

#1. Cable Television

Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty

I was on the fence as to whether I wanted to make cable television the number one entry on this list or just leave it off the list altogether. On the one hand, cable is quite possibly the least cost-effective entertainment option available short of gassing up your vehicle and driving to a movie theater. At the same time, though, who doesn't fucking know that already?

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm glad some people do still have cable, because my ability to watch HBOGo depends on it, but that treasured service is a perfect example of why you don't need cable at all.

hbogo.com
I love you.

The CEO of HBO has gone on record to say that they encourage subscribers to share their log-in details with friends and family. If you have no one in your life willing to share theirs with you, you probably have way bigger worries than not being able to watch Game of Thrones in a timely manner. For you, I'd suggest not only paying for cable, but also sharing your subsequent HBO streaming details with as many people as possible, just to see if it might net you a few friends.

As for everyone else, once you have ready access to HBO secured, what else do you really need? Showtime? Fine, weirdo, they have an HBOGo-like service of their own. I think there might be restrictions on how many different people can use the same account, but how many people will want to anyway?

ShowtimeAnytime.com
Penny Dreadful is pretty great, though.

After that, most of the best stuff is available on Hulu Plus. For shows that aren't, you can usually buy a "pass" or "subscription" to the entire season for way less than what you'd pay for cable each month. How many shows do you watch with such fervor that you can't wait a few hours to see the latest episode? That number probably doesn't even approach double digits for most people, and even if it did, with most shows maxing out somewhere in the $40 range, you'd still pay less per year than you do just for the luxury of having a reason to hate Comcast.


Adam would like it a whole lot if you'd download the latest episode of his podcast and/or check out this video of him telling a bunch of jokes. Then come see him do that in person the first and third Tuesday of every month at Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica. Once you have all of that out of your system, follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

Adam Tod Brown

  • Rss

More by Adam Tod Brown:

See More
To turn on reply notifications, click here

983 Comments

The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!