Burritos are my love language.
I’ve literally eaten at the same burrito place at least once every week for nine years, and they even catered my wedding. I’ve done the math, and that’s at least 500 burritos consumed. I’m pretty committed to the loveliness of Tex-Mex hugged lovingly by a fresh, warm tortilla.
But burritos have never changed my life.
I’ve probably said they have, but real, lasting life-change hasn’t actually come at the hands of a rolled tortilla. Consider the process of the local burrito place when you walk in.
It looks something like this:
How much time did it take to walk through the line? Five minutes? Ten minutes? Or maybe they’re giving away free burritos today and it took an hour. How much did it cost you? $10ish? I’m not picky, but you guys who want grass-fed, free range protein, home-grown tomatoes, organic onions, and long-simmered bone broth, that burrito probably took some preparation and holds a decent price tag. After all, it’s a work of art.
But it’s no three-year process.
That single burrito is no exploration of decades of learning like the book you may be holding in your hands today. The labor of love required to birth a book that moves, develops, trains, or enthralls its readers is no comparison to the work of making and eating burritos.
Every word in that book was fought for. Every war-torn author chose to faithfully advance through the writing and publishing process not only when it was an exciting, easy to pursue idea, but even when it was absolute drudgery, word-by-word plodding like a soldier’s tired feet on his march back to the barracks.
Every book on the shelf wasn’t just whipped up as you waited in a five-minute burrito line. In traditional publishing, the process from that light bulb, “this needs to be a book” moment to the last interview about the book takes years, if not decades.
The process for books looks more like this:
And the book launch is only the BEGINNING. Then comes promotion with more writing for different publications, interviews, and a handful of other assignments.
Books should cost more than burritos.
Books hold ideas that can take you to a foreign land, help you escape the mundaneness of life, and introduce concepts that totally transform your heart and your mind. I still remember the first time I fell into a world that was not my own through a book, and I can name a dozen for you that have deeply changed the way I think and the way I live.
I’ve had some really good burritos, but I can’t say the same for them.
Why should I pay my hard-earned cash for books?
Did you also know that when you buy a book, you aren’t just paying the author for his amazing idea and writing? You’re paying a retailer, a distributor, a publisher, a guy that drove the books from place to place, and dozens of other people involved in the process.
The value of curated, long-form content molded and developed by an author, agent, editor, and publishing house cannot be understated. No blog, podcast, or quickly published ebook can take the place of painstakingly produced content from long-made plans and strategies from a publishing house, seeking God’s desire for what the ebb and flow of content needs to be in the coming months and years.
So, next time you balk at that $9.99 book that is on sale, you can rest assured that paying less than $10 for a hard-earned, heart-wrenched piece of work is a steal. And maybe after you eat a burrito next, find a local bookstore to spend a few minutes in, searching for a title that just might be one that you treasure for the rest of your life.