Sometimes I like to play a little game called “If I could rule the world.” It usually involves a large stockpile of shoes, unlimited chocolate (which is magically calorie-free) and endless days of 75-degree sunshine.

Since I won’t be ruling the world anytime soon, I was happy to discover The Humble eBook Bundle. It’s a dream come true for frugal control freaks. It’s somewhat of a mashup between Priceline, Barnes and Noble, and the United Way.

We all want to support charitable causes, but most folks have limited resources. Humble takes that idea a step further by offering bookworms a chance to “name their price” for a bundle of books. Then they get to decide how the money will be used. “No way,” you say? “Way,” says I!

Humble Bundle is mostly known for games that are sold with the same “name your price” concept. The ebooks are a new addition, and the bundles of science fiction books can be downloaded on e-readers, computers, mobile devices and other platforms. The bundle of eight books currently featured would cost about $77 if purchased separately. And eBooks can range from $6 to $10 for just one, so buying them in a bundle at a price the buyer sets is much easier on the wallet.

Here’s how it works:

A pre-selected bundle of books is available for a limited time. Buyers decide how much to pay for that bundle by clicking on the tabs (between $15 and $100, or there is an option to customize the amount).

After the price is determined, the next step is to choose where the money goes. Muwa-ha-ha! Choose between authors, specific charities or to Humble itself (the money helps pay for bandwidth support and other operating expenses). Even within this option there are more choices: Split the money equally three ways, choose to focus all your resources on just one destination, or choose how much money to allocate to each of the three options.

Fans of science fiction can buy new ebooks and stay within a budget through Humble, but the additional perk is the opportunity to decide exactly how their money will be used by the company.

It’s not total control of the universe, but it’s a start!


Book 'Em: How to Stretch Your Dollars, Support Literacy and Enjoy a Good Read