I have also been considering the idea of buying The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha
, The Long Discourses of the Buddha
, and The Connected Discourses of the Buddha
, but right now money is the limiting factor. I'm going to make it a point to try to save enough to buy them together as a set. About a year ago when I first started seriously studying and practicing Buddhism, I promised myself that I would not go crazy and spend too much money on books because I have a tendency to outspend what I earn on my "intellectual pursuits". So far I've been lucky enough to find several great books (like The Dhammapada
) at my local used bookstore. I did break down and pay full price for In The Buddha's Words
,but it was totally worth it. (I usually only have time to read it once a week on an Uposatha day, so I try to at least read The Dhammapada
It's true that Access to Insight has lots of the suttas
available for free, and I really enjoy using it as a reference guide whenever I'm studying In The Buddha's Words
, or when I just want to research a little more about a particular topic. But I don't know...there's still something so powerful about having an actual book in my hands. If you have the same affinity for holding theses precious texts in your hands, and you can afford it, I'd say go for it! The amount of material in those volumes will keep you busy for at least this lifetime!
As someone who donates to the Buddhist Publication Society, I'd of course recommend you order your books from Pariyatti. Not only that, but I just ordered a couple of books and selected the cheapest shipping possible and my books were still here almost the next day! Of course I won't deny that Amazon usually has some good deals, you could probably get all three books for under $120 dollars and still qualify for free shipping!