“As much as I despise some of its recent tactics, no company in recent years has done more than Amazon to ignite a national passion for buying, reading, and even writing new books.”
There’s a really interesting article on Slate today about what Amazon has done for reading, really an…
Both articles are fascinating. Both authors bring up points that are absolutely agreeable and correct.
However, I think we’re all forgetting something.
No one has to spend a penny on books while still supporting your local community and helping people keep jobs.
I’m a die-hard advocate for public libraries.
People are putting HUGE emphasis on purchasing books and how purchasing books online is saving you money but purchasing a book in a book store is putting food on the owner of the store’s table, but WHAT IF YOU DON’T PURCHASE THE BOOK AT ALL and you borrow it from the local library?
It’s free to you.
AND you’re putting food on librarians tables by keeping the libraries in business.
AND many of the people that work there are volunteers looking out for the best interest of the community.
I find that hard to ignore.
While the argument that an author could never make a living if people didn’t purchase their books is a very good one, I find it hard to believe that someone like Stephen King would ever find it difficult to keep food on the table with the number of books he’s written if every public library purchased multiple copies of all or even most of the books he’s written. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the salary of an educator in the state of North Carolina to be a bigger issue… I digress.
I understand the romance of a good book and holding the book in your hand. Feeling the spine, turning the pages, holding the worn cover open as you read, the comfort of a cozy local book store, the helpful advice of a clerk who is happy to help you find something to read that you would enjoy. I understand the frugality of paying a fraction of the cost of the physical book to download the same text straight to your Kindle or nook and saving yourself money and reading the same text and purchasing it all from the comfort of your own bed or couch.
But has anyone thought about the fact that the local library has the same book that contains the same text for free and that the library is a local public institution that is reading to the kids of the next generation at story hour every day and helping the college student find a reference book for the huge paper they have due next week? Has anyone thought about the value there is in talking to a librarian who has probably read hundreds of books and simply asking him/her what their favorite book is for the pure joy of conversation and the possibility of discussing a common interest with a human being who likes reading as much as you do?
Just some food for thought.