Fun fact: libraries provide free books! I know, right? It’s a bit crazy. You can walk in, grab books, check them out, and leave. And it’s free! No one will stop you! You just have to return them after 3ish weeks (depending on the library). Libraries even have free eBooks! And movies! And CDs!
I know the above is a well-known fact, but sometimes I think people forget. They forget that libraries are there to simply provide free information (such as, you know, books). I bring this up because I keep hearing about the pirating of books, and it makes me a bit angry. Apparently people are ripping eBooks (or even scanning paper books – what!) and putting them online for people to download for free. This isn’t a new thing, it’s been around for a while, but It’s a bit disheartening to say the least. And I don’t say this from an author’s perspective (an author who’s afraid her books will be pirated, too), but from a librarian’s perspective. Because, hello, we’re here to give you free books!
So here are reasons people are pirating:
I want the book, but can’t afford it. Understood. It’s pricey buying every book you want. Does a friend have it that you can borrow? If not, go to the library!
But it’s checked out at the library. Put it on hold, it’ll come back soon! Or, does your school library have it? See if they do. (And if it’s checked out – put it on hold! Twice the chance of getting it quickly.)
But I want it NOW!! Does the library have an eBook of it? An audio book? See! Perhaps that can hold you over until your copy is in. (Also, browse the shelves. There are hundreds of other titles that may keep you busy until the book is in.)
But my library doesn’t carry it. Talk to a librarian, and ask them to order it. We love hearing recommendations. We can’t read everything, so perhaps we might miss a title. Let us know.
But it’s only released as an eBook. A lot of libraries have eBooks now. I know mine does. Check.
But how is getting it from the library different than pirating it? The author still doesn’t make any money. Wrong. First off, authors don’t like when you pirate their books. Period. Second, in libraries, check out statistics are very important. If a book has a lot of holds, there’s a strong chance we’ll purchase more copies. (We just put in a large order for Cuckoo’s Calling, obviously. And even though it’s an older book, my library just received a new batch of Looking for Alaskas because the hold list was just that long.) Also, if we see a book by a specific author is getting checked out often, we’ll definitely order their future books because we know readers want them. Supporting us supports the authors.
A main goal of a library is to give the patron what they want. If you come in and want a book, we’ll do everything we can to get it to you. You may have to wait a few days, but you’ll get it. You’ll see.