This is a topic I have spoken to quite a few people about recently and I feel there is quite a bit of judgement from some of the bookish community. Where you buy your books is a debate which has a lot of value. After all, it is important to know if the author and publisher is receiving the money for what they have done. However, I am not okay with people negatively judging people for buying books cheap! This is a slight rant to be honest!
Of course it is important to support authors and independent bookshops. I’ve been much more likely to buy any full price books from independent bookshops now rather than online. However, buying full price is ridiculously expensive. It isn’t possible for myself and the majority of people I know to go and buy books at full price. I’m not going to judge someone for buying a book online if it’s super cheap. I’ve done it before, I’ll probably do it again but I do it much less (when I can afford to) because I want to support authors and publishers.
First off, charity shops have some of the best book bargains. The great thing about that too is it’s cheap and you’re giving to charity! Sure that money doesn’t go to the author but it is going to charity, making some good books affordable for most people and it’s a good thing to donate. Also, libraries! Now, to be fair, I’ve never heard anyone say that borrowing books from a library isn’t helping (they’d be wrong anyway) because libraries are excellent. I’ve been using my local ones more and it makes me so happy to be able to get a fair range of books and not feel guilty about spending any money!
Something that bothers me with this argument is that barely anyone who I’ve spoken to about books is bothered about other things this happens to. I’m not someone who says we all have to know about every issue in the world – that’s completely impossible and unrealistic. I’m passionate about films though and loads of people I know don’t buy DVDs etc. I know it’s a very different industry but supporting filmmakers is important too. Indie filmmakers do not earn much money at all yet it seems way more acceptable to stream a film online.
I’m buying way less books at the minute anyway and plan to keep that up. I keep going back and taking more off my shelves to give away. I still have a lot of books and I’m happy with that. I keep ones I really love or enjoyed or just want to keep but there’s a lot that I’m not at all attached too and would rather someone else give it a go (and maybe find a book they enjoy a lot!).
Also where does this argument stop? If I lend someone a book or I borrow a book from someone, enjoy it and then don’t buy it, am I not supporting the author therefore it’s a negative? That’s ridiculous to be honest. Since I blog, I can say I support in terms of reviewing or even just mentioning online that I enjoyed a book. However, I don’t have to do that. Before I blogged, I wouldn’t shout about it online. I’d tell people I thought may be interested that I enjoyed it but that’s as far as that went. However, that can be pretty far. Word of mouth is so effective. I’m way more likely to read a book if someone I know well and trust their opinion recommends me a book than I am off a review.
Anyway, this was a little messy rant but to summarise – don’t make people feel bad if they can’t afford to buy books at full price or at all. It’s not a good thing to do at all.
What’s your opinion on this? Has it come up much in conversations with other bloggers/book lovers? Let me know!