I’ve seen a lot of hubbub in the news lately about places of book acquisition, namely libraries and used book stores. Some authors support both, some one but not the other, some neither. I am an eager supporter of all (legal) ways of getting reading material!
Libraries are not only wonderful, they are a necessary part of an open democratic society. They are a large part of leveling the playing field for all comers, no matter their income level. As an author, I see them as a force multiplier for my potential readership. Hey, if every library in the country bought just one copy of my book, my sales would go WAY up!! And who knows, if someone likes my book enough after checking it out, they may want to buy their own copy.
I used libraries often as a child. To this day I am grateful for the access to way more books than most families could purchase outright, never mind have the shelf space for. I haven’t been to one in a while, but you never know when that may change. They are great places to connect and learn, and we have great need of them.
I love used book stores as well. We have a major one located in our city, and you can see people from every walk of life there. I never know whom I will run into there or what new friends (or at least great conversations) I might make. It’s a great place to find books that you can’t find in the “new” book stores, like out of print books and older text books that just might have the information you need. I’ve found lots of books on literature and art there that have never appeared in the limited shelf space of the major stores, as they truly only have room for what is popular at the moment. (Not their fault, that’s just business. There is room for both kinds of stores. The used books were new at some point.) I also appreciate having a place I can take books that need a new home when I run out of shelf space for new ones. Every book needs a home! And I would rather see the books I’ve written on the shelf of a used book store versus the landfill when someone has to clear out at home.
So, whether you bought my book at Amazon, Smashwords, or from me personally at a con, or you picked it up at the local library or used book store, welcome aboard! The party is just starting!!