Litkicks Message Board Archive

The Ethics of Book Buying

Posted to Utterances




Wandering around the used bookstore yesterday, I wondered to myself "As an aspiring writer, who would love to make a living someday off writing, is it ethical for me to buy used books or check stuff out of the library?"

After all, the author gets no royalties when I buy a used book, or check one out from the library. I mean, they get royalties when the book was purchased originally, but that is all. It's sort of like music sharing on the internet. One person had to buy the cd, but then X number of people download it for free, taking money out of the musicians' pockets.

But then, as an aspiring writers, I am by definition money poor, so libraries and used bookstores offer me some of the only access to new reading available to me.

So what do you think? Does a writer owe it to other writers to support the industry of book buying, making it possible for him- or herself to be published, as well as others?

(And if you are an aspiring writer and you feel like a good cry, read this article on salon.com by an anonymous midlist author about the travails of midlist authordom. salon.com is a subscription site, but if you watch a short ad, you can read the article for free.)



The Ethics of Book Buying

Posted to Utterances




Wandering around the used bookstore yesterday, I wondered to myself "As an aspiring writer, who would love to make a living someday off writing, is it ethical for me to buy used books or check stuff out of the library?"

After all, the author gets no royalties when I buy a used book, or check one out from the library. I mean, they get royalties when the book was purchased originally, but that is all. It's sort of like music sharing on the internet. One person had to buy the cd, but then X number of people download it for free, taking money out of the musicians' pockets.

But then, as an aspiring writers, I am by definition money poor, so libraries and used bookstores offer me some of the only access to new reading available to me.

So what do you think? Does a writer owe it to other writers to support the industry of book buying, making it possible for him- or herself to be published, as well as others?

(And if you are an aspiring writer and you feel like a good cry, read this article on salon.com by an anonymous midlist author about the travails of midlist authordom. salon.com is a subscription site, but if you watch a short ad, you can read the article for free.)