I follow one of my favorite authors on Facebook. I won’t mention her name, because I don’t specifically want to influence you in any way about her. But I have been unlucky enough to have her tirade about libraries visit me several times since I started following her. In a nutshell- she hates the idea of libraries, because people BORROW books instead of buying them. So libraries are cheating her out of revenue.
I think she is completely nuts (and wrong -ON-THIS-SUBJECT-), and I’ll tell you why. How many of us (and I’m speaking to the book lovers out there) have read a book we completely enjoyed, and then proceeded to recommend it to a friend. And when they mention that said book sounds like something they’d like to read, we say, “Oh here- you can borrow my copy”. This happens in thousands of cities all over the world EVERY SINGLE DAY. I bought a copy, and I can wallpaper my bathroom with it IF I WANT TO. (Although I actually cringe inside when I see books used for things other than reading or holding up other books.) Point is- libraries are not the only place this happens.
And sharing your book is exactly what you WANT to happen as an author. You want your story out there. You want people falling in love with your characters. You want people to beg for more. It is building a following, and that is what you want. Because people who like what you write will buy your books. And if they fell in love with that first one, they will buy it (because they most likely either returned it, or shared it with someone else, so they still need a copy of their own). There are sooo many authors that I would not know about today, had I not found them in my library as a kid. It got to the point, that I would read something if the cover looked even halfway interesting. And that is how I found her books.
And I do want to tell her that she’s wrong in this stance. And point out that I’m trying to track down some of her out of print books because I enjoyed them soo much that I want to own them. And I wouldn’t even know about them, had they not been in my library. But I’ve seen her vehemence on this subject, and I’m afraid it would fall on deaf ears.
Oh, and if you book lovers out there are still lending out the books you love- take a tip from me: buy a copy to keep and a copy to share. This way you can KEEP what you love.