Wordvixen recently had a post about libraries and their effect on author's royalties. She can correct me if I'm wrong but the gist of her post was that she used to think that the ready availability of books for free checkout has to hurt sales, but then the while rereading the archives of the gone, but not forgotten Miss Snark, she came to see the positive aspects of a libraries when it comes to a writer's bank account.
Miss Snark talked about the facts that library sales are non-returnable, they buy mostly hardcover, and they buy early and in multiple copies many times. All good valid points, but as I stated in my comments to Vixen's post - without libraries to foster and nurture readers we writers would be in a world of trouble.Or so I see it.
I know you would not be reading this post if not for the many doors my frequent trips to the library opened for me as a child.
I was raised by a single mom and probably her biggest caveat to me as a child was -- READ. She used to say I don't care if it's a comic book or the back of a cereal box I want you to read every chance you get. Being a single mom and a very tight budget she used the library to punctuate her staunch reading philosophy.
Without fail she took me to our local branch every other week. I carried home stacks of books Encyclopedia Brown, Hank the Cowdog, Any and everything by Beverly Cleary and even at a young age I stooped to reading girl's books like those by Judy Blume. There was The Indian in the Cupboard, Where the Red Fern Grows, Ralph the Runaway Mouse and many others. Then I moved up to the Hardy Boys those books where you chose your own ending, and later I discovered Alfred Hitchcock, Louis Lamour, Mark Twain, and I've been a book junkie every sense.
I could go one for days listing the library books I loved as a child. When I found a lizard or a snake the first thing I did after securing the critter in a jar with holes in the lid was get my mom to take me to the library so I could look up facts about the animal. I guess the internet has probably taken that role now but for me there is still no greater feeling than walking into the library and feasting my eyes on the row and rows of books and the knowledge, entertainment and joy that can be garnered by spending a little time between all those pages.
And don't even get me started on the fond memories I have of my Elementary school library and librarian.
So as an author, I would never begrudge or lament the loss of a single sale do to a person checking out my book from the library. When the day comes that one of my works is available on the very shelves I perused as a kid and still do to this day I'll be just as filled with pride as I would any endcap at Barnes and Noble.
Three cheers for any librarians out there who might read this, like Lana.