Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Library Love: Libraries and Authors

In my initial Library Love post last week, I mentioned that what really sparked my interest in creating this feature were some anonymous comments on Holly's post over at the Book Binge. Like this comment:
I always think of libraries from an author's point of view. If I want to read a book I think the author deserves to make a profit from it. I would rather pay for a book even if I don't love it, because the person who created it isn't going to be able to make a living from thousands of people borrowing the same copy!!

This comment was met with responses by authors such as Lauren Dane, JoAnn Ross, and KB Alan in defense of libraries. I particularly liked this comment from Sandy James:

Yes, authors want to make a profit. But I hold no grudge against people reading my books through a library. I even donated copies to a local branch. I write to tell a story that I want to get into as many hands as possible. Yes, I might lose a few (probably very few *g*) bucks when people borrow them from libraries, but don't we also pass books amongst ourselves to friends and family? Technically, authors lose money that way, too. I refuse to turn my craft into a penny-pinching venture, and I am thrilled when anyone takes time out of her busy day to spend time with my stories.

Hope that gives you one author's perspective on libraries. :)

I think Sandy hit the mark with her comment that she wants her book to get into "as many hands as possible".

I know I will often check out new-to-me authors from the library; this gives me the chance to diversify my reading without the commitment of purchasing books that I might end-up hating. What often happens is that I will try an author's book via the library and if I love it, I am more likely to BUY their books in the future.

One example of this was around 2000 when I just happened to pick up a copy of Laurell K. Hamilton's Obsidian Butterfly. I started it that night and read it all they way through. I realized it was part of a series and proceeded to locate the entire series at my local bookstore. I still buy her books to this day. All because I checked ONE BOOK out of the library. I'd say that's working in the author's favor!

I think most of us that can support our favorite authors by purchasing their books do. However, there are are a lot of people who are just barely scraping by and one of the few places left where people have free access to information, both printed and online, is through the public libraries.

My recent Library Loot haul contains a lot of books that I would normally buy, however, I have several trips planned this summer and need to save some money. But do intend to purchase the books once my travels end. There have also been quite a few books that I've recently read thanks to the library and loved the books so much I wanted them for my own, including: Beautiful Creatures, Proof by Seduction, and The Sky is Everywhere.

So tell me blogger friends, has your library introduced you to new authors? If so, have you since purchased books by said author or do you continue to check their books out from the library?

What type of books are you more likely to check out as opposed to purchasing? (New to you authors, specific genres, a series that has gone downhill, etc.)

Authors, how do you feel about your books circulating in libraries? Inquiring minds want to know!

Are you a librarian, library advocate, reader, author, publisher, or blogger who wants to stand up for our libraries? Do you have a love story for your library to share? I'd love to hear from folks and schedule guest posts! Please contact me at bookfaredelights[at]gmail[dot]com !

I recently came across this post at Lesa's Book Critiques who's guest post was best-selling author Tess Gerritsen discussing libraries. It's a great piece, if you have a minute be sure to check it out!

As I published this I saw a comment on Lesa's blog linking to a website "Authors for Libraries". Just thought I'd share.


  1. I don't really use my library very often. They normally don't have any books that I want. I do take my son there often though! Their kids area is fantastic. There has been times that were tight on money though, and the library was a lifesaver! Here form CEP

  2. Angel thanks for stopping by. Yes, the libraries usually offer some really great kids programming! Sorry to hear your library doesn't have the kind of books you want to read! :(

  3. I'm from the CEP.

    I use the library a lot during the winter. If there is a new author or a book that I am not sure about, I will check it out of the library first. If the opening chapters grab me, I will purchase it from Amazon. It's an economical way to try out new titles.

    I think people forget that libraries are consumers, too. They purchase books and support authors as well.

  4. I don't really use the library here because they don't get new books that often...but the library IS A LIFESAVER when it comes to research =)))

    Great post!


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