This is a non-beer-related rant, so feel free to ignore. Today’s Wall Street Journal includes the latest in its “Cheapskate” series.
This time, the reporter explains that he saves money by checking books out from the library. Great! I LOVE libraries. I’ve had a library card for fifty years. Libraries are a fundamental component of civilization. But then he goes on to say that in the few cases where he plunks down actual MONEY for book, he buys a used copy. Because, ya know, used copies are cheap and can be had for pennies and so why pay for a new copy?
AUGGGGHHHH. Augh………. sob. snurfle. whimper. (Picture me banging my head on my desk and wailing.)
At no time does Mr. Cheapskate (aka Neal Templin, whom I’m SURE is a lovely man, a loving husband, and perfect father, son, and brother) mention the obvious and relevant point: Writers make zero dollars from the sale of used books.
That’s right: when you buy a used book, the person who WROTE the book, the man or woman who created its content, gets nothing. As in: Zip. Nada. Zero.
Yes, I know. Times are tough. Money is tight. Still — writing is a cornerstone of human existence. It matters. And that purchase is doable. Cut two Starbucks lattes each week from your budget (you could carry your coffe from home in a thermos). Take leftovers to work for lunch once a week, thereby eliminating a trip to a restaurant. Voila! You’ve “found” enough money to pay for a new book.
So, to cut this rant short because I could rant from now till midnight and then start again tomorrow: If you value the content of books, if you enjoy reading, if you like what your favorite authors produce, PLEASE, I beg you, BUY NEW BOOKS. Because if no one buys new books, writers will earn nothing, and after awhile there won’t be any books left to buy.