"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Libraries vs Bookstores

I used to have a blog for political posts. I mostly post that sort of thing on Facebook now. But since this is book related, here it is.

I read a lot about this last night, but this, so far, is the best article about the Forbes op-ed calling for Amazon Bookstores to replace publicly funded libraries. This quote from the author Panos Mourdoukoutas, in a followup Q&A with Gizmodo, sums up the author's sense of greed and entitlement: "That’s something that some people do not understand. And I want to repeat it: Local libraries aren’t free. In my community, they are financed by a fee. It is added to school taxes. I paid $495 last year..."

Clearly, he's not using his library, or not enough to get more than $500 worth of value from it. But he could, if he desired. Because, unlike him, the library doesn't decide that if you can't pay, you don't get to use their services. He doesn't think people should have access to information if they can't afford it. Much of what they seek from libraries can't be found in a coffee shop or bookstore. Does he think children should hang out in retail establishments after school to do their homework? Does he think bookstores will help people learn to read or look for a job? Does he think these services are not valuable or necessary or desirable? People are calling him a moron, saying his idea is stupid. I don't disagree, but I think he's mainly greedy. I'm not sure what valuable thing he'd rather spend that $500 on, but I'm betting it isn't anything that will help someone else or better his community.

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