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Old 02-26-2013, 08:07 PM   #106
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I have no idea what makes you think that I wish to deny him the right to have his say. He has the right to his say; I have the right to spend my money how I choose, and I am in no way obliged, ethically or otherwise, to buy an author's books rather than borrowing them.
Yeah, but you are obliged to compensate him. And his view of whether that compensation is adequate has to be taken into account. A system devise by Benjamin Franklin might not be the right model for compensation today. Lending libraries worked when books were physical objects. I'm not so sure they are good models for today.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:18 PM   #107
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Well... Except there are families that can't afford the $60/month (or whatever cable costs these days). There are families that can't afford the cost of Amazon Prime, much less the cost of purchasing books.

Are only the privileged allowed to read?
That's a false dichotomy. Let's face it, most people don't want to read. We've just been through the Gutenberg Period, where reading assumed an ascendency it did not have before. We are returning to a non-reading, visual and aural age.

I spend every Christmas delivering presents to poor families here in Chicago. Inner city. They ALWAYS have cable. Somehow, no matter what they can't afford, they can get what they really want to have.

So yes, those of us who read are privileged. But anyone who wants that privilege can have it. The sad fact is that most people don't see reading as a privilege, and really don't care about it. Heck, even in my own family, where books were always around and I did whatever I could to encourage and subsidize reading, I really only have two out of five kids who regard reading as an essential activity. Each of them had books, sports, Harry Potter, etc. (All boys.)

So I have no use for the notion that people can't get books if they want them - with or without libraries. The thrift stores are full of them at 50 cents apiece, and if you can't buy them, you can read them in the store.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:22 PM   #108
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Libraries represent something that is really important: free access to information for all, regardless of ability to pay. And that is why we must keep them.
I wish that were true. It was when I was a kid. But I wonder if it's true any more. I have the sense that libraries are dinosaurs.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:22 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Harmon View Post
Yeah, but you are obliged to compensate him. And his view of whether that compensation is adequate has to be taken into account. A system devise by Benjamin Franklin might not be the right model for compensation today. Lending libraries worked when books were physical objects. I'm not so sure they are good models for today.
Huh? Books are still very much physical objects. Us ebook readers are a very small minority. *Most* of the books available and checked out of Libraries are physical paper objects.

Are you (and the original author) saying that only those that can afford books should be allowed to read? Because if you are, that's a path I hope we never go down.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:25 PM   #110
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True. In his case, he sees a library loan as a lost sale. But who could guarantee him that a person had bought the book if encountered in a bookstore? Instead of seeing loans as lost sales, he could see them as extra income *and* free promotion.
This is true, and probably economically correct. What's interesting is that most writers seem to prefer to be read than to be compensated. OTOH, I'll bet Mark Twain would be on his side, and certainly Dr. Johnson: "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:31 PM   #111
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Are you (and the original author) saying that only those that can afford books should be allowed to read? Because if you are, that's a path I hope we never go down.
Another false dichotomy. Anyone who wants to read will find books to read. Maybe not the precise book he or she thinks they want, but certainly books worth reading.

Physical books are damn near worthless these days. If I decided never to buy a book again, I would have no trouble finding books to read for free.

Libraries are about CHOICE in reading. They are not about being able to read vs. not being able to read. Abolish libraries, and people will still be able to read. Books are just lying around all over the place, because they are close to worthless as a commodity. What you & I think of as access to books is really "access to the books we want right now." A real reader will read the dictionary, the encyclopedia, the Bible, the back of a cereal box...

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Old 02-26-2013, 08:35 PM   #112
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Well, they probably are a lost sale for him.
No, they're not.

Let's say I'm a big reader, and read a book each day; +/- 30 a month. Let's say that I have the money to spend $10 each month on books, and loaning a book costs $0.30.

I want to read my 30 books. So what can I do?

1. Buy ONE out of 30 books I want to read, costing $10, which may NOT be Mr. Deary's book. He does not get any compensation if I decide to buy a different book. He has a chance of 1 in 30 each month that I'll buy his book. If unlucky, he may stay unbought forever and he'll never see one penny.

2. I can loan the book in the library, together with 32 others. In that lot of 32, there may be another 2 of his books, so he nets 3x the amount a loan would get him. From one person it may not be much, but it can add up to become a 6.500 pound bonus on top of his sales.

So the library can also be seen as extra income.

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Old 02-26-2013, 08:39 PM   #113
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<Shakes his head> ... So only the privileged can read what they want? Everyone else can read cereal boxes or the dictionary or whatever? Seriously?? What a horrible attitude.

Needless to say, I think I'm done with this conversation.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:11 PM   #114
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I work in a school, and some of our students are so low income that we fear that they do not get adequate food at home, and we know they don't have proper clothing. When the students talk among themselves about what they watched the night before these particular students do not participate, because they not only do not have cable, they might not have electricity. I've even run across a few in years past that had no running water at times.

So, saying they can just read cereal boxes or dictionaries? What a way to turn them off of reading permanently.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:43 PM   #115
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I work in a school, and some of our students are so low income that we fear that they do not get adequate food at home, and we know they don't have proper clothing.
That is low-income. Most of the "poor" kids I've seen at work all have expensive designer and athletic label clothes and iPhones, even if it means coming with no school supplies.

And when I suggest they buy school supplies first, they act like I'm suggesting they go to school naked.

I'm starting to think that half the "poor" families in the US are that way because they just don't know how to shop.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:04 PM   #116
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I'm afraid I don't quite grasp the subtle difference between low-income and poor.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:24 PM   #117
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I'm afraid I don't quite grasp the subtle difference between low-income and poor.
Neither do I. I recall watching some US political debate on television and hearing one of the candidates - for what, I don't remember - say something about "poor people" and then, as a second category, "lowest income people". I was so flabbergasted that "poor" no longer applied to those of lowest (say zero) income that I posted my outrage to Facebook.

We have "lower middle class" as a distinction already. Can't we keep "poor" to mean "doesn't have enough income to meet basic needs"? When I taught at a low income school, poor children were those who ate their only meal for free in the cafeteria and snuck some into their bookbag to take home for the adults who didn't have the luxury of free food from the cafeteria. The ones who had iPhones were usually in the first generation to have escaped poverty and weren't endowed with a legacy of good financial literacy.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:38 PM   #118
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<Shakes his head> ... So only the privileged can read what they want? Everyone else can read cereal boxes or the dictionary or whatever? Seriously?? What a horrible attitude.

Needless to say, I think I'm done with this conversation.
For someone who is a reader, you don't seem to read very well. I said that people who want to read will read anything. I did NOT say that people who have nothing to read should read the dictionary or cereal boxes.

Anyone who WANTS to read can find books to read. The problem is that not very many people want to read. And a bigger problem is that our schools seem to have become incapable of teaching people to read.

Libraries will survive by becoming post-literate institutions. Internet, CDs, DVDs, after school babysitting, haunts of the homeless - all this is available at the library. Books, well, yeah, for a while longer, at a loss.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:41 PM   #119
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Yeah, but you are obliged to compensate him. And his view of whether that compensation is adequate has to be taken into account. A system devise by Benjamin Franklin might not be the right model for compensation today. Lending libraries worked when books were physical objects. I'm not so sure they are good models for today.
Huh? I'm talking about physical books, here. (I just checked - my state library system has no Deary ebooks, and my kid's school library doesn't do ebooks at all.)

He's been compensated for library books already, and I'm under absolutely no "obligation" to compensate him further just because we borrow his books. What on earth are you suggesting? Mandatory Paypal tipjarring every time someone takes a book out of the library? Every time we borrow a book from a friend? Every time we buy a book from a used book store? How about when I read the book out loud to my kid - do we have to pay double because we both enjoyed the story?

Last edited by meeera; 02-26-2013 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:06 AM   #120
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I work in a school, and some of our students are so low income that we fear that they do not get adequate food at home, and we know they don't have proper clothing. When the students talk among themselves about what they watched the night before these particular students do not participate, because they not only do not have cable, they might not have electricity. I've even run across a few in years past that had no running water at times.

So, saying they can just read cereal boxes or dictionaries? What a way to turn them off of reading permanently.
And cable has to do with reading...how? Seems to me that no TV means more time to read - if you want to.

Hundreds of years ago, when I lived in a small (3000 people) town in the South, kids at my school came in off the farms with shoes and no socks - and learned to read. Some still used outhouses - and learned to read. Some - I was one of them - had heat on winter mornings provided by coal fired Ben Franklin stoves - and learned to read. We all ate the school provided lunches - and learned to read.

Of course, we lived in a culture that respected learning - and reading. And our teachers taught phonics, which seemed to work for everyone. But now days, our schools have other priorities.

You must not have books at your school. Nor a school library. Nor a closet with books in it, which is what my schoolroom had - we didn't have a library, although our town did.

Anyone who wants to read can find books. This "poverty low income" stuff is just a bunch of boo-hoo.

I have no doubt that what you say about "no running water" is true. I know of people whose ability to use a kitchen is confined to making baloney sandwiches for their kids. But I also know that it is only since the 1960s that these things have come to be regarded as impediments to learning to read. Things were as bad or worse for people during the depression, particularly in urban areas, yet the kids learned to read.

If kids can't read, it's because schools can't teach, and the parent(s) don't care.
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