Thug Life, or the Napster of Books

I just stole food out of the mouths of Kenneth Fearing’s heirs — I pulled down his The Big Clock today from my new favorite book-sharing site instead of forking over the money for it to my local chain bookstore. I think his heirs will survive, but the $26 I would have had to pay for the anthology if it weren’t for the site is going to go elsewhere. We’re on month to month budget here, so someone will get it — just not the heirs of Kenneth Fearing. Most likely it will go to buying some of the plastic film you use to seal windows. I think Kenneth, who died almost fifty years ago, is not going to object.

It’s pretty neat how far these book-sharing sites have come — the one I use even has more than a dozen or so paid staff to maintain the site. And some people may think I’m a lousy dad, but because I want my daughter to grow up literate, and not spend a lot of money when she doesn’t have to, I’ve been teaching her to always check the book-sharing sites first, and not to pay money to get a book unless she has to.  If she can get it off the site, do that first.

I know that means less money for the author, but I tend to think my daughter’s literacy is valuable to society, and that literacy can’t be enlarged if she has to pay $10 a pop for kid’s books. So it’s best she learns to do this now for the good of society.

After all, this book-sharing site we use — our town’s public library — will hopefully be a great resource for her in years to come.

You probably have one of these sites in your own town. You should check it out.

Next week I’m going to show her how to read a book without paying the author by going to an even more evil institution: the used bookstore.

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