RARA-AVIS: Re: Hard Case Crime series

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 23 Nov 2008

  • Next message: BaxDeal@aol.com: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Hard Case Crime series"

    Jim, the arguments you present are cogent, from the point of view of the public. As a library user ever since I learned to read, I value them highly. In fact, I would say that the establishment of a wide, decentralized system of public libraries gave the US an enormous advantage relative to other countries. It was and is a great idea, a democratic idea in the purest sense of the word.

    The point that Constantine makes in Bottom Liner Blues (I finally remembered the title) through his Mad Russian character, is, well, about the bottom line for writers. It is true that sometimes are the main buyers for a book, in which case they would be the writer's most prized customer. But the unequal treatment relative to music and film continues to be remarkable. Yes, libraries are not for profit, but nonprofit radio stations still have to license the music for broadcast and a public showing of a film by a nonprofit film society still requires payment.

    It is a difficult calculus. I am not sure that the writer is always the loser, but in some cases it may be. On the other hand, if I buy a novel and lend it to twenty friends, I am doing the same as the public library. You could say that the library lends to friends, too.

    Lastly, the nicest thing about libraries is when they run out of space and sell those old Wodehouse first editions for a quarter... some good crime stuff, too. I swear that I saw a bunch of Patricia Highsmith's hardcovers at a recent library sale. I bought the first edition of Strangers on a Train, an old favorite. The book did not seem to have had that many readers, it was in very good condition. I couldn't leave it on the sale table.



    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 23 Nov 2008 EST