HomeAll postsBirmo vs Deary: Libraries and second-hand bookstores

Birmo vs Deary: Libraries and second-hand bookstores

Birmo vs Deary

Libraries and second-hand book-stores

Terry Deary, author of Horrible Histories, recently ranted that libraries should be closed because he’s losing money from sales of his books.  I ranted in return, raising the issue of second-hand books:

Without libraries, second-hand bookstores could make a resurgence, selling everything from pulp to collectables, AND AUTHORS WOULD STILL NOT GET PAID.  Thought of that, have you DEARY?

But Birmo does it so much better.

Birmo snarks about the Department of Defence in an open letter to the well-dressed young man who tried to steal a copy of Birmo’s book from Dymocks (an Australian shopfront bookseller) yesterday.  What does the DoD have to do with the attempted theft of a book, you might ask?  Go and read the article.  It loses something in the translation.

Birmo recommends borrowing books from libraries, even mentioning he receives a small fee for each loan of the book.  He goes on to recommend second hand book-stores, commenting that he loves them even though he doesn’t get any money from the sales of books in second hand book-stores.

Birmo vs Deary

Once upon a time there was this cool yet educational kids’ cartoon on TV called Horrible Histories.  My son enjoyed it so much, I purchased some of the books, only to find that this was one case where the TV series was HEAPS better than the books.  The books lacked the protagonists and plot of the TV series, just listing heaps of horrible facts that didn’t appeal to my son without his fave characters.  Strike one for Deary!

To compound his offence, Deary called for libraries to be closed SO HE CAN GET MORE MONEY.  Seriously?  Hasn’t Deary heard that piracy can actually lead to increased sales if a product is good?  Plus libraries aren’t involved in piracy, they LEND books, they don’t give them away as Deary alleged.  Thus if you want to keep a favourite book, you need to pay for it, either by paying the ‘lost book’ fine or purchasing a new copy.  Deary’s obsession with looking backwards in reeling off historical facts appears to have affected his foresight, blinding him to the realities of economics, commerce and common sense.  More strikes for Deary.

With a good dose of snark, a little snide and a literary glare at the miscreant concerned, Birmo calls for people to USE LIBRARIES and second-hand book-stores.  Home run to Birmo.  Or a goal.  Or [insert sporting analogy of your choice]

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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