donw714 | Pittsburgh City Paper

Member since Jul 17, 2008



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Re: “What kind of libraries did Pittsburgh have before the Carnegie libraries were built?

Constantine, like author Paul Theroux, who advocated burning libraries down because of lost revenue for the author, is sadly misguided. Libraries throughout the country purchase books adding to an author's revenue, often buying up as much as 20% of an entire print run (especially when it comes to genre fiction like Mr. Constantine typically writes). Then there is the small matter of publicity. There is no better way to get the word out about a book then having it actually be read. That's what libraries do. And, if a book is any good, the word of mouth generated from the 20% purchased by libraries drives sales further.

When a book is typically purchased by a customer, if it is good does just one person read that copy? Common sense says it gets passed around to friends and throughout the neighborhood. Perhaps a book should self destruct upon one reading to insure author revenue? That certainly will insure its longevity.

Oh, wait, that's what libraries also do, they insure the longevity of a book worth keeping beyond the initial spike in interest when first published.
But Mr. Constantine and Mr. Theroux wouldn't be interested in having their works preserved for posterity.


Posted by donw714 on 07/17/2008 at 6:01 PM

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