I’m in love with the Library. The first job I ever applied for was a job as a Page at the Anaheim Public Library in Orange County, CA (I didn’t get it). As a teenager, books were my friends. I remember riding my bike to my local branch and devouring the Fantasy and Sci-Fi aisle.
My goal is to complete my 100 Book Challenge this year without purchasing a single book, relying completely on the Public Library and on borrowing from friends. As I was thinking about the feasibility of that goal, and the merit of doing my reading that way, a thought struck me.
The Library was a great resource for me because it enabled me to read a lot more books than I ever could have afforded while growing up. Now, though, I’m able to afford as many books as I can read. Despite this, most of what I read comes not from bookstores but from the Public Library.
This supports my reading habit, and is in keeping with my frugality, and my commitment to being a Lifelong Learner. It doesn’t support authors, though, and that’s what this post is about.
If I can afford to buy books, do I have a moral obligation to buy books? I’m passionate about literature and I don’t want authors to starve. Is this like listening to Public Radio, where the responsible thing to do is to make the choice to contribute, if I derive benefit?
The only downside, aside from the cost, is that I’m not trying to build a massive library. I don’t keep every book I read. I have a small, curated library of my favorite books. It’s pretty uncommon for a book to be added to this library, so any new purchase would likely end up as a donation. But that’s a benefit for the Library and for other readers, isn’t it?
Alright, I need feedback. What do you guys think? Am I morally obligated to buy my books?