If a local library closes, when the public are informed about it they instinctively say how disgusting it is for the council to steal something as essential as a library from them. The thing is, those same people who have so passionately shown their distaste for such a closure are unlikely to be book borrowers themselves.
I’m not saying that these people do not read, I am saying that these people do not borrow. Books are purchased on Amazon and Play and charity shops every day, yet no one seems to think of picking up a free library card and taking a plastic-wrapped novel from a dust ridden building (why do they all smell of dust?) instead of spending money on a book they will probably only read through once.
There seems to be a strange attachment to the idea of ownership with modern day readers…or even just modern day people come to think of it. You buy a book, you read it, you shrug your shoulders and you eventually give it to a charity shop or sell it online. Why not get it for free? Why go through all that hassle?
I have been extremely guilty of behaving this way, especially now that I have a Kindle. I bought a ridiculous amount of books online when I first got my e-reader because I realised that it was so much cheaper buying a digital copy than buying a physical copy, but why not find e-book libraries instead? Why didn’t I even check to see if my local library had free online resources?
It’s only now that I’m unemployed that I see the stupidity in buying everything. I have so many books that I haven’t read and so many more that I will never read again, yet I continue to trawl through the Internet looking for bestsellers that I want to get for Christmas.
But now this stops! I have decided to give all the books I won’t read ever again to charity, finish reading through the extensive collection of novels that are piled in my cupboard and assemble a list of book titles that I will one day borrow from a library. I will once again embrace the free service that I have neglected for so many years, and if it is taken away from me I will feel prepared to fight for it rather than make a few bitter remarks about the amazing institution I helped to shut down.
Unfortunately literature suffers from the same levels of evil consumerism that every other form of art is ailed with, but I will not be a part of it. Starting from…now.