Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Books don't grow on trees
Ten years ago, I bought three pirated books. I was a student at the time and, as I told myself, cash-strapped; I also told myself the authors would surely be glad to share their insight with readers who couldn't afford the originals.
Well, I've been feeling vaguely guilty every since, especially once I started writing my own books and realised how much work it was. So I was surprised/annoyed/enraged when I read the following post on the New Yorker's Book Bench blog, weighing the dilemmas of buying pirated books in Shanghai:
"When I'm at a book kiosk in Shanghai," blogger Jiayang Fa writes, "I find myself rationalizing that migrant workers, who account for the vast majority of book-peddlers, need the money more urgently than publishers or, for that matter, self-indulgent writers."