The other day I pre-ordered a sequel to a YA book that I’ve been looking forward to reading since I finished the first book. I got the call — the book had arrived! – so I wandered into The Bookshelf to pick up my copy and bring it home. The Bookshelf is such a delightful independent bookstore and even though I’m surrounded by books pretty much all of my waking hours, I still love browsing the shelves and browsing the books.
The thing is, I don’t like buying books. How horrible does that sound! ? I hesitate to borrow books from the library. If I see a book that interests me while I’m away, I’ll immediately hop on the PINES app and see if we or another library in Georgia have it available. If they don’t, I try the interlibrary loan system (this is another available borrowing program that involves libraries outside of the Georgia public library system). If ILL also fails, only then will I consider buying the book, and then I’ll buy it used.
I tell people I’m cheap (books are expensive!) but really, I don’t like buying books because once I read them, I’m done with them. I’ll donate them to a small free library if friends or family aren’t interested in reading it, or if I just happen to buy a new version (because I’m too impatient to wait for the freeze period for new library books are finished), I’ll give it to the library if I know they haven’t bought it. I will only give away new, unused books, as these are the ones most likely to get into circulation. And honestly, I tend to only buy new YA books, because I know that department’s budget is smaller than the adult budget, so it’s more likely that said book won’t/hasn’t already been purchased.
I feel a little hypocritical that I won’t be buying books because I really want books to continue to be there and available for everyone, but by not buying books I’m not helping support the artist – the authors – to ensure these books are written in the first place. My boyfriend and I were talking about my hypocrisy (he was a poet and adamant book buyer) and it got us talking and thinking about scholarships, like in scholarship programs. Back then, if an artist was lucky, they were supported by a wealthy patron or benefactor of the arts. It lifted the weight of trying to carve out a life and survive in a society while simultaneously trying to work on their art.
Writing a book, painting a picture, sculpting a sculpture or whatever medium an artist works on is very laborious work. Honestly, if you ever get the chance to speak with an artist about their process and how it went, do it. This has a mental and emotional impact on the artist, not to mention the time it takes to gather research or solidify the direction of the message, plus the time it takes to actually *create* the artwork itself. It’s a very different way of “working” than what most people define as “working” and I don’t think many people fully understand how invested art is. This is probably why the word “work” has been attached to “art”: to give the artist credibility and value in a money-driven society.
My book purchase made me think: are public libraries harmful to the artist? They certainly help the artist to reach and introduce more people to their work. Like I said, books are expensive, and if you read 50 to 60 books a year, it’s going to cost you $1,500 to $1,600 if you buy new. If you buy books for your child, maybe you read 250-300 books a year, it will cost you $5,200-5,4000. A lot of people don’t have that much disposable income and without the public library they wouldn’t have access to the works of all these artists. Most libraries buy only one copy of a title, but large library systems will buy more than one, and according to the latest count from the American Library Associations, there are 9,057 public libraries in the states. -United. If each library bought an author’s first book, it would be about $253,596. That’s more than many people earn in a year! So: do public libraries really hurt the author?
I mean, I know that a lot of the money from the sale of a book goes to the publishing house and not every library buys every book that’s published, but I’m only speaking hypothetically here. When a book is purchased by the individual, it may not even be read (how many books do you have on your shelves that you haven’t picked up yet?) and once read it will likely remain on that shelf, never be seen or shared with another person and in some way hurt the artist because his art is not exposed to more people who can encourage the artist to create more works.
Maybe I’m just creating a defense against my cheapness and feeling better about my hypocrisy, but I believe public libraries help the artist. Public libraries create more exposure to the community; artists bring the heritage of the library; the assets stimulate creativity in the borrower, who can become one of these artists or a benefactor of these artists, etc., etc. Sharing and exposure is essential to sustaining the arts, I think… what really helps the artist Suite?
But maybe I’m biased. I work for the library, after all.
— Samantha Hanchett, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator
*Please note that the opinions of “Thoughts” are just that and do not necessarily represent the views of the Thomas County Public Library.
One-on-Ones technology (By appointment only)
Monday and Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Make an appointment for one-on-one IT or technology support with our referral service. Appointments must be made 48 hours in advance, no appointments accepted. Technical sessions will be private and will last one (1) hour. Call the library for details.
From the book to the art book club
Tuesday, September 13, 3 p.m.
Our book club brings art out of literature. The Book to Art Book Club meets once a month to discuss a shared reading and create a unique work of art inspired by the book. Call or stop by the Thomasville Library Circulation Desk to join or email Samantha Hanchett at [email protected]
Beginner Flow Yoga
Wednesday, September 14, 9:45 a.m.
An introductory yoga class that slowly moves through a simple vinyasa sequence, focusing on alignment and breathing while working on strength, balance and flexibility. Ideal for yoga beginners. Dress for movement and flexibility. Bring a mat, if possible. (Limited yoga supplies.)
Fall for the art exhibition
July 18 – September 16
Stop and admire original pieces by members of the Pines & Palms Artist Association. Presented in the Henry Flipper room located in the lobby. Art available for purchase through Pines & Palms.
Friends of the
Sale of library books
Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Storytime: Toddlers + Tykes
Every Thursday, 10:30 a.m.
Join us for some great read-aloud storybooks, songs and nursery rhymes designed to improve your child’s literacy. Each story hour is followed by a simple and fun art + craft to further stimulate the magic of reading. Story time is a great place to meet and mingle with other caregivers and children in the community. Intended for 2-4 year olds.
Every Thursday, 4 p.m.
Grab your kids and join us for a LEGO Club meeting. Let your child’s creativity flourish through 3D creation and meet new people/kids. We also offer larger LEGO bricks for those who find the smaller ones tasty. Aimed at ages 4-11.
Monday, September 12, 4 p.m.
Meet other Anime fans near you! Come to a local Anime Meetup for fun, friends and to talk about your favorite Anime/Manga artists, shows and games. Share your own art and fiction! Anything you are interested in anime and manga is welcome here. Intended for 12-17 year olds.
Pavo Library –
Thursday, September 8, activity without appointment
September 14-15, walk-in activity
Everything about hummingbirds in honor of this tiny creature: storybooks and arts + crafts!
Arts and crafts for adults
Tuesday, September 6, 2:30 p.m.
Join our librarians and other community members for a tutorial and mixed media art project. All supplies provided free of charge by the library.
Arts + Crafts
Sept. 12 to 15, Walk-in activity
Coolidge Library –
Tuesday, September 6, 2:30 p.m.
Arts + Crafts
September 6-8, walk-in activity
Boston Library –
Tea Party Teddy Bear
Monday, September 12, 4 p.m.
Join us for afternoon tea with your child and their favorite stuffed friend. We will be serving decaffeinated black tea and petit fours. Meet and mingle with other members of the community and share the joy of tea! Aimed at ages 3-9.
Free video game
Tuesday, September 13, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, 2 p.m.
The Quiddler Club meets every Tuesday at our Boston branch for a fast and fun afternoon of word game that challenges you to make words with your hand of cards faster than your opponents. An ideal space to meet and mingle with other members of your community! Intended for ages 18 and over.
Forgotten Girl, by Karin Slaughter
Atomic Anna by Rachel Barenbaum
The Measure, by Nikki Erlick
Memphis, by Tara M. Stringfellow
Fox Creek, by William Kent Krueger
Marry Ketchups, by Jennifer Clase
Against All Odds, by Bill Roorbach
A QUOTE TO THINK ABOUT:
“The idea is, you know, you live moment to moment…that moment decides the next step. You shouldn’t be five steps ahead, only the very next one. And if you can stick you’re still good at that. See, but people think too far… see what I mean? Think only of what’s right there. Only do what’s right under your nose. You know? It’s such a simple thing and people can’t do it, you know.” —Henri Miller
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