Monday 22 March 2010

Tight Fist Tip #35: Don't Buy Books

Free Books Are Just The Start!

Imagine that every time you wanted to watch a movie you could take a trip down to your local video store and rent it for free. Or say that suddenly by executive order, all fancy suits and dresses could be borrowed free of charge whenever you wanted them. All normal people would suddenly see their movie collections and wardrobes shrivel, since only a COMPLETE MORON would pay money for a certain suit when they could instead have thousands of suits to pick from for free. It's a Tight Fist dream world...

While this fantasy world of borrowing infrequently used stuff doesn't exist in general, there is one important exception: books! Yes, thanks to Tight-Fist-friendly cultural norms, most cities in the rich world have decent libraries that provide all the books you could ever want for the attractive price of free. Due to this amazing cultural innovation, people blessed enough to live in such an intellectually liberated society view books as a public good and the concept of a 'book store' seems just as stupid as purchasing sunshine.
If This Is Your Library the Above Lady
May Not Be Able To Help Herself

Wait, what's that you say? Even though books are free there is a GIGANTIC industry based around selling books to people? But how could that be? Well, that's because because people are COMPLETE IDIOTS WHO LOVE TO WASTE THEIR MONEY. They hate their money so much that they love to drop tons of cash on stuff they could just as easily get for free.

Certainly the book buyers in the crowd are going to protest. So book buyers, let's figure out to which category you belong:

1. I need to have it NOW NOW NOW. Yes, it's true that libraries don't get new books right away. News Flash: even if you wait three months for the book to hit the library, all the words will still be the same. That's right, all of them. 100%. Amazing!
2. But my local library doesn't even have a copy of The Anedeid in the original Latin! Hey literary snob, just because reading a book is enjoyable doesn't mean it sucks. And libraries will have your obscure texts as long as you move out of the sticks.
3. I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany. Hey pretentious asshole, get over yourself. Any chick who is impressed by your copy of La Com├ędie humaine is going to figure out you're an idiot in about 13 seconds.
4. omg I am so in love twilight new moon and want to hug it all day and read it 37 times in a row and go to caress it to sleep and love it and make 12 thousand babies with it. Back...away...slowly...

Another note: if you do accidentally find yourself the proud owner of a few books, remember that books are great trading material: a swapped book is a free book too. Happy reading!



    step 1: register and login
    step 2: change search bar to gigapedia from google
    step 3: type title of book
    step 4: download book from one of the links
    step 5: open book in appropriate reader (like WinDJView)

  2. What about textbooks tight fist. There is something to be said for the pleasure of a special copy of your favorite book. My real issue, as a victim of the American education system, is the ridiculous price of textbooks. That industry regularly sucks the funds and life out college students across the country. LSE for all of its library woes, at least provides its students with textbook access. Can you speak to these problems?

  3. How do you address the concern that if people stopped buying books, there would be no income for writers. I'm not saying no more books would be published, but there'd be a likely 95% reduction in book production. How do you suggest supporting the creation of books? Government funding?

  4. Re- Dave

    No one makes money off books but Harry Potter and Twilight.

    Most academic books are created by a professor who turns their lecture notes (that they had written anyway) into a book which they make approximately $1 per copy on. Nothing bad would happen if everyone stole every book. There would just be less advertising and more reading.

  5. There'd be no one to publish them, unless you have some form of charity or government subsidized publishing company.