Book piracy. It’s a topic open to lots of debate, and today I’m going to offer up my two cents.
I understand why people may feel the need to pirate books, I really do. After all, books can be incredibly expensive and to some people buying them just isn’t an option. That, however, does not make piracy acceptable.
Every time somebody pirates a book, part of that book dies. Do you want to be responsible for book deaths, you murderer?
Piracy is the reason libraries must never be allowed to become extinct because without libraries the number of people who can read – and regularly read – drops significantly. It’s the reason why library funding and funding for literary projects is so important, because it is scientifically proven that people who read are more likely to vote, exercise and engage civically and culturally.
Many authors have to work second and third jobs to allow them to do what they love. By pirating books, you’re completely disrespecting them. There isn’t a lot of money to be made in writing and the way royalties work mean that it may take many years for an author to make any money after the initial payments. Pirating means that you’re lowering the chance of the author getting any royalties in the first place, and increasing the time it will take for them to earn those royalties.
There are so many other options: visiting your local library to take out books, second hand bookshops, borrowing from friends, trading books. The difference is that all the books have been paid for beforehand in some form and so, whilst you’re not contributing directly, you’re still supporting the author. Feel bad? You can help the author even more by leaving reviews on websites and talking as much as you can about the book via social media and offline.
Most people wouldn’t go into a shop and walk out without paying, so how is a book any different? It’s not. Piracy is theft.