Not for sale!

Posted by: Kay

Not for sale! - 09/25/01 02:47 PM

The topic looks lonely. I thought I would report that I just finished a three day stint of selling used books for charity....I looked as I always do for something by Barbara Paul, but I didn't see it. (I didn't have a chance to look at ALL the thousands of books we had, but I covered the fiction pretty well)

I hope that means that people who own Barbara Paul keep Barbara Paul!

Incidentally, it could have been lurking somewhere else, because I found copies of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" scattered in with Religion, Psychology, Children's and a couple of other topics......Indeed there were so many copies of it I decided it must have been required reading in some class and everybody was dumping their copies.
Posted by: cookie-lady

Re: Not for sale! - 11/05/01 11:15 PM

I will not part with a single one of my Barbara Paul books - but I wish some people would so I can find the ones I don't have.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Not for sale! - 11/06/01 11:15 AM

Ooohhh, music to my ears. Thank you!
Posted by: Kay

Re: Not for sale! - 11/08/01 02:16 PM

Well, I am grateful for the public library!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Not for sale! - 12/11/01 11:45 AM

There is a web site that offers owners the opportunity to sell their used books. I will not mention it here. I did tell Barbara about this. It is a small problem for authors. It is the sale of their work from which they do not profit.
It is akin to someone making a cassette copy of a CD. It is artistic theft, but many do this without thinking.
While it did remove Barbara from the profit of her labor, it did give me a chance to read Bibings and other titles I did not have that are out of print. Was it wrong? Perhaps. Yet, were I to locate this book in the library, would that be as wrong? It is indeed a book that has been sold or donated, but each reader is a lost sale. For writers who sell millions of books this is no big problem. Dean Koontz and Stephen King, among others, will not die poor. Other writers however are in the majority when it comes to income. Sad to say it, but it is not a craft that pays commensurate to the enjoyment offered by the writer to his/her public.

Posted by: Barbara

Re: Not for sale! - 12/11/01 12:44 PM

Yes, it's a quandary, isn't it? My life would have taken quite a different turn if it hadn't been for free public libraries, which have always been a second home to me. I remember clearly the day in my childhood I first learned there was an old house in the small town where I was born that had nothing in it except books -- and they'd let you borrow them, for free! What a wonder!

But now that I'm on the other side of the fence, I'm all too aware that free public libraries aren't free at all -- and I'm not talking about taxes. If we were paid even pennies each time one of our books was checked out, that would do a lot to help remove the sting.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Not for sale! - 12/11/01 02:17 PM

Well some of us do end up paying pennies, but not to the least those of us who tend to forget to return the books on time

Although my library now gives me 4 weeks and I'd think ANYBODY could read even War and Peace in that length of time (and I don't think Tolstoy gets royalties any more!)

Being one of those who depends on "old book sales" to raise money for worthy causes, I can't comment of the ethics of this although many of the books we had last fall were not that old....a large number of hardbacks by reasonably "hot" authors being resold. One could, of course, argue, that Patricia Cornwell (who can afford to tear up valuable art by other people apparently) got paid the first time the book was sold. Hers were among the ones of which we had multiple copies for resale.

However, if you have paperbacks that you don't want to keep, there are several charitable groups that will take them and give you a tax deduction. Liz has mentioned elsewhere a group in Philadelphia called "Books Through Bars" and locally in Roanoke the jail chaplain is one of our best booksale customers when we throw the thing open for freebies to worthy groups.

Mostly I think they want paperbacks only.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Not for sale! - 12/11/01 10:29 PM

I think that's the sort of thing BobNJ and Barbara were talking about, Kay. After the initial sale, every time a book changes hands somebody other than the author makes money from it -- even if it's only in the form of a tax deduction.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Not for sale! - 12/13/01 06:44 AM

We don't have tax deductions for this sort of thing over here (more's the pity), so I tend to give unwanted books to Oxfam or one of the other charity shops that abound. And, as I've said before, we have Public Lending Right, so British authors do get a crust or two on the basis of public-library borrowings.

But, leaving aside libraries, are books different from other commodities that are sold second-hand? Suppose I buy a CD player, decide after a while that I'd like a bigger and better one and sell the old one to a second-hand shop. No-one complains that the inventor or designer isn't getting a cut.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Not for sale! - 12/13/01 09:22 AM

No difference, if you consider creative work a commodity -- a utilitarian product, a thing-of-the-moment to be forgotten and replaced by something else. But it isn't, you know. The sheets of paper Hamlet was written on have long since disappeared, but the play still lives.