It’s been approximately two and a half months since I’ve been at home in quarantine due to the Covid 19 pandemic. I live in Maryland, where our Governor has ordered all nonessential businesses to close. Unfortunately, this includes libraries. This has left some people scrambling to get books in other ways.
I read many discussion forums where people were distraught that their local libraries were closed. The argument people had was that libraries ARE essential! I can see their point to an extent. Libraries are the pillar of many communities and it’s how so many people can read books for (almost) free. (I say “almost” because technically our tax dollars are paying for the libraries.)
Despite the fact that the libraries are closed, there are still several other ways to get books for free. There are still Little Free Libraries, free ebooks to read online, and there are even youtube videos with celebrities reading books to kids.
And yet, even though there are ways to get books for free, I recommend a different idea. Don’t opt for a free book. Just buy the book. Of course, this is aimed more towards people who are in a comfortable position to buy books. I understand that books are a luxury item that not everyone can just purchase them whenever they want to. But for those of you who can, hear me out…
Our economy is in the dumpster. Unemployment is at an all time high and millions of people are out of work and having a hard time paying bills and feeding their families. We haven’t seen times like this since the great depression.
On social media I keep seeing posts from people who suggest we buy local goods and help out small businesses. I completely agree. It’s a great way to help out those who are struggling. And another way to help out our community is by buying books. When you purchase a book your money goes to the author, the publisher and the bookstore (many of which are doing online orders). Writers are artists who are vital to our society and they are not pandemic proof.
So my request is simple; just buy the book. You’ll be helping out the economy, your money will go towards something you care about, and honestly, you need a good excuse to buy more books anyway, right?