Posts Tagged ‘Public libraries’

After B&N: a book-lover’s best alternative

August 1, 2013

When Borders opened its first super-store in the Rochester, NY, area, I felt I was in a book-lover’s paradise.  I could walk into the store looking for a specific books, not necessarily a best-seller, and have a good chance of finding it.  Not only that, but if I wanted to, I could sit down and read the book until I made up my mind whether I wanted to buy it or not.

The locally-owned new-book stores went out of business, but I didn’t care.  I thought it was a price worth paying.

A woman reads at a Barnes and Noble store in VirginiaThen Barnes & Noble came to town, with an even bigger selection of books than Borders, which eventually went out of business.  I thought that was great.

Now Barnes & Noble seems to be in trouble.  The stores in the Rochester area have the atmosphere of a business in decline—a smaller selection (at least of the kind of books I’m interested in), more non-book items.  What management seems most interested in selling is B&N’s Nook reader.

Many people, myself included, would hate to see Barnes & Noble go out of the mass bookstore business.  Click on 10 Ways to Save Barnes & Noble for some of their ideas to keep the bookstore chain going.

But you know what?  There’s another place in town with an even larger selection of books than Barnes & Noble.  There are more places there than B&N to sit down and read all day, if that’s what you choose.  And if you read something and decide to buy it on-line, that won’t make any difference.

I refer to the Rochester Public Library, which was here before Barnes & Noble came and I hope will be here many years to come.  Public libraries, like many other public services, are under attack these days.  That’s why I make an annual contribution to the Friends of the Rochester Public Library.  It would be sad to lose Barnes & Noble, but catastrophic to let the public library system decline.

Reverse psychology saves a library

June 24, 2012

Hat tip to Diane Ravich’s Blog.

Should public libraries be allowed?

June 22, 2010

Having just checked out some books from the Rochester Public Library, I thought how strange it is that an institution like a public library is allowed to exist.

Public libraries are socialistic. Rich people pay taxes in order that the children of poor people can read books for free, which by the lights of Ayn Rand, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the Tea Party movement is impermissible tyranny.

Public libraries defy current notions of intellectual property rights.  I intend to read some books which maybe dozens or even hundreds of people have read before me, and yet the publisher does not get a dime for any of us except for the original price of the book. Isn’t this the kind of file-sharing that the Millennium Copyright Act was intended to prevent?

Then, too, books can contain dangerous ideas. Who knows what dangerous ideas the public library is allowing to circulate?

I’m sure that if public libraries did not exist, the creation of such institutions would not be allowed today. 🙂

(more…)