Every day I think of how it would be impossible to convince people to build libraries if they didn't already exist

"hey I have a great idea: what if people could get books for free?"
"doesn't scale."
"how do you monetize?"
"VC firms just won't be interested"

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anyway, defund the police and fund libraries instead

@Aleums I sometimes wonder how much the publishing industry is being indirectly subsidized by libraries

Like, if libraries went away, would publishers still exist?

@Aleums Oh, just that libraries buy a lot of books

I wonder what proportion of books are bought by libraries, and if publishers would survive without them

@bgcarlisle @Aleums libraries do buy books at a consistent rate, but for the most part publishers dislike libraries bc they see ppl checking out books for free as reducing sales overall. like, if a library purchases four books and it gets checked out twenty times, that's sixteen lost sales as far as the publishers are concerned

ofc, for physical books there's nothing stopping libraries from just buying new books at a bookstore and loaning them out, but still

@bgcarlisle @Aleums so yeah, i do think that libraries do make up a certain percentage of overall book sales (depending on the popularity of book) but for the most part i think publishers would be absolutely thrilled if libraries didn't exist

@takaeri @bgcarlisle @Aleums

Academic publishers, on the other hand. ~only~ sell to libraries!

The people who actually do book things in publishing houses for the most part are really into books and love libraries and have from childhood, so at least some part of the business recognises that libraries create future readers.

@takaeri @bgcarlisle @Aleums same mentality as "everyone who used Napster to download Mettalica - Off to Never Never Land (Weird Al) represents a loss of twelve dollars and we need to figure out how to put a lien on their house to recover it"

@takaeri @bgcarlisle @Aleums The situation surely differs from country to country.

At least in Finland it's very common for publishers to love libraries. For smaller publishers libraries are always their biggest customers. And libraries keep the reading culture alive, which indirectly will grow sales for other books.

Many publishers have got into financial troubles after library spendings have been cut. The missing sales for libraries just don't turn into similar growing sales for individuals.

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