Love Your Local Library

1 Feb

Library books

This is less a blog post, more a public service announcement – or at least, a readers’ and writers’ service announcement. I’m sure most writers will know* about the Public Lending Right (PLR), but I get the impression that a lot of readers don’t. Some people perhaps feel guilty if they borrow a book from the library instead of buying it, even if, like me, buying all the books you read in a year would consume most of your annual income.

You can stop feeling guilty! Writers get paid when you borrow their books from libraries. Now, there are a list of exceptions and exclusions (you have to register; it’s only in some countries; private libraries don’t count; you have to reach a threshold; there’s a cap on how much you can get) but I don’t want to go into them and obscure the major point: writers get paid when you borrow their books from libraries!

The Public Lending Right Act came into force in 1979, after a lot of lobbying by writers’ groups, securing a small payment each time a copy of an author’s book is borrowed. Fair enough, it’s not much. In fact, I think it’s about 7p per loan at the moment. But every little helps when you’re a starving artist, and it’s not as if royalties from sales are particularly high either.

So please, stop feeling guilty if you get your fix at the library rather than the bookshop. You are supporting the writer. (If you’d like to support a writer who’s not stocked by your local library, you can request that the library get their books in.) And please, please, keep using libraries and borrowing books. Not only are you making it more likely libraries will stay open to benefit future generations of readers, you’re also helping authors like me. 😃

(Feel free to share this with fellow bibliophiles.)

*If you’re a published author and you don’t know about the scheme, here’s some information on how to register for PLR payments.


One Response to “Love Your Local Library”


  1. The Story of Robin Hood in Pictures | K C Murdarasi - November 21, 2018

    […] also enjoy the book when you get hold of it. (Remember, if you are impoverished, you can always request it from your library.) Happy […]

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