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Re: Does free lead to paid?


You are dodging the question.  Of course books are used inside
the library -- and of course in scholarship books have value even
if the are not read or consulted.  Librarians have also studied
the books that were placed in carts for reshelving by patrons who
did not check them out.  Add all this together and you still have
a great number of books that are never read.

My point to Heather is not whether a book has value if it is not
read.  My point is simply that for many books, it is the writing,
not the reading, that is important.

BTW, a show of hands, please, of all those who have checked out
books that they have never read?  This survey supplements the one
on this list last year of people who had purchased books they
never found time to read.

Joe Esposito

On Wed, Mar 17, 2010 at 5:59 PM, Sandy Thatcher <sgt3@psu.edu> wrote:

> Not circulating doesn't mean that they aren't read or otherwise
> consulted, however. I rarely took a book out of the library
> during my undergraduate days. I did most of my reading right
> there in the library. Remember that in those days many books
> were put on reserve and could not be checked out during their
> use for a course.
>>Is the important criterion that the book is read or that the book
>>is written? If the former, what are we to do with the many books
>>that literally never circulate? You perhaps have figures for
>>your own institution that you would be willing to share.
>>Librarians I have spoken to tell me that there is a large
>>component of their collections of books that never circulate.
>>Joe Esposito
>>On Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 2:37 PM, Heather Morrison <hgmorris@sfu.ca> wrote=
>>> As Sandy Thatcher has pointed out, there are significant
>>> differences between academic books and trade books.
>>> The key difference, from my perspective, is the purpose of
>>> the book. For academic books, the purpose for writing, very
>>> similar to articles, is to disseminate new knowledge. The
>>> difference in access between open access and today's typical
>>> academic book print run of a few hundred copies is huge.
>>> In other words, the important criterion for success of an
>>> academic book is not whether access is "paid", but whether
>>> the book is read.
>>> Heather Morrison, MLIS
>>> PhD Student, SFU School of Communication
>>> The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics
>>> http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.com