A funny article by Ian Frazer in the Shouts and Murmurs section of the New Yorker, "Downpaging," cites a bogus article in the "News":
"Check books out of the library instead of buying them. . . . New releases of hard-cover novels cost $25 and more these days. If you buy just two a month, that’s $600 a year. —From “Ten Sure Ways to Trim Your Budget,” in the News."
He goes on to give some "examples" from "real life people" about how buying books is sending them into debt.
"Polk Benham, St. Marys, Ohio: “Right now, it’s costing me forty-five dollars to fill up my 4Runner, which is about two novels. Tough decisions are going to have to be made. I’m used to having a newly released hardcover on the dash of my vehicle, another in the back seat for the kids. At home, we’ve got a novel in each bedroom, two in the family room, one in the laundry room for my wife when she’s down there, and a novella in the john. We go through a couple of dozen novels in a year without even noticing. I hate to say it, but this can’t go on.” "
and, in a beautiful bit of irony,
"Mrs. Louise Rodgers, Eau Claire, Wisconsin: “I never owned brand-new hardcovers when I was a girl, and now I want my twin sixteen-year-old boys to enjoy opportunities I didn’t have. My boys are like any American teen-agers, in that they eat, sleep, and breathe novels. And they don’t want the three-dollar used paperback version, either. It’s got to be new, mint, original dust jacket, the works. How do you tell a youngster that he can’t have that just-released Modern Library edition of the complete Sinclair Lewis he’s been dreaming of? But I guess that’s what I’m going to have to do; I don’t see any other option.” "
I know all parents of teenagers can relate to that, so remember, the library is here to save you from your bookaholic debt. Don't give in to that siren call of brand new hardcovers!
"Mitch Gelman, West Hempstead, New York: “As an accountant, the first thing I tell my clients is ‘Get a library card!’ "
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