I’ve never been one for borrowing books from the library. Admittedly, the major reason could be my complete inability to ever return a book on time. But, that’s not exactly it. I’ve never been one for borrowing books from the library for the same reason I’ve never been one for used bookstores: I like the feel of a brand new book. I like knowing that I am the first one to crack it open. The first one to fold down the pages to mark my place. The one to make those creases in the bind. The one whose handwriting lines the margins where I had to note an exceptionally beautiful line. But as I’ve ventured into the writing world, I’ve become an even bigger proponent of buying my books new because that’s the best way to support the writers I love.

Yesterday, literary agent Nathan Bransford had a great post on his blog about just this topic. He points out to readers that authors don’t get royalties from used books. And while you may think you are supporting a writer by passing along the book you loved to a friend because they have to read it, the author doesn’t reep any benefits from it. Yes, maybe your friend will love it so much that they just have to go out and buy their own copy, or maybe they will want to read everything else that writer has read; but the reality is most of them will just return the book and say thank you for sharing the book.

A writer’s career depends on new book sales.

Bransford, as part of his Writer Appreciation Week, encourages readers to go out and buy a new book this week to support writers. He acknowledges, as do I, that there are times when you just can’t afford to go out and buy a new book. During those times, I’m likely to reread the books on my shelves that I haven’t read in a while. But, Bransford links to a great post by Eileen Flanagan about other ways you can support writers trying to make a living and career.

Libraries and used bookstores are great resources. I guess I’d rather know that people are reading than not because they can’t afford a new book. But for those times you can, or when you want to help ensure a second book from a new author that you particularly love, go out and buy new.

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