There should be a mug that reads “so many books, such a small piggybank”. Trying to feed a dragon-sized book habit can be expensive and no matter how many books you buy, there are a thousand more you just have to have.
If this is you, you’ve probably been tempted by the lure of downloading a pirated book (a book that’s been copied and distributed without the permission of the publisher and/or author). It’s easy, there’s a huge selection and, best of all, it’s free.
But it’s not cool.
Very. Not. Cool.
Take a moment and picture me all frowny-face.
Scary, right? No? Geesh, no need to laugh, that was my frowniest frowny-face.
Anyway, back on point. If you’re not convinced of the uncool-ness of jointing the pirate horde, here are three points to change your mind.
1. ‘Ere there be computer viruses, yar.
Although they may seem like cool and generous dudes, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, pirates aren’t always that nice. Sometimes they do things like plant hidden codes in the ebooks you download, which then infect your computer with a virus. The virus then invites a few friends along and has a party, trashing the joint while you’re not looking.
The cleanup (aka. virus eradication) can be expensive, time consuming and frustrating. So. Incredibly. Frustrating.
To be fair, viruses aren’t as common in ebooks as they might be in pirated videos, games or other applications, but do you really want to take that chance?
2. It’s illegal.
Yep, you read that right. Illegal. Like, ‘Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go,’ kind of illegal. Okay, well maybe not that bad, and punishments will vary from country to country, but you get the idea.
It’s illegal because you’re stealing.
Just let that sink in for a bit.
Not cool people. Not cool.
3. Authors don’t get paid, so we stop writing your favorite books.
It’s surprising how many people find this surprising: authors, musicians and other artists need money to keep producing art.
The long and sort of it is, authors (and other artists) don’t live on fresh air and good will of the universe. We also don’t write too well when we’re weak from hunger and have lost our fingers to frostbite because we can’t pay the heating bill.
If we can’t make money from our art (eg. by selling it) then we have to find other ways of paying our bills, which usually means less time to make more art/write more books. For many people, it can mean giving up their art completely, and never finishing that series you loved so much you can’t stop thinking about it.
Sucks, doesn’t it?
Convinced about the uncool-ness of pirating books? I hope so. But hey, just because you’re not a pirate doesn’t mean you can’t get free books! There are a heap of non-piratey ways to feed your reading habit without spending a cent.