I’m sure every single one of you reading this has at least heard of book pirating. I won’t say if you’ve ever done it yourself or not. I won’t also say that I don’t know that this is an extremely hot topic. Instead, I am going to talk about my own personal experiences. Because once upon a time I was a book pirater. That’s right. I did it. I had a great website that put up clean, new, e-books, and I downloaded them for my Kindle. Oh, I had a myriad of reasons as to why it was okay, ranging from “I don’t want to support Amazon Kindle more,” to the typical “It’s no different than the library.” Pirating ARCs is something though that’s very new since I have left the ye ol pirate ship. And that’s not exactly something I want to get into here, because I think everyone, and I mean everyone, can understand how crazy insanely wrong that one is.
Now I’m not going to stand here on a rock and look down on the people who pirate because I was there, I did it. And if I’m being 100% honest with myself? There are times when have done it more recently than I would care to admit. However, never once since learning the truths of piracy have I pirated a book without either checking it out from the library, or purchasing the book itself. Is it right? No. Does it fix what I’ve done? No. Do I have absolutely perfect reasons that I can explain? Sure. Does that even fix the problem? No.
Because at the end of the day the problem is that books aren’t cheap. YA hardbacks are luckily cheaper than adult hardbacks, but that might change before long. Of course, the ones who take home the most money are B&N (another way you could rationalize away your pirating). I’m not saying the system isn’t screwed up, because guess what? It is. I’ve seen how much power the big box bookstores have myself. But that itself is a topic for another day. But because the books are expensive, there’s a knee-jerk reaction that just says “Arrrr, I could get ye book free online!” (Scientific fact says if you book pirate you start talking like one. Can’t argue with science, friends.) But that instant reaction is hard to squash, especially if you’ve ever taken a trip down the piracy lane. Because once you do something and get away with it, it becomes easier to rationalize away the second time, and then easier still the third. Think about going five over the speed limit? Well then what’s the harm in seven over? Psychology, my friends!
Which is to say that like love, drugs and rock and roll, book pirating is a slippery slope. Now if you have never found yourself at the top of that hill then I honestly, and truly, congratulate you. I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way at all! Because I was never that way until I was educated on the truths of piracy.
But this is a discussion right? So here’s where I turn things over to you guys. I want to know your thoughts, have you ever pirated books? Have you ever found it difficult to avoid it at all costs? Tell me all of your thoughts!