ARG BOOK PIRATING SUCKS!! WALK THE PLANK!

*Translation: why book pirating is awful and what you can do instead (so I don’t throw you overboard 😉 )*

no book piracy.png

A part of me just wants to write GRR DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT– which of course is tremendously convincing and bound to win loads of people over. But seriously don’t do it– it’s stealing people’s hard work and it genuinely makes me furious cos the book industry is so important (to me and *the world*) and I don’t want to see people *who literally bring books into the universe* cheated.

Mostly this is something I’ve only heard of from readers irl and thought book bloggers were beyond this shady business- but I have seen some people suggesting you illegally download controversial books- and I want to reiterate DO NOT DO THIS. You all know my opinion on reading controversial books or books by controversial authors but if you really feel like you couldn’t possibly read something, then just don’t read it. And please don’t encourage it either (in fact word to the wise, don’t write “do this illegal thing” on your blog).

What bothers me so much about it is that there are so many ways you can read without resorting to stealing- and that’s why I decided to turn this into a positive post about all the ways you can get cheap or even free books. And I realise some of these are only things you can do in an English speaking country, but a fair number are things you can do *anywhere* in the world, so I hope that people find this helpful:

  • Libraries– ahh welcome to my happy place! Not only can you just walk in and borrow *whatever* you want, but you can request things specifically (sometimes for a meagre fee). Also you can join several libraries and a lot of them have online catalogues so you can find and request books galore (yes I am that strategic person who plans library visits on occasion). I’m lucky to currently live in London, so I have the option to join different boroughs- which I have- but if you don’t there are usually more than one library per county, so you can often spread the love around a bit if you get bored of the selection in your local library.
  • Second hand– the wonderful thing about this one is that there’s always new ways you can get second hand books- on top of the traditional charity shops and used book stores, there’s also increasing numbers of online second hand book shops like abebooks (not spon)
  • Book depository and other discount shops– compare the prices and see where you can get the best deal!
  • Book swaps– with friends or online (there’s often book swaps happening on twitter!!)
  • Freebies and kindle deals– so what I do is stick most of my tbr on a wishlist and wait for the price to drop, and then I have a nice store of all kinds of books for a rainy/the right day. Also there’s lots of free classics, both available on amazon and on other sites, speaking of which…
  • Project Gutenburg- the best place to get all the out of date copyright books you could possibly want (this was a lifesaver for me in uni!) So give classics a go if you’re bored!
  • Finally, check out other suggestions from bloggers:

The Cursed Books

Krysta@Pages Unbound

Okay, I think I kept that rather civil all things considered- how do you feel about book pirating? (feel free to just slam your hands on the keyboard in frustration 😉 ) Do you have any other alternatives to add? Let me know in the comments!

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102 thoughts on “ARG BOOK PIRATING SUCKS!! WALK THE PLANK!

  1. I love book sales. When summer hits I go to so many library sales. Made a post about it too I believe. Also, half price books is a favorite of mine. Overdrive you can rent ebooks and audiobooks cause it’s connected to most libraries, Better World Books ships all over the world and prices are so cheap and I believe free shipping and then there is Thrift Books. There’s also eBay which is a great place to buy a whole series of books someone is looking to sell in an awesome bulk price. Oh and the best way to get a bagillion free ebooks is signing up for bookbub. You literally get an email every single day for free or super discounted books. Hope this helps your list! 😁

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha yes! Bookbub is so hard to resist and yes, definitely terrible for the TBR but I can’t help it cause it introduces me to new authors as well as getting my faves, if I didn’t already have them, for cheap.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahh yes!! I remember you making that post- it was awesome!! Your bargains were incredible!! And that’s brilliant! And that’s fantastic!! oh yes I definitely use ebay too. Oh that sounds brilliant!! well you’ve given me great tips- so thank you so much!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am afraid I can’t add anything to the list and indeed it’s not easy for everyone not living in a democratic, well organised country.
    I don’t feel comfortable with book pirating much less so in blogs (that’s why computer-wise I’ve switched to FOSS).
    However, I strongly feel that in the age of electronic life, publishers shouldn’t be allowed to make books impossible to find (out of print or otherwise). I strongly advocate that any moment a book goes unavailable it should be made available as an ebook, if not from the publisher then as public domain.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. For out of copyright books it is only obvious it should be so. I am actually suggesting that noone should be able to keep a copyright if they are not making the book available to the readers.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ASDLFKJADHFK.DGJAKFJNF (<– that was me slamming my hands on the keyboard in frustration)
    I wholeheartedly agree. As a (hopefully) future published author, book pirating frustrates me to no end. Like, there are so many ways you can get books for really cheap or for free that still supports the author! It's not that hard!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Yes, I will first say: AAARGHIJHSDTDWJFNIFJIFJRIFHOFH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As an author — an INDIE author, at that — book pirating is something that needs to be addressed as more of a crime. Because it is — it’s stealing intellectual property, something that someone (or maybe several people) worked hard to create, and they make a living off their hard-fought efforts. Yes, libraries are AWESOME — I make sure my local branch has a copy of each of my books. On top of charity shops or secondhand sales, there are often free book swaps at coffee shops now — I’ve found a few for White Fang that way. And there are almost always swaps or free ARCs offered on Twitter! Facebook can be a good resource, too, for things like finding yard sales or estate sales that have a lot of secondhand books. Really, in affluent countries, there’s no excuse for pirating something as easily accessible as books! We are so blessed, and need to start acting responsibly!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post. I agree with you 100%. And between your suggestions and those in the comments, there are several viable options of sourcing books for free or heavily discounted prices. This issue also underscores the importance of keeping libraries open so that people can access books for free. Which reminds me, I really should check out mine for some books I’ve been hesitating to buy because of the cost! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Project Gutenberg is one of my favorite sites for free eBooks. Highly recommend it. Not free, but inexpensive is https://www.delphiclassics.com/ who specializes in low cost public domain collections. Very well formatted and as complete as one could want. You can purchase thier ebooks on Amazon or straight from thier website. They also occasionally have free book offers, I recently downloaded the complete works of Julius Caesar (including the original Latin and several English translations) for $0. I follow them on FB to stay up to date on releases and sales.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome. They produce very high quality ebooks for a very reasonable price. I’ll give you an example: Their edition of the Complete works of Shakespeare contains all 38 canonical plays, all of Shakespeare’s sonnets and poetry, 17 apocryphal plays, apocryphal poetry, a section detailing the “lost plays,” a sample of sources for the plays, a collection of literary criticism of Shakespeare, 5 biographies of Shakespeare, and Shakespeare’s will. And they only charge $2.99!!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. You post made curious about book piracy – not something I’d really considered before. Looking at the statistics, the industry seems to lose around $600 million per year on piracy of books. Films lost $50 billion in the same time, so I guess book piracy just doesn’t command the same headspace in the media. But then thinking about lost royalties from book piracy, taking an average rate, that would be $60million dollars that authors are missing out on! That’s a lot of money out of the hands of individuals who worked hard to create something.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. God I’m so old I didn’t even realise this was a thing! I’m constantly swapping paperbacks with friends or using the borrowbox app to download library books (and occasionally audiobooks). I also use Netgalley quite a lot for new releases.

    As you said, there are so many ways to get free books there’s absolutely no need to steal them. I don’t know why people who would never dream of shoplifting or taking someone’s wallet think it’s ok to illegally download music/books/films etc. – it’s literally the same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had no idea it was a thing until someone told me that they did it :/ I’ve been disagreeing with them ever since about it. And Netgalley is a good way- especially since I use it primarily for books I’d buy anyway.

      And yes I really agree with you! It reminds me of those old copyright ads on VHS “you wouldn’t steal a car…” (god now I sound old 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s not just stealing the book by downloading it that’s an issue, if a person steals a book they are basically patting the original thief (The poster of stolen merch) on the head and stroking their pathetic ego. Therefore giving them the adrenaline rush to do it again, and again and again.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Awesome post, and I completely agree!!!! Downloading books is shitty and affects sales and the future of the author’s work. It doesn’t count towards their sales, so if there are low sales for book one of a trilogy, then we probably won’t get the rest. NOT COOL!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Definitely more people need to know about their public libraries. Also, most people think they are just about books, but there are so many more services and resources and programs they provide! Honestly, they are funded through your taxes and are there free for you to use, so I don’t know why more people don’t. A lot of folks don’t even realize you can now also borrow ebooks online through Overdrive, which many libraries are partnered with. Reading books for free AND legally is now easier than ever, no need to resort to shadier means.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I too am staunchly opposed to pirating books, though that opinion seems to have become unpopular in certain circles of the book blogosphere recently. But, you’re right, it’s illegal and it’s stealing and DOES affect the people you are stealing from. I also can’t help but believe that the people who defend pirating books would likely not walk into a bookstore and take a physical book and pontificate on how that’s fine, so there’s something coming into play here that’s either “digital objects aren’t real” or “I can’t get caught stealing digital objects as easily as physical ones.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I actually know what you mean- I don’t know what’s changed, but saying “don’t pirate books” is becoming more controversial for some reason. Yeah I think people have this idea that it doesn’t hurt the industry or that it’s somehow justifiable, but it really isn’t and it definitely does affect real people.

      Like

  13. This is why libraries are so important! It’s so sad to see children who actually want to read not have the resources for it. I, honestly, can understand why some people without means pirate books – those who can’t afford the books or aren’t encouraged to read. However, I am not for it at all. Hence why we have to be constant advocates for libraries and even online libraries. If we can bring more attention to these resources and why book piracy is bad, hopefully it can create changes.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ugh I didn’t even know this was a thing. I also plan my library visits. I have a list of my books for the month and which books are at which library. Also most library books sales are in the spring so you bet I have already penciled in the ones that are already scheduled. Can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The question really would be why would this even be a thing??? Not taking my review books into account I still have thousands downloaded to my Kindle that were perfectly free from Amazon legally. And then if people join a site like Goodreads authors beg for readers to review their books and give out free copies. Then on top of that there are tons and tons of giveaways to enter to win free books. And if all of that isn’t enough for anyone and they just need that brand new expensive popular title then I’m all with you in the go to the stinkin’ library already. LOL Seriously though in my city you get your library membership for free and you don’t even have to visit the place to borrow books, just sign in on the web and borrow thousands of choices from the e-catalog. If you do feel like actually visiting they also let people borrow movies and music etc etc etc…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah I know!!! And yes for sure- there are so many books that are available for free, if people really don’t want to pay anything that is. And you’re so right about books being given away for review. The most common excuse I’ve heard is that the first book in a series is often cheap and then the rest is expensive to make up for it….but if you have a problem with that just wait for the price to drop. And yes- libraries are definitely a way round that!! Ah yes so true!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw yes, I’ve downloaded plenty of freebies that are only the beginning of a series to try to tempt you into buying the rest. But as you say there’s always sales or the library to take advantage of to read the rest. I’ve caught whole boxsets go on sale for 99 cents and picked up whole series that way.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. 100% agree! I would also extend this to any other artistic stuff such as movies, photos, paintings, graffiti art etc.
    It’s not ok to steal.
    I think it’s the bigger picture that some people may sometimes not see. They may think: ‘well I don’t have money so I just get it off the net’. They may not think of the writers / artists and how that impacts them. 😦
    If money is a bit tight, a library or a charity shop is a good option of mine. I also use BookBub and do an occasionally review on NetGalley. And I agree, sometimes waiting for a price to go down is another option.
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Great post! I’m such a huge user of the library and yes! You can always request them to get a certain book. There aren’t very many second hand bookstores near where I am, but there is a second hand book convention every year and I make use of that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wonderful post!! I totally agree. I’m lucky enough to live in a neighborhood where we have library boxes. They kind of look like big bird houses on posts around the neighborhood.
    But instead of birds living there, it’s books where you can take any book in the box and drop off yours for other to read. It’s like one giant continuous book swap. It’s great!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I do know someone who always seems to have pirated books but honestly I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole. The authors have put a lot of blood sweat and tears into the work so don’t they deserve to get paid (I’m pretty sure the majority don’t make that much)? Plus, like pirated anything, the quality is often shoddy and you run the risk of infecting your ereader or PC with something nasty. Given how easy it is to pick up a bargain it’s really not worth the hassle.

    I am always scouring the library or checking my Amazon wishlist to see if any of the books I have my eye on are available/reduced. I also find the supermarket good for a bargain (often cheaper than Amazon for new releases) and my local supermarket (and doctor surgery) now have a permanent charity book sale. You pay £1 for anything on the shelf and can drop off any books you no longer want.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I also know someone that pirates books, but I really disagree with it. I really agree! (and yeah authors really don’t make very much in general, even successful ones). And yes for sure!!

      I’m the exact same! And good point about supermarkets! 😀 Oh that’s brilliant!! 😀

      Like

  20. Here, here! I don’t go to libraries much anymore, but I adore charity shops exactly for the reason of books. If they don’t sell a book I want, and if said book is still expensive online, I’ll simply wait for the price to come down! Easy as that.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It sort of does suck that people might contemplate this avenue. So many ways to enjoy a book and second-hand books are my favourite!!! Not only are they cheap, but visiting a second-hand book store is true treasure hunt that leads to so many unexpected finds! Also love how some second-hand book look so new too! Book sales during the hotter days are the best. I always look forward to them!! 😀 Great awareness post, girl. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  22. There’s just no need! There’s plenty of free websites where you can get books and also for books out of print there’s a few good sites for that too! Abebooks are quite good for getting those titles that may be out of print.
    Regardless, it’s just ignorance. X

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Uhh, I maaaay be sometimes guilty of this. *shifty eyes* But in my defense, I only read a chapter or two out of the book (since I hate ebooks) to see if I’d like the story, then I actually go and finish/buy it at the bookstore. Never explicitly pirated books to just add to my collection. So yeah, totally agree with this post. One should definitely not pirate books since it’s stealing, and it’s cheating the author out of their money as well. Terrific post!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I am consistently confused by people who pirate books and say they have to. There are so many resources out there for them to find free and legal books. And I know that people don’t really believe that they have a moral right to steal books or they would steal physical books, too. But they only seem to take what they think they can get away with. :/

    There’s also a Nielsen study indicating that the majority of book pirates are older (30-44) and educated (college and above), and that most of them have household incomes between $60,000 and $99,000! So the argument that people NEED to pirate books because of cost is starting to look a little shaky. In fact, publishers and authors are losing millions of dollars a year from people who could pay for books if they wanted to.

    I once cited this study on a pro-piracy blog and the blogger refused to approve my comment. I am still privately amused by this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really agree with you- I can’t understand it either. And yes for sure- I think it’s just because people know they can get away with it.

      Gosh that’s surprising- and makes it so much worse. Anecdotally I know that it’s more of a “saving money” thing, rather than a desperately needing to do it thing.

      It doesn’t surprise me- that sort of thing has happened to me before 😉 What’s shocking is that we’re seeing more pro-piracy blogs tbh (cos yeah, I’ve seen bloggers that say that now too and can’t believe it- I mean, at least have the self-awareness to realise it’s unwise to recommend something illegal!!)

      Like

      1. Yeah, well, people I know who said they “couldn’t afford” books but somehow afforded a lot of other luxuries, so I think for some people it’s more of a question of budgeting. If you choose to buy concert tickets and a bunch of video games, you CAN afford books–you just chose not to put that into your budget and prioritized other entertainment options that month. There’s nothing wrong with buying other luxury goods, but buying some doesn’t give anyone the right to steal others.

        And I wish people would understand that authors generally don’t make a lot of money. They’re not all J. K. Rowling. Most work separate jobs to pay the bills. They can’t necessarily afford to lose a bunch of income from piracy.

        And, yeah, I do find it really strange that people would blazon the fact that they’re engaged in illegal activity. That doesn’t seem wise on a lot of levels. Many bloggers are interested in book-related careers. You would NOT want a potential employer to see you advocating theft!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes that’s very true. I really agree with you. And (I hope you don’t mind me speaking frankly) when money’s tight luxuries are really not the top of a list of priorities. And obviously I’m not talking about everyone that’s ever struggled with money, but it doesn’t really fly with me.

          Yes for sure- I wish people would understand that- even a lot of the popular ones are not making big salaries (I remember meeting semi-popular authors and being shocked that they did not make enough to make ends meet on book sales alone).

          And yeah I really agree with you. I can’t believe people would be so unaware that it’s not a wise thing to be associated with. I once saw an aside that went something like “if you don’t want to pay for this book, maybe just pirate it?” and I tried to advise them that it wasn’t the best suggestion to make. They just said it was more of a suggestion and they weren’t advocating it- I still think it’s an unwise thing to do and I’m not saying that to be a douchbag, but because like you said, it doesn’t look good. And all that is nothing compared to people who are more pro-piracy.

          Like

          1. No, I totally agree with you. I have a very tight budget and I don’t give myself a lot of room for luxury goods as a result. So I’m not unsympathetic towards people who want to buy books–I would like to buy books, too! But the reality is that necessities come first. I know people who run up debt buying things they don’t really need because they perceive luxury goods as necessities, but that’s not a good habit to get into. I think it’s healthier to just admit to ourselves sometimes that we can’t afford things we want. It’s better to give up luxuries than to go into debt. And often we’ll find that life, surprisingly, goes on!

            Perhaps people don’t foresee their piracy arguments coming back to haunt them, but people who want to work in book-related industries often list their blogs on their resumes or reference them in their cover letters to demonstrate familiarity with the latest trends. So it is totally possible someone could be turned down by a publisher or a library or a school if the hiring manager sees them promoting breaking the law. But these days no one will tell you why you weren’t hired, so these bloggers might inadvertently be hurting themselves without ever becoming the wiser. :/

            Or someone could just fall into that tiny percentage of people who are legally pursued for piracy. Why are people taking the chance? I find it baffling.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yeah that’s exactly how I feel about it too. I mean, I’d love to have all the new releases and just be able to read all the books- but I can’t do that. And yeah exactly- it’s better to see books for what they are: a luxury and not a necessity. Yep- and a lot of the time I find saving up for a book or waiting patiently makes it all the more sweet when I can get it 😉

              Yeah I think you’re really right. And that’s a very good point. Yes, I agree with you!

              Like

  25. Book piracy (or any kind of piracy lets be honest here) really sucks, I mean, I don’t think it’s anything that will ever 100% go away but the least we can do is explore the other avenues that exist to find cheap books. Libraries are definitely a good one, and so are second hand book stores, I just wish I had better options for both near where I lived. 🙂
    For me I just buy loads of books, have a massive backlog, and spend months going through them all before starting the cycle all over again, but I have been thinking about checking out my library again. Nine times out of ten I just buy the Kindle version which is always a lot cheaper than the paperback version (saves me a little money there).
    Great post. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes for sure- and I agree about any kind of piracy too. Yes for sure! And absolutely 🙂 I love second hand book shops. I do get what you mean about there not being enough second hand bookshops (I recommend abebooks online though)
      hehe yes I do the *exact* same thing! And yeah, I also tend to just get the kindle versions much cheaper, so I relate there.
      Thank you 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Such an important topic! Thank you for including ideas of how to obtain free or discounted books. Hopefully if there is anyone who reads your blog that is guilty of illegally obtaining books, that they will take your advice…

    I will say this though, I feel like there’s a lot of the pirating of books happening in places that may not have the access to books we have in more developed counties… I’m not excusing it, but since I started book blogging and making friends from all over the world, I have learned that not every country has libraries. I cannot imagine living in a place where I didn’t have the access to books that I have hear in the United States. I definitely no longer take it for granted like I did in the past.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Great post!! I’ve never pirated a book myself, but I also never got particularly angry about book piracy until I read this post by Maggie Stiefvater that really brought home how much it endangers sales and the publishing of future books. I guess before then I always thought it was a really small number of people who couldn’t afford the book doing it, and as long as they reviewed or promoted the book it wouldn’t make a difference… but that article really opened my eyes to how many people are doing it and what a difference it makes to authors and publishers. And as you pointed out, there are so many other legal ways to get free or cheap books, so there’s really no excuse for it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! And gosh- thank you for sharing that post and showing the shocking real world consequences of book piracy- I think it’s truly terrible to see what this can do to authors and books that we love. And yes for sure! There are always ways to get a book cheaply and I just don’t see the excuses as reasonable!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Great post. I don’t even know how to pirate a book and don’t want to. I saw a post by an author (and now for the life of me I can’t remember who) that said something along the lines of publishers decided to pick up a next book in a series of the previous book has sold well, if people read pirated copies they obvs haven’t purchased the book so there is a chance the publisher won’t pick up the next book……so maybe no one will get to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

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