Liu Zhang presents a brilliant refutation to Tim Parks’ insipid “Lender Politics” brainstorm that libraries ought not to buy new books. The logic — if libraries buy them, readers won’t — comes from a (charitably speaking) midlist author whose thinking, I should hope, is clearer in matters not touching on economics. Or human nature. Or word of mouth. Or… oh, christ, let’s just call him a slappy scribbler and have done with it.
If it’s any consolation to Mr. Parks, though, I won’t check his books out of the library, which will handily keep me from knowing anything more about him than what I’ve learned from his doofus attempt at an argument. Of course, when I am made Empress I will be burning Mr. Parks in the public square as an example to anyone else who would put profit before cultural heritage, and the right to a few pennies’ worth of royalties before the right to read freely. (Fear not, future subjects: I will naturally be using Hillary Rosen as kindling. Just because.)