I disagree with Gary Wallin that the Friends of the Library do a disservice with their book sale (“Group promotes outdated books,” Oct. 17).
I agree that the Internet has wonderful books for free, most of them are no longer under copyright protection, meaning they are at least 70 years old. For fiction and other subjects that haven’t changed over the years, that’s fine. For other subjects (science and medical books), the information is good only for a view of history. Most of the books at the sale are no longer in print, but they also do not qualify for being put on the Internet due to copyright law until the publisher decides to make them available electronically, whether for free or for purchase.
Many of these books were printed before e-books were available, let alone increasing in popularity due to e-readers, tablets and smartphones. I’ve bought quite a few books at the sale, most are from the 1970s-’90s. Funds from the sale support literacy programs, and until everyone has an e-reader, giving out paper books is the most logical way of reaching the most kids.
While handing out memory sticks might not be in the budget, I like the idea of a handout available listing websites with free e-books.
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