My Thoughts on Book Piracy

Over the past year I have been hearing a lot about Book Piracy, but never fully understood it. However, I did know that it was wrong and I thought that just because the people around me weren't pirating books meant that is wasn't happening. Which I now know was so stupid of me for so many reasons!

Last week I found out that a person I know has been pirating books. I was literally so shocked and honestly disgusted that I couldn't even form a sentence to begin to tell this person how absolutely angry it made me feel. We had a little argument in the car, but it ultimately went nowhere.

It's literally been keeping me up at night, well last night to be specific. (Check my Twitter feed, my ramblings about life and book piracy at three in the morning are frighteningly entertaining.) Anyways, my hopes for this post is to 1) Get all of this off my chest because it's been seriously bothering me. 2) Possibly use this as a tool for the next time this is brought up in a conversation to thoroughly defend my thoughts and 3) This is going to be pretty much a rant, because I am M-A-D!

Below, I'm going to put three of the main points I keep hearing from Book Pirates as to why they think pirating is okay in blue. Under that I'm going to pretty much say why the statement above is messed up in so many ways and ultimately bash Book Piracy! Yay!

Book Pirate: "Well, duhh... It's not like I'm stealing 
or doing anything wrong."

Oh my goodness! What in the world is wrong with you?! Of course it's stealing! You are taking something that is not yours which is pretty much the set definition of stealing! My parents raised me believing that there is right and that there is wrong and stealing falls into that nifty wrong category. Really this should be all the argument needed because it literally comes down to this: It is wrong. Unfortunately though, people still do it.

Book Pirate: "Durr, everybody does it..."
*A giant flashing red sign appears with the letters W-R-O-N-G above their head*

No, not everybody does it!! The few people that do do this, well I wouldn't want to categorize myself in that sort of grouping. Obviously there has to be people that buy books. I mean yeah, Borders closed, but there's still Barnes & Noble, books on Amazon, Independent Bookstores, Book Depository and I could make a long list, but hopefully you get the point. Also back to that whole "it's wrong thing", yeah, well quite a few people know this and chose to do the right thing. Also you can go list all your friends that steal books too, but all that means is that's more people that you'll have to share you're stinky jail cell with.

Book Pirate: "I don't... err... make enough money to buy all the books I want to read!"

It's your choice of how you want to spend your money, but that still doesn't make it right to steal. That's like if I spent all of my money on books, but still wanted a cute shirt, so I walked into the store, stuffed it in my bag and walked out because I don't have enough money to pay for all the clothes I want to wear...
There's also this awesome building that almost every town has where you can, be sure to listen up here because you're not going to believe this, *whispers* they give you free books and legally! You might have heard of it, it's called a Library. Also, if they don't have a book you want, the lovely Librarians will order it for you from another branch, for free. So the whole "Durr I don't have money" thing doesn't work, because there's a legal way to read books without having to pay.

Some of this was pretty harsh, but it needed to be said. Book Piracy is wrong. If you call yourself a book lover, but are dense enough to believe that your aren't greatly affecting this wonderful Book Community, you should be ashamed.

What do you think of Book Piracy? 
Do you know anyone who pirates books? Does it make you angry too? 

Thanks for listening to this extremely long rant guys!


  1. I've heard of book piracy but I don't understand it. How does one book pirate? What's considered piracy?

  2. Hey Juju! The main way someone pirates a book is downloading a file (most commonly .pdf files) to their computer and reading the book just on their screen. People will upload books (I'm not sure how, like if they retype everything or somehow copy and paste from an ebook)and then all someone has to do is click the download button and it's all their's. It's kind of like downloading illegal music, but with books. Like on iTunes you can hear a sample of a song and how on amazon you can download a sample of the book, which is perfectly fine. Piracy I think starts when you download an entire copy of a book without consent or properly paying for it. It's fairly tricky to clearly define because so many people support it because they say they aren't physically stealing something, they say they're more like "copying it".
    There's this awesome post by an author about book piracy where she defines it and says how it impacts a writer.
    I hope this helps! :)

  3. Another thing people say when downloading books is "well, it's just like if I rented them at the library."

    And the thing about libraries is, that they do not always order the books you request them to order. I know this because it's happened to me loads of times. I'm a volunteer at the library and have talked to my librarian about it a lot. They just don't have the budget to get everything.

    I honestly don't make a big deal out of pirating of any form because in the long run, it actually helps the person on the other end. Like music. If I download a cd and like it, I'm most likely to buy the bands other cds and to pay to go to the concert. I'm also going to be telling my friends about it and passing it along. It's the same with books. I've downloaded lots of books because my library didn't have them. I ended up buying every book I've downloaded later on when I had the money for it. This helps the author more because they ended up making money off me.

  4. @Must Love Books

    I agree with you about the library thing. I agree about the piracy too, in a way. I don't think it's right, technically, but I don't think if they delete the book after reading it, and/or buy to support the author afterwards, it kind of resembles a library. But I also can't prove that anybody whos ever downloaded a book has bought it/deleted it afterwards.

    I respect you for not being afraid to put your thoughts out there.

  5. Oh gosh - pirating books is NOT ok. Seriously. Obviously there are different ways people try to rationalize... but it's still illegal. Thanks for being very clear in your post! I cracked up laughing at the library part :) Libraries are the BEST! And what about borrowing books from your book-loving friends and family members? There are LOTS of ways to read good books other than downloading them illegally.

  6. Well said, Katie!

    I definitely agree with you in that it's wrong. I'm not at all rich, but I manage to pay for every book I read. And as a college student, that says something, I think. If **I** can afford to support my book habit, I'm pretty sure anyone can too. haha

    And I feel like a lot of people try to justify pirating by stating "If I like it, I'll buy it". If you do, that's GREAT. Really. However, you're probably one of the limited few who actually does that. Also, the argument that it's just like borrowing from the library is wrong. Why? Libraries pay for their books. When they see how popular a title is, they buy more copies, where as pirated copies just keep getting passed around for free.

    And honestly, there's so many ways to read without stealing:

    1. Library

    2. E-books/E-readers (most of the people that download pirated books read them on their e-reader. Um, if you can afford an e-reader, I'm pretty sure you can afford to buy an e-book every now and then. Plus, they're cheaper than physical books AND the kindle even has a lending system.)

    3. Secondhand bookstores. Go look one up, and if there aren't any in your area, buy online! There are SO MANY places to do that from, so no excuses.

    Another point I want to make is that though I think no one should do this, bloggers definitely shouldn't. We're the ones who are supposed to be spreading our love of reading, and promoting & supporting authors is one of the best things about blogging, so why any blogger would go around and steal from the people who provide us with some of our favorite stories is beyond me.

    Whew. Well, that was my two cents. lol I totally didn't mean to write this much. If only I could do that for my class essays! -____-

  7. Oh my gosh this is such a genius post! I agree with you on EVERYTHING. It wasn't even until I became a book blogger that I knew there was such a thing as book piracy. It had never even crossed my mind before to try to get a book for free online! I mean come on there are libraries for a reason! :P

  8. Well said Katie - and not too harsh at all.

    Piracy infringes copyright, just imagine if everyone did it, there would be no books for anyone to read as no writer could afford to write!

    Piracy in all its forms should be stomped out (and any website offering downloads shut down imho)!

  9. Well said! I totally agree with you. Pirating is never ok.

    And when some people say it's just like borrowing from the library, it ISN"T. What you may not know is that every book that is issued from the library goes through on the system and is recorded and the author gets a bit of money for every issue. It's not a lot, but they do get something.
    Therefore piracy is not the same as that way authors get nothing from the distribution therefore it is stealing!
    It is NOT ok, and it is NOT right. It does make me angry. more websites should be shut down for offering these.

  10. I loved how you were like, there is this thing called the library... :) I agree it makes me angry to see people take advantage of authors like that. :( Great Post!