I did a happy dance this week when I learned the Auckland, New Zealand library ordered my second book, “Crime Times Two.” The idea that a country’s largest city will shelve my book is just a thrill. Sure, New Zealand is a small country, but Auckland has a population of 1.5 million people – about the size of my entire home state. In addition, the library system is country-wide so my book can be read by any library patron in this country of 5 million people.
In the midst of my celebrations, however, I received a question: Why was I so happy that my book will be made available FREE to an entire country of potential paying customers?
Oh, I can’t wait to answer this one. Here are my five reasons for being thrilled when a library orders one of my books:
- There are more than a million books published a year. Getting to readers is more challenging each year. Sure, I’d like J.K. Rowling’s savings balance, but I also want my stories read. I want to entertain and make people think. I can’t do that if they don’t know I exist.
- If readers like my writing, they may buy the next book. I remember good writers and keep a watch for their next book. In fact, I’ve been known to buy ALL their past books in a flurry of excitement of having discovered a great new-to-me author.
- Librarians are curators. Remember the statistic about a million new books each and every year? They can’t possibly buy or shelve them all. No matter where you go, they’re publically funded entities and dollars are limited. It’s a great feeling to know my book is one of the books chosen for the year.
- In my local library, I found my books shelved next to Khaled Hosseini’s bestselling blockbuster The Kite Runner. Not bad placement, right?
- I love libraries. It’s as simple as that. They are important in promoting literacy and free speech. But I also enjoy walking along the stacks, visiting the thousands of books I’ve read over the years. I’ve read books from nearly every section of the library. This is where my love of reading started.
If you feel as I do, you’ll understand too, that there’s something pretty awe-inspiring about having a book placed in a library’s collection. In fact, I feel so strongly about this, that if you want to read my books, go ahead and ask your local library to purchase them. Most of the time, if they don’t already carry them, they’ll acquire them, and you can read them for free too. Along with your friends and neighbors. Pretty cool, right? I think so.
Remember to thank your librarian as it’s National Librarian Day!
*The library in the picture is one I took in Australia on a recent visit. This one is in Melbourne and is one of the loveliest I’ve ever seen. Whenever we travel, my husband knows he’s going to see a few bookstores and libraries along the way.