Go rain on your own parade!

I’m working on a business plan. In an effort to come up with a good one, I wrote a survey monkey survey that I’ve been asking my friends to complete and share. If you’d like to help me out, it can be found here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RPMMPQD

Someone wrote a comment in the first question of my survey about whether one would join a bookswap site: “It’s called a library. It already exists.” My immediate reaction was “You A$$!” I mean: “Everyone is entitled to their opinion, thank you for sharing yours”. So, you don’t like my plan, you can simply say that you’d never use such a service yourself. Is it really necessary to rain on my parade?

I’m not going to let that one get to me.  But it got me thinking though: Do people not have any perspective outside of their own?  Not all solutions work for all people.  Period.

Even IF said respondent borrows every book they ever read (if they read books at all) from the library (never purchases even one book and then hoards, sells or gives it away) are we so blind to other people’s circumstances? I have been able to make much more use of the library lately than I had for a long time. I have much more time available (albeit still very limited) to sit for chunks of time and focus on one activity. This hadn’t been so for many years though. While my girlies were borrowing books left, right and centre (and yes, they too have hoards of books of their own) I was finding it next to impossible to make it through a book that I borrowed prior to the due date. The life of a single working mother and student leaves little time for such leisure. It was sometimes taking me months to finish one book!

But suppose I wanted to read something in particular from the library, I’d put in a book hold/request. Did you know that your local library does not own a copy of every single book title in existence?! I know. I was shocked to learn it myself. There were actually books I could not borrow/request from my local public library (and therefore had to purchase).

Now suppose that the book I requested was one of the more popular titles, I could be on a list as long as 100 requests for a title that the library owned 8 copies of. Not only did I have to wait up to several months for a title to come in, but I was then limited to it’s immediate due date. “No renewal”s were allowed for popular titles because there were so many holds on it proceeding me. I’d regularly end up returning the long awaited book, unfinished, upon its due date.

These are two of my frustrations with library loans. It’s even applicable to e-pub books!

But what if… what IF… I just want to have that book in my home to read at my leisure? What if I don’t want to return it ever, but think I might like to read it again? And again? And again? Is it so bad to purchase a book?  Is it so bad that at some point in time it might occur to me that I’m not actually going to read the book again anytime soon? And decide then that someone else may as well get some enjoyment out of it?  Sure, I can sell it to a used bookseller, but I won’t get much for it. It certainly won’t buy me another book. Yet, if I trade book for book, or credit for credit, I could get a book of the same value without being out any additional funds. AND no one will tell me, that I have to read and return that book in three weeks!

Oh sure there are libraries that already exist. They’re just not convenient to me.

But you know what? There are also grocery stores, coffee shops, book STORES, gyms, toy stores, etc. that already exist. That doesn’t stop entrepreneurs who think they have a shot at offering something unique, better, more convenient, or even in addition to meet high demand etc. from opening up shop. In fact, there are new libraries opening in cities, where libraries already exist!

Growth and development. What a concept.

About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two

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13 years ago

I agree. Some people don’t take a second to think outside their world. They don’t consider other peoples lives and that not everyone is the same. I used to live in a town that didn’t have a library so something like a bookswap site would have been great!

13 years ago

Thanks Kat.
A town without a library! Now that really is a shame.

13 years ago

Said “library already exists” comment was not necessary. We all know it does. Geez! Keepin it positive….