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I am not here to debate the Schumpeter Romer debate– I have had enough of those in my grad classes…
I am here to make a confession. I steal books.
OKAY BEFORE YOU JUDGE ME
I grew up poor in the sense that it never occurred to me ever ask my mother to buy me a book so that I can read for pleasure. A girl growing up visiting old book shops all her life to buy school books would think NEVER to go to her mother and ask her to let her buy a book that she is never going to use for academic purposes.
Flash forward 15 years, I can afford books, enough to fill an entire house, Thank God.
But I don’t forget my roots. And it’s really a surprise each time I visit a bookstore and reach for a book, and instead of putting it back, I add to my cart.
That euphoria feeling of actually touching books, and finding that it is yours and your possession only is a sort of feeling that would get the dementors away for at least a decade.
OK so if I can afford books now, why am I admitting to stealing them?
Because I could never afford it all this time growing up, I had to seek out alternatives.
By the grace of God, I was born in the time of internet. The first time i found out I could get books for free online when I was desperate, the most I had been in my teens then.
My best friend had just revealed that she would be getting her Harry Potter and the deathly Hallows the very day it released. And I got to business.
I knew I could never afford it. And asking for it would be tantamount to just committing suicide. Why put my mother through the agony of denying her daughter the one thing she loved the most. Hence never could find the courage ever to ask my mother for the things I loved.. that had a $ price attached to it.
Anyway, coming back. I resorted to internet. Found a leaked copy of deathly hallows a DAY BEFORE it was to be released but being the goody two shoes harry potter fanatic that I am i didn’t start reading it up until midnight.
And i finished the book by midday. I was the first one.
I beat my best friend, whose hardcopy hadn’t been even delivered.
She said it was cheating and it didn’t count. But she didn’t know.
I stole the book off the net, didn’t pay for it, but came out a happy teen.
I still find books online even today, read them because convenience has made me stick to e-readers.
hey i LOVE hard books as much as the next booklover but somehow found it easier to look less pretentious when I carried a iPhone instead of an actual book in my hand.