“I’m not attacking libraries, I’m attacking the concept behind libraries, which is no longer relevant.”[I]t’s been 150 years, we’ve got this idea that we’ve got an entitlement to read books for free, at the expense of authors, publishers and council tax payers. This is not the Victorian age, when we wanted to allow the impoverished access to literature. We pay for compulsory schooling to do that.
And if you need some mental sorbet after reading that rant, here’s an interview with Neil Gaiman about his love of libraries:
I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be the person that I am, I’m very very certain that without libraries I wouldn’t have the career that I have. I had a fairly decent local library, I used to get my parents to drop me off there on the summer holidays on their way to work, and I would just read my way through the children’s library and as an adult I would read my way through the adult library. I was much more selective in the adult library; in the children’s library I would just read everything: you know, start with the A’s. . . . They had a wonderful subject index, like an old card index, I would go to that and I’d look up robots, or ghosts, or something, and it would list all the books they had, all the fiction works they had with robots or ghosts or whatever, and I would go and read them.