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  • Writer's pictureBethany Wish

Dear Readers...

I recently bought a book on amazon of one of my favorite indie authors and friends. I told her I was enjoying the book immensely, and she expressed how relieved she was that I was enjoying it, since I had to pay for it...


...as if my enjoyment of it was the standard for its worth.


Dear readers,


Would you walk into an art gallery, take a painting off the wall, and leave without paying the artist?


Would you walk up to a chef in his restaurant

And ask for a free meal?


Would you walk into a symphony

And refuse to pay for a ticket?


No.


And neither should we expect to read authors’ works for free.


The writer is an artist, and the book is their masterpiece.


Their craft.


Between the covers, and held together loosely with a binding, is years; days; hours; minutes; moments of work, agony, tears, research, joy, hope, skill, learning, emotion, history, story, revelation- carefully formed into grammatically correct and neatly arranged sentences that tell a complex story.


It is a child, created by the author but raised by a community, passed from hand to hand, instructed, broken and rebuilt stronger every time. The author watches their child grow, transform- then when it is as ready as it will ever be, it is released into the world, skin bared for all to see; a miracle contained in ink and paper. Vulnerable, but strong in its truth, forged in fire.


The book is the writer’s contribution to society- a skill, a gift for others to enjoy, from which we as readers experience new things, gain knowledge and understanding, and travel to other times; other worlds.


A book is a time machine, a portal, a dream, a question, an answer.


What would you pay for these things?


I challenge us as readers to view authors and the world of literature with immense gratitude, not entitlement.

When we do this, the question in our minds won’t be, “Do I really have to pay for this?” And will instead be, “You deserve to be paid more for this. Thank you for sharing it with me.”


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