Non-Consumer Mish-Mash — Library Opinions, Non-Consumer Advocate Book Club and How to Darn Socks

by Katy on February 20, 2013 · 24 comments

Sock darning


Darning illustration from The Zero Waste Home.

It’s time again for Non-Consumer Mish-Mash, where I write a little bit about this and a little bit about that.

Talking Smack About Libraries

British children’s author, Terry Deary recently stirred up some controversy with some rather odd views about the current role of libraries.

“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.”

At the “expense of authors?” Does he think that all library readers would automatically buy his books if it weren’t for libraries? Does he not realize that those library copies were bought in the first place, and that book buyers often discover authors and decide to buy books after reading library copies?!

What a gassbag!

Click HERE to read the full article.

Click HERE to read my Love Letter to the Belmont Branch Library.


Non-Consumer Advocate Book Club in Full Swing!

Did you know there’s a Non-Consumer Advocate book group? They’re currently discussing Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Indepenenceby Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin.

It’s awesome book, which I highly recommend!

The book club is run by Crystal, a Non-Consumer Advocate reader and is happening over at the Facebook Group.

Come join in!


A Great Tutorial for How to Darn!

I am a fan of darning my family’s socks when they find the lord. (Get holey.) And even though readers have asked for a tutorial, I’ve never quite gotten around to it. Luckily, other people are better about these things than I am. For example, Bea from The Zero Waste Home.

Click HERE for a great sock darning tutorial, complete with illustration.

And Ms. Bea Johnson is coming out with a Zero Waste Home book next month, and I’ll be hosting a giveaway for five, count ’em, five books!

You are some lucky readers.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate February 20, 2013 at 4:08 am

That’s blasphemy! I love the library!!! I want to join the book group I have already read the book but I love to flap my laps (or discuss books and share my opinion)


Crystal February 20, 2013 at 5:25 am

Thanks for promoting libraries AND the Book Club, Katy! 🙂


Annie February 20, 2013 at 7:51 am

A Bugs Bunny would say, “What a maroon!” This may no longer be the Victorian Age, but there are still plenty of impoverished citizens in this world who need libraries. It’s not just books that libraries provide, but also computer access, literacy programs, job counseling, etc…

As one of my New Year’s resolutions I created a budget that would allow me to donate to worthy causes on a more regular basis. I think I will donate to my local library in Mr. Deary’s name.


Katy February 20, 2013 at 11:07 pm

The first draft that I wrote called him a “tool.” Did Bigs Bunny ever call anyone that? 😉



Joy @ Joyfully Green February 20, 2013 at 8:31 am

That’s astonishing to read about an author bashing libraries. Makes my blood boil. It’s also astonishing, but in a good way, that people darn socks. What a lost art!


Audrey February 20, 2013 at 8:47 am

I am speechless about Mr. Dreary’s words. Or maybe not….
He may write children’s books but he obviously doesn’t care about those children who only get to read because books are available for free at the library. We won’t be reading any of his books…..that I can say for sure. What an idiot!


Jen February 20, 2013 at 8:51 am

Looking forward to the darning tutorial–have a pile of socks in need! Maybe this will motivate me.


tna February 20, 2013 at 9:24 am

So that’s how you darn socks. No wonder my attempts have always failed. That looks really hard, like a maze for your toe. As for dreary Terry Deary he needs to just think of it as free advertising and get over it.


CC February 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

I read somewhere once, that libraries can make an author because they buy more books than any other group. And as said I have bought an authors book after reading it from the library.


Sadye February 20, 2013 at 11:57 am

Another library-lover here. Glad I haven’t bought any of Terry Dreary’s books! And what’s so horrible about making literature accessible to everyone anyway?


Maureen February 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I really needed to laugh this morning. So glad I read your blog! What a gassbag is right. I often buy books after finding them at the library and finding they really work for us (ie gf cookbooks) or are loved by the grands (Skippy Jon Jones). I read once about a children’s author who would hang out at libraries waiting to see a child reading one of her books.(= Perspective is the stuff of life and happiness.


Krystal February 20, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Between your blog and Bea’s blog, I feel like I have all the information I need on living a simple, frugal, zero-waste life! I cannot wait to attempt my first darning attempt this evening when I get home, AFTER stopping by the beloved library of course!


Erica February 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I always use the library to help determine if a book is worth buying.


Trish February 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm

that’s so bizarre that he would say something like that! perhaps it’s sour grapes after thinking how many more books he would sell if it weren’t for those dam libraries!

love your holey comment.


CB February 20, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Guess I’m the only one who thinks the library comment is valid….don’t get me wrong I LOVE the library. But I always think it’s crazy that you’re allowed to just borrow copy written (sp?) material without paying for it. Especially since so many books (novels) are usually only consumed one time it seems like the exact kind of thing that’s unfair to the authors. Access to the library certainly keep me from buying certain books.

But hey, maybe when you consider the whole economics of libraries authors come out ahead. I wouldn’t know. All I know is it’s the best deal going and I’ll take advantage while I can!


alexandra February 21, 2013 at 4:41 am

I’m inclined to agree with you and saw his comments as also somewhat valid. This is from a person who goes to the library every week and has no less than 15 books out at a time. I almost never BUY books. I feel guilty about it at times as I personally know some writers and they need people to buy their books, not just the library.
I want my library to stay open for ever and clearly use it but maybe I should re-think how I want to support authors.


Laura February 21, 2013 at 4:43 pm

I am floored by this concept. Without libraries, there is a huge portion of the population that would never read. Never. Not for knowledge; not for enjoyment. Never. The very idea that only those who can buy books should be entitled to access is appalling, elitist, and offensive on so many levels. So many people struggle to obtain basic needs these days, and more families depend on libraries for access to books…not choice, not frugality, but simply no other option. One would think an author would have greater appreciation of the importance of access to books.


Rosa February 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Who on earth spends $30 on a book they have no reason to think they’ll like?

My usual progression is this: borrow a book from a library or a friend; pick up other of the author’s books used or from the library if I liked the first one; buy new copies if I end up thinking I’m going to reread.

This is especially crucial for mid-list writers who put out multiple books, because often their backlist is not in print; if you like a writer and want to read more of their work, libraries & used copies are your only option short of a time machine.

It’s just not true that most books are read once. If it were true the world would be drowning in books. The reading economy is built on lending (either through libraries or just hand-to-hand) and reselling.


Betty Winslow February 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm

I adore our library, made speeches and carried signs to help its funding issues in the past, and can’t imagine life without it. As for darning socks, I learned how to do that at my mother’s knee. You hold up the sock, say “Darn!”, and toss it in the trash. Seriously, I tried darning them when my husband and I were young and broke, but it’s too hard on your feet…..


Rachel February 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm

And who is he to assume that everyone has access to and the ability to pay for books? Even some schools in less well funded areas have book shortages and many teachers spend their personal money to supply books outside of text books to their class rooms.

Furthermore, as a children’s author he should understand that libraries allow parents to significantly expand their children’s reading opportunities and to develop habits that can create life long readers. I guess he also chose to ignore the millions libraries spend on books to the benefit of authors…

Perhaps he needs to step out of his privileged bubble. Ooh he made my library lovin’ blood boil just a bit.


Yvette February 20, 2013 at 11:18 pm

I would imagine Mr Deary would be very happy with books that self destructed after one read so that each new reader would need to buy a new copy. No more pesky libraries or used book stores!


Raven February 21, 2013 at 6:55 am

“We pay for compulsory schooling for that.”

Because, as everyone knows, most of a kid’s school day is spent reading the kinds of books someone would check out from the library. Totally.

As an author (yep!) I like libraries. They buy my books. People find me in a library and then want to buy a book for themselves. My book will stay on a library shelf much, much longer than it will stay on a bookstore shelf (unless it’s an improbably huge bestseller).

Of course, I also have a philosophy as an author that it’s not too smart to yell at the people who buy what you sell, but hey, that’s just me.

Also I like darning socks, although I can’t figure out how to do the cotton ones.


Linda in Indiana February 21, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I love our library and use the loan library option often also. But….we are paying for books via our taxation….so we are not “stealing” from any author. Just think how many libraries there are in our country and how many books they purchase for their shelves. That has to provide alot of revenue for authors. It is also much kinder to our environment. And if you buy your own books you often trade with others….the same concept. I have often read a book and then liked it so much I had to have it as my own and purchased a copy for myself and sometimes as a gift for others. What a maroon is right!!!


Kristina February 22, 2013 at 3:21 am

My thoughts exactly Linda! If I love a book from the library I’ll buy it for myself and sometimes also as a gift for someone else who I know would love it too! Without the library I wouldn’t be able to afford to find these treasures! Perfect example is “The Walk” series by Richard Paul Evans, they moved me and I knew my FIL would love them too. I’ll bet Mr. Dreary doesn’t bat an eye when he patronizes a Redbox kiosk! What a tool!


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