Google Playstore gives me free copies of academic books that I can’t borrow from the entire system of Illinois public universities. Of course, I’d rather read these books on paper but our library is a joke and the entire state is failing on staying updated on new acquisitions.
My 2017 book, for instance, has been purchased by only two of these libraries and, shockingly, my school’s library is not one of them. When I suggested to our head of acquisitions that it would be nice to have the book in our library, she reacted with the kind of outrage people usually reserve for much more offensive propositions. My students are very interested in the book and ask about it all the time. Some of them are now buying it with their own money, which I’m begging them not to do because it’s very expensive. (It’s not the price that prevents our library from buying the book. They were as opposed to buying my first book that cost $20.)
Here, by the way, is an excerpt from a review of my recent book on the Choice website that serves librarians:
“This is not an easy read but is well worth the effort. Impeccable research and an elegant prose style greatly facilitate understanding a particular example of how liquid capital fostered economic insecurity, eroded the welfare state, and is leading to explosive inequality that in Spain demands being met with unrelenting resistance both in politics and literature. This book is invaluable for those interested in contemporary Spanish politics and literature. Summing up: Highly recommended.”
So it’s not like I’m expecting the college library to buy some below-par material the school will never see checked out.