U.K. author says libraries “no longer relevant”
Earlier this week, Horrible Histories author Terry Deary shocked the literary world when he mounted an attack on the public-library system.
He told The Guardian that "Because it'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."
This is despite the fact that Deary, like many U.K. authors, receives a small fee every time one of his books is borrowed. His series Horrible Histories, among the most-borrowed books in the U.K. library sytem, reimagines key periods in history with an emphasis on the gruesome and grisly bits.
Not surprisingly, authors like Neil Gaiman and Julia Donaldson have come out in support of libraries, condemning Deary's views as "selfish & stupid, shortsighted & sad."
And thank goodness for that.