Letter: Borrowed books

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is estimated that books I have written were borrowed 11,563 times from public libraries last year. Under the Public Lending Rights scheme, based on this year's royalty of 1.86p per loan, I am to receive in February the ludicrous sum of pounds 209.83. Hundreds of authors up and down the land will be treated in similar vein to society's assessment of their worth.

Surely it is high time that public libraries ceased to be regarded as part of the welfare state and that every book borrowed was subject to a charge of 10p, 5p to go towards the cost of buying new books locally and 5p to be added to government funding of PLR, for equal distribution to all those authors registered. It would be a simple extension of PLR to operate, and would benefit everyone.

Yours faithfully,


Hove, East Sussex

11 January