Category Archives: Late to the Bandwagon Technique

Terry Deary’s libraries rant

It’s always a shame when someone whose work you admire explodes in a rain of offensive nonsense. Scott Adams’ “men’s rights” post used to be the standout here, but I found a new one, in the form of Terry Deary’s proclamation that libraries were robbing him.

Yeah, no.

I doubt Deary will read this, but just in case:


When I was a kid, the Horrible Histories books were among my favourites. I read them voraciously at the school library. They provided a great impetus to my early love of books and libraries, which I carry with me today. (Before you explode again, I’ll say that I do actually own several of them, albeit submerged in the depths of my groaning shelves for about ten years or so.)

And now you’ve managed to cast a permanent shadow over all those happy memories of reading Horrible Histories books, with your little rant. I will forever remember “the books are great, but the author is an elitist jerk.”

Libraries are about the only truly egalitarian institution in Western society. The governments are run at least partially by corporate interests, the corporations themselves are by and large relentless machines for accumulating money, and you have to get virtually everything off one of these remorseless wallet-theft devices. Medical care is, of course, far better for those who can afford it, and even the internet has to be paid for. But libraries provide information to those who need it. It doesn’t matter who you are – you can get information from the library. (I am starting a course to become a librarian this year. This kind of stuff was covered in the introductory infodump.)

Let’s assume you make an average royalty of forty cents per book, which is from what little I know about publishing actually fairly low, especially for an *award-winning, bestselling author*. You have sold twenty-five million of them. (No small number of those to libraries.) Even after tax, you have taken in nearly a million dollars in your life. Is that not enough for you?

I used to look up to you. Now? Now you’re just pathetic. Just another greedy old man who’s forgotten that he used to be an artist, and who can’t be satisfied with *just* being a best-selling, world-renowned author.

– OSM out


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