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Original & Pirated Books

January 8, 2009

There are always cheap/pirated versions of various things available. I can tolerate to watch a not-very-clear print of a movie, provided, I am watching it for free or on rent. When I have to buy a DVD, then there is no compromise on print and audio quality.

Double Print

Double Print

There are also cheap/pirated version of books and bestseller novels available in the market. At first I saw those books only in the bookshops for old and used books but then I started seeing them in the big bookstores too. I have a problem. I don’t like buying the cheap version of books. Firstly, the double print can cause headache. Besides I have spotted so many typos and grammatical errors in such books. Secondly, the entire look of the book, right from the title to the page quality is so low that I don’t enjoy reading it. I don’t want to have a feeling as if I am reading a text book (that used to have such print and page quality).

Good one by original publisher

Good one by original publisher

So it has actually happened with me twice that I (by mistake) bought a pirated version but when I saw its original version later in the bookshop I bought it again.

There are times when these cheap books are sort of boon because books are basically so expensive that it becomes difficult to buy more than three or four at a time (that too when you have dedicated a good chunk of money and are ready to spend it before entering the bookshop).

Why do we have to buy each and every book? That’s one of the disappointing things in our country that there aren’t libraries in every neighborhood. Library can make things easier and if it offers a good and latest collection of books especially non-fiction one wouldn’t need to spend too much on buying. But I know that wouldn’t happen because first not many people in our society are fond of reading. And many don’t treat such books as a public proeprty. Do I need to tell what do they do with such books after borrowing?

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Asma Ahsan permalink
    January 8, 2009 10:01 pm

    Mehnga roey aik baar, sastaa roey baar baar.

    I dont like copies at all. One they dont last at all, so its a waste of money in any case.

    As for books – I cant stand cheap versions – I have been an editor and the OUP editions were my pride and joy in Pakistan – they are so well designed and printed and all work done locally too!

    You cant imagine how long it takes to finalise stylistic format of a book and a seperate designer designs cover of the book. its a thrill for me to hold a well published book in my hand.

    a copy can never do justice to the hardwork done in original book!

  2. Ayesha permalink
    January 8, 2009 10:12 pm

    I fully agree with you!
    My mom also used to say Mehnga roey… 😛

  3. Cavaliere permalink
    January 8, 2009 10:42 pm

    We must all boycott buying pirated versions (i assume that is what you mean by cheap books) as far as we can.

  4. Glamsy permalink
    January 9, 2009 12:22 am

    Ayesha I am one of them people who mostly forget to return their library books and then pay the fines, I have never come across any cheap books I guess its the same as pirate DVDs or Videos.Government should make it against the law to sell such books But who is gona follow the law now thats the question worth asking.

  5. January 9, 2009 6:01 am

    quality of pirated books is really sucking
    i used to buy these books in very early ages of my university era but never went through those. how could I? this is so irritating.
    after that there came a time that i never bought a book for any course. and never a book, other than course, with substandard printing paper and composing.

  6. January 9, 2009 6:05 am

    i dont say that we all should bycott the pirated books, because they are the only source of having a door towards knowledge for many of us. the price of originally published books is many times of that of pirated. and those books are meant to luxury to many of us. what we should do, is make sure that the quality of these pirated books is not that much bad. Indian editions are not in a big difference with these Pakistani pirated book in price. but the quality of those books with our is unmatchable. fantastic paper, printing and binding.

  7. Cavaliere permalink
    January 9, 2009 10:17 am

    i agree with you and that is why i said ‘as far as we can’

  8. January 9, 2009 3:17 pm

    I think no one can tolerate ‘pirated versions’ happily but we ‘ve too 😦 …

  9. Ayesha permalink
    January 9, 2009 3:47 pm

    That’s the thing, “we have to” 😦

  10. January 9, 2009 4:50 pm

    same is the case with me for pirated stuff be it books or movies yeah but if i m getting good quality stuff in pirated version then its FINE like movies 😛 if i m getting DVD prints then its ok but books naah never

  11. January 9, 2009 5:03 pm

    it’s true: these pirated books, though barely readable, are a blessing and you are right about our public libraries being unable to provide the public with the intellectual enrichment and nurturing that it should with books and articles…

    I always opt for original… helps to beat the unwanted piracy that is going rampant in our country…

  12. Glamsy permalink
    January 9, 2009 11:06 pm

    But writers gain nothing from pirated books right? I know for some people thats the only option because these books are cheaper than original But does that make it right??

  13. Ayesha permalink
    January 10, 2009 12:06 pm

    Glamsy: Very true the writers never gain anything from the sale of pirated books.

    So the comments show that people do admit that cheaper books are good for those who can’t afford to buy expensive (original ones) but on the other hand the substandard quality and errors are such a turn off and tend to discourage many to buy them.

  14. January 10, 2009 3:42 pm

    non-existent library system is the main reason why we don’t see many readers adoring original books. And you can’t buy many as the prices are on a high these days.

  15. Ayesha permalink
    January 10, 2009 4:05 pm

    That’s what I mentioned in my blog. You can’t buy more than 2 books for 1000 Rs. At times a book could be priced as high as 900-1500 Rs. (Or even more)

  16. January 11, 2009 5:22 am

    Pirated Non-fiction and academic books are priced low because their increasing demand. My friend who is an avid reader only gets original copies. He’s complaining all the time about the prices as he can only get 2 or 3 in a month.

  17. Asma Ahsan permalink
    January 12, 2009 5:35 am

    One good idea would have been for colleges to open up old book shops where end of year students go and sell their course books at second hand price – reference books too. Those are then good editions in second hand condition and cost less than the pirated copies. One should recycle books that are already there in the house. Not keep them in attics to rot away!

  18. January 12, 2009 3:56 pm

    You can roll this idea on IdeasHut, and hopefully community would get it.
    For submission, you can use this page

    There won’t be any issues, as nothing technical there. Get back to me if you have any queries.


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