You buy a book. You want to give the book to a store and have the store give you money. Then the store can give the book to someone else and get money from them.
You are allowed to do that now. But soon maybe you will not be allowed to do that anymore. You would have to ask the people who made the book if it was okay with them.
If they said yes you might have to give them some of the money. And if they said no you would have to keep the book or throw it out.
You also could not give it for a little while and get it back and give it to someone else. And it is not just books. It would also be movies or even just stuff that anyone wrote anything on the box of.
LJ News Editor Meredith Schwartz took a crack at explaining the first sale doctrine using only the 1000 most common words. We think she wins the Hemingway award for shortest and most direct average sentence.
I like books, and I believe librarianship is about books, if you stop and think about how books equal stories, and it doesn’t matter what goddamn container they come in, be it paper, digital, audio, or a film or a video game. Stories are what people crave, and stories (like the storycorp partnership with libraries, or the not so new resurgence of reading aloud to adults–and adult librarians, if you need help on reading aloud, you know who to ask) are what libraries have and always will do best.