Jun 7, 2013

Time for a science lesson.

Remember high school biology? Let's a have a mini refresher course in one particular aspect. I've always liked the concept.

com·men·sal·ism [kuh-men-suh-liz-uhm] 
noun
1. Ecology . a type of relationship between two species of a plant, animal, fungus, etc., in which one lives with, on, or in another without damage to either.
2. Sociology . peaceful coexistence among individuals or groups having independent or different values or customs.
3. See picture below.
  
That's what we are, guys. The bird and the deer. Bird stays on deer's back and eats fleas and ticks and deer provides a buffet of fleas and ticks.
What does this have to do with anything? Well, lots. We can only do our job if others do theirs. And when we don't get donations or (worse) get people complaining about the lack of new books, well, it's like you guys are the bird and you aren't eating the fleas and ticks. We are getting itchy and can't do much other than roll in grass to relieve the itch.*
*Please ignore how strange and awkward this analogy is getting.

 Now, we can't force people for donations (obviously) but we can try encourage it. Just like non-profit charities can issues tax breaks we can offer an incentive. It's not much, but alas, we are, essentially, a non-profit charity.
Like all charities, we survive on the blood (books) that are donated to us. We would not have survived this long without them. Not a chance. We would have died out sometime in December and I would at times find something to remind me of that cute little program I created, that subsequently died when I ran out of my own books. Let me say it again, to make sure it sticks: donators = the reason we live.

So, what's the incentive?, you ask impatiently.
Preferred treatment to those who donate books.


Cannot TELL YOU how excited I was to find that gif set.
But anyway, yeah, don't freak out. Here's why:
1) A lot of those who donate, hardly ever request. Don't ask me why that is, I've just noticed the trend.
 2) A lot of the time the people who donate, don't go for the big titles anyway. Not always, just, again, a strangeish trend I've noticed.
3) It won't be a preferred treatment, like holding books for anyone or especially rescinding books after emails have gone out. No way. 

Will this be a big shift in everything we know and trust in this reality? No.
Does it mean you might loose out to the donator who requested the same book 15 seconds after you? Maybe. (You'd be surprised how often this happens anyway when people request when they are on TWTO unknowingly.)
Do I hope for a big influx of cast-off books from your school reading list just to get preferential treatment? Oh, gods of Olympus, I sincerely hope not. Yes, we'll take Pride and Prejudice, but the day any blogger tries to play this off as a hip and fun read is gonna get a big eyeroll from me. I'm an English major, I can say it.

You might not realize it, but at the end of this month, this little program is a year old. (Yes, the blog didn't get started until late July - but who's counting?) I keep worrying and almost waiting for it to lose momentum and I don't want to see it die. I've worked hella hard on this blog (and all the spreadsheets) to watch it die so easily. Even with me moving and maybe starting some kind of life and Lili going to college, we are willing to keep it going. But we can only do so much. We need you guys! I hope this gets a little more life pumping in the system and if not, well, back to the drawing board on our side.
 

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