Today's Ethicist column is about a woman who got a library book autographed by "her favorite author" on an airplane and then replaced the library book with a new copy of the title.
Here's my problem with the dilemma: Her favorite author and she got it out of the library? Look, I probably have seven books out from the library right now (for myself, not for the kids). However, if any of the dozen authors I consider a "favorite" publishes a new book, I buy it. Partly because I will want to keep it, but also so the author actually earns some of my money.
There's nothing unethical about using the library, but if you really want to support an artist (of any sort), give them sales figures and, frankly, money.
A little disappointed that Randy Cohen didn't address that.