Weekly Tea Discussion: Amazon vs. Bookstores



Welcome to the first week of Weekly Tea Discussion!

In honor of Independent Bookstore Day this Saturday, I thought we talk about Amazon and independent bookstores.

When the whole Amazon and Hachette dispute over e-book pricing that occurred last year, I watched everyone, from writers and readers alike, attacking Amazon, especially criticizing their actions for withholding Hachette print books from their website.

Now, I don’t agree with what Amazon does sometimes, especially in this case. What I don’t agree with is everyone making Amazon public enemy number #1. Mishka Shubaly, the author of Sympathy for the Devil: In Defense of Amazon, I feel said it perfectly:

Jeff Bezos didn’t build Amazon: We did. Amazon didn’t buy out and board up independent bookstores. We abandoned them. We chose convenience over community, commerce over art. The Big Five sell glossy-covered, sensational page-turners and celebrity tell-alls and escapist vampire soft-porn because this is what we’ve told them we want to read. The solution isn’t to order the latest Hachette bestseller online from Wal-Mart.”

Instead of putting all the blame on Amazon, and the big publishers would love that, and take at our own book buying habits. I am not a hypocrite. I sometimes do shop for books on Amazon. But, most of the time, I will go to my independent bookstore and shop there. Not only to support them but nothing compares physically browsing through a bookstore. Here, I am choosing community over convenience.

But a lot of consumers choose not to go that route. Honestly, I can’t blame them. Books are cheaper on Amazon. So, writers and fellow readers who are ready to sharpen their pitchforks against Amazon, ask yourself this: is it really necessary for a book to cost $35.00? Can you really blame consumers for choosing Amazon over bookstores? Maybe this so-called battle between Amazon and indie bookstores is a front to stop us from seeing the real problem: the publishers. Maybe if publishers didn’t set their books at high prices and thought more about lining their own pockets, more people would be open to shopping at indie bookstores.


I would like to hear your opinions. So you guys can pingback, add your link to your post, or post comment below.

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Published by karma2015

I was born and raised in New York. I still live in New York but kind of sick of the city and one day I wish to move to the UK.I have a Masters degree in Library Science and I currently work in a special collections library. I loved books ever since I was a little girl. Through the hard times in my life, my love for books has always gotten me through. Just entering another world different from my own intrigues me. As long as I am entering in another universe, I like to create my own as well. I love to write and hopefully I will be able to complete a novel.

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