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.”