Monday, January 05, 2009

The Death of the Bookstore

You should really buy that book at the sticker price in a local bookstore instead of buying it from some online retailer. If you don’t, next time you try to go to the bookstore it might be closed. Buying a used book for a cent or a dollar from an online retailer is to the publishing industry as downloading a song on Limewire is to the music industry. It is wreaking havoc.

Why all of this concern? I’ll tell you why. I read this article in the NY Times. There are many disturbing facts in it, but consider this:

Ms. Lesser is the publisher of The Threepenny Review, a literary journal. She lives in Berkeley, Calif., where, as it happens, there is no longer a large general interest bookstore. Cody’s, in its prime one of the country’s great stores, closed its last outlet in June. The Barnes & Noble store there also recently closed.

That’s amazingly sad. Borders is apparently on the rocks too. Book publishers and authors don’t see one cent of your money when you pay a dollar plus shipping and handling for a book online. I know, it is just too easy to steal now that you have the Internet, but please don’t.

*Update: Yeah, stealing is a little harsh. Certainly downloading a song from Limewire is illegal. After reading the Times article though, I felt like buying a used book for a dollar was in a sense stealing. I know it is not, but that's the word I used to emphasize a point.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hardly consider buying a book for a dollar stealing. Some people can't afford to spend 20.00 on something they will coast through in 2 days. And when I'm done with it, where does it go? Either to Good Will to be bought for a quarter or to a friend who wants to read it. Is that stealing also?
I get your point, and it is sad. I just don't like the accusation that people are just stealing things left and right by legally buying something.