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- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: Amazon.com
- From: charles alexander <chax@THERIVER.COM>
- Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 14:46:13 -0700
- In-Reply-To: <199801092045.NAA16465@pantano.theriver.com>
- Message-Id: <199801092148.NAA20584@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: The list for all the book arts!" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
Well, OK, and generally I really agree and try to support local bookstores.
But, I've come to discover, a lot of people out there have no "small, local
book dealer," or none that are the least bit convenient. In Phoenix,
Arizona, for example, there are no surviving independently-owned general
bookstores in the downtown area (or close -- unless something new has
opened recently). In Tucson, where I live, it's almost as bad. There are
some very good specialty bookshops, but as far as general bookshops which
aren't Barnes & Noble or Borders, there is about one surviving, and that
one doesn't like ordering from sources it usually doesn't order from, which
makes it impossible for most of the small press books I want. And I've
generally found Barnes & Noble more difficult to deal with than Amazon, and
certainly more inflexible about discounts.
So, I'll go to far ends to support local bookstores which treat me as well
or better than amazon -- but I've found relatively few of those. But for
those I have found, I send praise and thanks.
At 03:33 PM 1/9/98 -0500, you wrote:
>I was overwhelmed by the number of people who provided their $.02 about
>the availability or lack of availability of Amazon.com. I'm writing out
>of concern about the apparent lack of concern for the health of the
>small, local book dealer. As the world turns inexorably toward
>electronic commerce we need to think about what will happen to the craft
>that many on this list practice. Small dealers attend to small presses
>and small press runs. However, they do not survive solely on the sale of
>these items. They have to sell mass market books as well and I urge you
>to consider whether the loss of outlets for the books that many on this
>list produce is worth the dollars saved by ordering by mail.
>Some of you might be thinking that electronic ordering saves you the
>trouble of a trip to your local book emporium. Yeah, that's true. But,
>how many of you go there to browse, list interesting books and then order
>them by mail. It's nice to be able to delay gratification, but OTOH, you
>get a discount that is probably more than the shipping and (I assume)
>generally avoid sales taxes.
>If, at this point you disagree with me, will not mend your ways, and
>insist on traversing piranha and anaconda filled waters, let me end with
>one final thought: Please consider buying books that Amazon.com does NOT
>discount locally, from a store owned by a local, book lover.
>R* (an electronic browser but not a buyer)
>Would you rather be married by a person who knows and cares for you and
>your partner or as part of a group of thousands in a stadium by a person
>who has no idea who you are?