Go Read This | The READ: In Defense Of Amazon | The New Republic

This article is an excellent corrective to the Amazon bashing that’s been going around lately:

But Amazon is a quintessential capitalist enterprise, and it cannot be faulted for exploiting the free-market system that, for better or worse, we have embraced. It offers people things they want to buy at prices they want to pay, and in so doing, it puts out of business other enterprises that are not able to match its terms. Other than continuing to make sure that Amazon’s practices fall within the bounds of what regulation we have—particularly antitrust laws—there’s not much to be done. (Although it does seem unnecessary to deliberately increase Amazon’s monopoly, as the Wylie Agency did last week with its controversial introduction of a digital publishing venture that makes classic books by the agency’s venerated stable of writers—including Bellow, Nabokov, and Rushdie—available exclusively through Amazon.) I’m not ashamed to admit that I buy books from Amazon when it’s convenient, as well as from Barnes and Noble, independent bookstores, people on the street, or whoever else happens to have what I’m looking for. And to Jeff Bezos and everyone else who brings books to the world I say: thank you.

via The READ: In Defense Of Amazon | The New Republic.

Go Read This | Where will bookstores be five years from now? – The Shatzkin Files

I get the sense that Mike is at his wits end on the bookstore issue. And I’d not blame him for that. There does sometimes seem to be a willful process of ignoring the impact the digital changes will have on bookstores.

So the race between single-function e-ink and more full-function tablets accelerates the movement from print to digital book consumption; and the move from print to digital book consumption accelerates the shift from store-based purchasing to online purchasing; and the shift to online book purchasing, whether print or digital, accelerates the reduction of brick-and-mortar shelf space.

And the reduction of brick-and-mortar shelf space increasingly challenges the core proposition of all of today’s largest book publishers.

via Where will bookstores be five years from now? – The Shatzkin Files.