James Emery White, at his blog, on how purchasing from Amazon is killing local bookstores, and here are our questions:
What to do? Are more people employed/employable if we purchase from local bookstores? What does this mean in other areas — like grocery stores? appliance shops? garage builders?
One of my favorite movies is “You’ve Got Mail,” an overlooked Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie, but by far my favorite.The story is the quintessential modern romance, but it is set against the backdrop of one of my favorite cities (New York, and one of the better movies which features the Big Apple as a major character) and one of my favorite places.A bookstore.I have written in an earlier blog that I am, unashamedly, a book man. You can read it here. All the more reason I was saddened to read on the front page of my local newspaper that two of my favorite area booksellers will be closing.In “You’ve Got Mail,” the story revolves around a big-box bookstore forcing a small, independent bookseller out of business. Now, it is the online giant Amazon, along with new technology such as e-readers, which is doing in the big-box stores.I’ve written about that before as well, and you can click here if you are interested.But I’m not just sad.I’m convicted.Because I am why they had to close. Yes, I helped kill two of my favorite bookstores.Like many others, I loved spending an hour or two walking the aisles, enjoying the deep armchairs and sipping on coffee from its in-house bar. I would fill my arms with books that caught my eye, laid out tantalizingly as “New Fiction,” “New Non-Fiction,” “New Biography,” and more. Finding a new book by a favorite author that I did not know had a new release; finding a topic of interest that I did not know had been published; such was the great joy of the visit.And when I made my decision as to what to buy?Confession time.I would write the titles down and go home and order them on Amazon.Now that I’m repentant, it’s time for penance.