"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How We Kill What We Love

Or, how people who buy and sell used books online are the real death of the industry. Bargain Hunting for Books, from the NY Times.

How much do I want to pay, and where do I want that money to go? To my local community via a bookstore? To the publisher? To the author?

In theory, I want to support all of these fine folks. In practice, I decide to save a buck.

Apparently, a practice with enormous repercussions. Powell's bookstore in Portland, Or, is asking its employees to take unpaid sabbaticals. There is no longer any bookstore in Berkeley, Calif. Will we regret our "selfish actions" when there are no longer physical bookstores? Sure, we will. How will we learn about books, then? Those of us who find what we want at the local bookstore and then order it online to save maybe $10. But how do they expect us to give up saving $10 on each volume?

We're loving books to death. Somebody think of something.


Murph said...

That's a good thing to think about. I do buy books at bookstores and I try to buy from local "Mom & Pop" stores as much as possible, but I'm also a guilty lover of library book sales. Come on, 50 cents for a hard back edition... now who can pass that up?

Zen of Writing said...

I can't. My library has them, too. But I think they buy more books with the money we spend there.

Thanks for commenting.